Steve Mccurry’s Search for Elsewhere
It seems we’re not the only ones going through our old photos and waxing nostalgic for traveling the world. World-renowned photojournalist and former Newsweek photographer Steve Mccurry has released In Search of Elsewhere, a retrospective collection from his rich archive featuring 40 years of his photos from across the globe, many of which are previously unseen. Mccurry’s signature touch is not only his ability to make an ordinary moment look surreal, but his ability to “find the human behind the headline,” as acclaimed travel writer Pico Iver says in the book’s foreword. Mccurry’s four decades of photography span conflicts, ancient rituals, vanishing cultures and also everyday life, from Pakistan and Myanmar to Cuba and Tibet. Just as we’ll never forget the piercing stare from Mccurry’s iconic “Afghan Girl” 1985 National Geographic cover, these images also remain timeless, leaving us not only longing for elsewhere, but seeing ourselves in the people who find themselves at home there. Newsweek spoke to Steve Mccurry about his lifetime of photographing the world.
What do you think makes a photo’s power endure across decades?
You look at a picture and it grabs you. “Oh my God, I know that feeling.” You can’t forget a picture that lives with you and makes some sort of comment about our lives in this world.
What would be your greatest hope that one of your photos has the power to do?
Life is struggle. There’s no way around that, there’s a lot of drudgery, but there’s also a lot of wonderful, tender loving moments. There’s art and there’s beauty and music and different things which make life worthwhile. I think that in photography we can share this emotion and stories about each other to show our similarities.
Your photos always depict the human element. Why do you think that’s so important?
We rush through life. The great thing about photography is it’s a meditation that you can do out on the street. You start to pay attention to what’s happening right now in front of you and having an appreciation for being alive.