The Disturbing True Story Behind the Iconic ‘Afghan Girl’ Photo

Tony Northrup recently decided to create a video celebrating photographer Steve McCurry’s most famous photo, the iconic “Afghan Girl” portrait featured on the cover of National Geographic. But upon researching the shot, Northrup learned the other, more disturbing side of the story that’s more hidden from public view.

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Todd Welvaert and Paul Colletti return to the podcast to discuss the scandal surrounding famous photographer Steve McCurry his altered images. Steve McCurry is world renowned for his National Geographic cover - 'Afghan Girl’. The three of us had admired McCurry for years so we disappointed to learn but the And it turns out he - or someone who works for him - faked the content of some of his photos. The resulting fallout has sparked a debate on the internet about photo ethics and the wider implications.

EDITORIAL: Eyes of the Afghan Girl- A critical take on the “Steve McCurry Scandal” | Writing Through Light

“Yes, from what I can recall, Steve used to stage quite a few shots back then. He needed help whenever he came to India and people obliged. Since my house was and still is centrally located in the city he would come here often. He was always passionate and longing to go out and shoot again. On one occasion that he had come, he told me of a particular shot that he wanted to take on how people travel in India. He requested my sister in law Vanita to accompany him to New Delhi Railway station” says Pasricha. On asking him about the suitcases on the porter’s head, he confirms that they are indeed empty.

Clicking a phony tale

Celebrated photographer Steve McCurry has admitted to altering images, saying he is a ‘storyteller’ and not a photojournalist. But is manipulating photographs in the name of art justified

Celebrated photographer Steve McCurry has admitted to altering images, saying he is a ‘storyteller’ and not a photojournalist. But is manipulating photographs in the name of art justified?

Steve McCurry's Rickshaw

If Steve McCurry’s aesthetic and the doctoring to achieve it deserves the criticism, I’m wondering what is positive and worthy for us to learn from it.

If McCurry’s aesthetic and the doctoring to achieve it deserves the criticism, I’m wondering what is positive and worthy for us to learn from it. With that goal in mind and consistent with our agenda here, I think it’s worth a more specific reading of one of the photos understood to be altered

Steve McCurry: I'm Not a Photojournalist

The famed photographer says he will rein in his use of Photoshop

For McCurry, however, the uproar has continued unabated for more than three weeks, with new examples of photoshopped images unveiled almost on a daily basis, forcing the photographer to announce that “going forward, I am committed to only using the program in a minimal way, even for my own work taken on personal trips.”

More Photoshopped Photos Emerge in the Steve McCurry Scandal

Much has been written about the Steve McCurry Photoshop scandal since we originally reported on the story earlier this month. The NPPA Ethics Committee

It appears that McCurry’s entire blog — along with the examples we referenced — has been deleted. We have not yet received any response to our request for comment

Steve McCurry and Photojournalism’s Burden of Truth

The intellectual milieu that gives rise to a technology or a practice leaves fingerprints on that thing which last for a long time, indeed which sometimes might even be impossible to completely rem…

The real problem with McCurry’s photography isn’t down to the use of the clone tool to create them, it’s a problem embedded even more profoundly in his way of making photographs, and goes right back to those latent fingerprints

Botched Steve McCurry Print Leads to Photoshop Scandal

Steve McCurry is, perhaps, one of the most iconic names in the National Geographic pantheon. A travel photography giant, his vibrant images have inspired

Steve McCurry is, perhaps, one of the most iconic names in the National Geographic pantheon. A travel photography giant, his vibrant images have inspired millions, but he’s recently come under fire over Photoshop use after a botched print at a show in Italy was found to have a serious issue.

What Steve McCurry and Paul Theroux Saw When They Traveled Through the American South

Throughout his storied photojournalism career, Steve McCurry has traveled extensively on most of the world’s continents, but besides the occasional...

Throughout his storied photojournalism career, Steve McCurry has traveled extensively on most of the world’s continents, but besides the occasional trips to visit his grandparents in South Carolina as a boy, he hadn’t seen much of the American South. That changed two years ago when the writer Paul Theroux told him he was writing a book on the region and invited him to come along.

Extraordinary New Book Unveils the Untold Stories of the World's Greatest Photojournalists - Feature Shoot

The duty of a photojournalist, according to many, is to remain detached in a moment of crisis, to compartmentalize scenes of violence and war from the goings on of everyday life. As suggested by Italian journalist Mario Calabresi in his extraordinary book

As suggested by Italian journalist Mario Calabresi in his extraordinary book Eyes Wide Open, however, the best storytellers are those who allow themselves to be submerged within often painful events, to forgo absolute objectivity in favor of something rarer: a precarious marriage of impartiality and intimate involvement. In interviews with ten photographers who have not only documented but in many ways shaped the course of history—Steve McCurry, Josef Koudelka, Don McCullin, Elliott Erwitt, Paul Fusco, Alex Webb, Gabriele Basilico, Abbas, Paolo Pellegrin, and Sebastiao Salgado

Steve McCurry's Assistant Charged In $654,258 Print, Book Theft

Photographer Steve McCurry's assistant Bree DeStephano, 32, has been arrested and charged for theft and related offenses, according to Chester (PA) County district attorney Tom Hogan. DeStephano is charged with stealing prints, books, and other items from

stolen prints included some of McCurry's most famous images: Afghan Girl, Vertical Dust Storm, The Blue City, and Bengali Woman and Child. In addition to the prints, Hogan says, she sold stolen books as well through various aliases on multiple Web sites

Steve McCurry Reveals Iconic 'Afghan Girl' Portrait Was Almost Passed Over by Editor

It might be hard to believe in retrospect, but it turns out that Steve McCurry's most famous photograph, the iconic 'Afghan Girl,' was almost passed over

It might be hard to believe in retrospect, but it turns out that Steve McCurry‘s most famous photograph, the iconic ‘Afghan Girl,’ was almost passed over for the cover of National Geographic in 1985.

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“There’s a meditative aspect to it,” McCurry told Art Space. “When I’m walking around photographing, I get into a particular mindset where I become much more attuned to the world around me. It’s a joy to be alive, and maybe that’s what come through.”