Steve McCurry: An Interview with PDN

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Steve McCurry: An Interview with PDN

Long before he became a contributor to National Geographic, published dozens of books on Asia or took his famous portrait of “Afghan Girl,” Steve McCurry found his voice as a photographer during the during years he spent touring India and the subcontinent in the late Seventies. McCurry, who we profile in this month’s Legends issue, had been working for a small-town newspaper, shooting “Lions Club meetings, high school wrestling, football games” in black-and-white. His portfolio wasn’t good enough to land a job at a bigger newspaper, he recalls. “I realized what I really wanted to do was travel, so I said, ok, I’m just going to quit.” At the time, he says, “I hadn’t shot color, but I knew the magazine world wanted color, “ so he packed 200 rolls of Kodachrome that he would send back to the States for processing, and went to India. Along the way, he supported himself with small travel assignments and some sales to Scholastic. When asked what those two years of travel taught him, McCurry says simply, “Just because someone’s wearing a turban, doesn’t mean it’s an interesting photo.”