Stunning Portraits of the Human Experience

By Steve McCurry

Phaidon Press 59.95 272 pages

I had never heard of Steve McCurry before I received his book, The Iconic Photographs. He has been a photographer for more than three decades and his most famous photograph is a green-eyed Afghan girl. However, as I perused through the book, I am certain that McCurry is known for much more than this one picture. The book contains over 150 vivid, arresting photos. I can only image what they look like when they are printed life-size. McCurry’s subjects are mostly of people, but do not think that McCurry goes for obvious beauty. He finds subjects that are striking and beautiful in their own way – whether it is a circumstance, a location, or a paradox. He has clearly traveled to some very remote locales.

Readers of this book will be educated, entertained, and certainly enthralled. There are photographs of hardship, cultural differences, and ultimately, life. There are photos of incredible human feats. Readers will want to go through this book over and over again. I believe McCurry’s greatest skill is that you see hardship, but you don’t see despair. At the end of the book is background information for each photo, with a thumbnail. Although it was cumbersome to go back and forth in the book, the photographs are so mesmerizing. Readers find that it is a small price to pay in order to view these remarkable photos.

Reviewed By Seniye Groff

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