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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Favorite Photographers: Part#4

Steve McCurry (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1950) is an American photojournalist best known for his photograph, "Afghan Girl" that originally appeared in National Geographic magazine. McCurry's photojournalism career began with his coverage of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. McCurry disguised himself in native dress and hid his film by sewing it into his clothes. His images were among the first of the conflict and were widely published. His coverage won the Robert Capa Gold Medal for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad. McCurry continued to cover international conflicts, including the Iran-Iraq war, Beirut, Cambodia, the Philippines, the Gulf War, and Afghanistan. McCurry's work has been featured world-wide in magazines and he is a frequent contributor to National Geographic. He has been a member of Magnum Photos since 1986.


The Afgan Girl

Now, the "Afgan Girl" photo has an intriguing story f its own:
She was one of the world's most famous faces, yet no one knew who she was. Her image appeared on the front of magazines and books, posters, lapel pins, and even rugs, but she didn't know it. Now, after searching for 17 years, National Geographic has once again found the Afghan girl with the haunting green eyes. The mysterious Afghan girl whose direct gaze has intrigued the West for so long is Sharbat Gula...She had no idea her face had become an icon, said Steve McCurry, the photographer who made the famous portrait for National Geographic in 1984, and who tried to find her again during many subsequent trips he made to Pakistan and Afghanistan...In January 2002, a National Geographic team returned to the Nasir Bagh refugee camp in Pakistan, where Sharbat Gula was originally photographed, to search for her. She was identified through a series of contacts that led to her brother and husband, who agreed to ask her if she was willing to be interviewed. Sharbat has been photographed on only two occasions: in 1984 and at the reunion with Steve McCurry this year. She had never seen her famous portrait before it was shown to her in January.

David Braun
National Geographic News

Here is the "Afgan Girl" after 17 years:

You can read the rest of the article here. You can also check McCurry's website here.

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