Link to criticized picture: Gateway to India
‘I was in a taxi waiting at a traffic light during the monsoon and a woman brought her child up to the car window. I raised my camera, took two frames, the light changed, and off we went – it all happened in about seven or eight second.’, McCurry, S. (s.d.)
The photo shows a woman in the rain, dressed in red, with a young child on her arm, looking through a car window. I assume they are beggars. The woman touches with one hand the glass. Is see asking or being friendly. The child looks with an impenetrating glance into the car. Is the child curious or hungry. The composition, the eyes looking into the camera, the colour and sadness of the rain, it all comes together in this intruiging picture. I assume a lot, and I think about the possible situation. Are they beggars out of need or part of a criminal group.
This picture made by Steve McCurry is one of the first pictures I saw when I started studying photographs. The photograph made a lasting impression. It also brings out memories as I lived two years in Mumbai. The photo impresses me, but doesn’t bring out compassion.
Following the recent controversy Steve McCurry found himself in, some doubt entered my mind. Is it a “real” photograph, or is it staged. Thinking about it I concluded the power of this picture is not in the “real”. Unfortunately the controversy has affected my trust in Steve McCurry, which effect thoughts that cross my mind when I look at his work. It’s an extra hurdle to overcome.
The power of assumption I would like to try in my pictures.
Steve McCurry.com (2016), McCurry, S. At URL: http://stevemccurry.com/stories/gateway-india-0 (Accessed on 2-12-2016)