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Steve McCurry has a very par­tic­u­lar way of work­ing…

Steve McCurry takes very few can­dids. Work­ing with an in­ter­preter, his por­traits are made with the sub­ject’s per­mis­sion and from close dis­tance. Mak­ing the most of what­ever time he has is crit­i­cal to cap­tur­ing that mo­ment of in­ti­macy that char­ac­terises his por­trai­ture. How much time do you spend with your sub­jects if some­one has caught your eye?

That de­pends on how much time they’re will­ing to give me. There are times when you get a few sec­onds, there are other times where you might get a few min­utes, maybe longer. You are at the mercy of how much time these people are will­ing to give you. If you’re walk­ing on the street, some­times you lit­er­ally have only a mo­ment or two. How close do you like to get to your sub­ject? Are there times where you pre­fer to step back to show more of the sur­round­ings?

Well, you need to work with the lens so that it doesn’t draw too much at­ten­tion to it­self. If you get in tight with a wide-an­gle it’s go­ing to look dis­torted. Some people like that, but I pre­fer to work with some­thing that’s more true to re­al­ity. want the pic­ture to be about colour, I want the pic­ture to be about a par­tic­u­lar story, about the per­son­al­ity, it’s got to be about the per­son and not the fact they’re wear­ing a bright red shirt with a red rib­bon in their hair. That’s just me. Maybe some­one else would see it com­pletely dif­fer­ent, but it’s more im­por­tant to me to show the hu­man­ity of the per­son. Is it pos­si­ble to make a great por­trait with colour? Yes, of course it is. I’m just say­ing that by and large I’m not so in­ter­ested in mak­ing some­thing re­ally colourful for it’s own sake. Early in your ca­reer, Henri CartierBres­son was a hero and in­spi­ra­tion. What is it about his work that you ad­mire? He was per­haps the most ac­com­plished

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