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Escape with photographer Steve McCurry

Season 1, Ep. 14

Kashmir Flower Seller 1996 (Photo © Steve McCurry)

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Baobab Avenue, Madagascar (Photo © Steve McCurry)


The Afghan Girl Shabat Gula, Pakistan 1984 (Photo © Steve McCurry)


Wadi Rum, Jordan 2009 (Photo © Steve McCurry)

Today’s guest is one of the world’s greatest living photographers. So, in this very special season finale, we’re going to look at travel through the lens of the legendary visual storyteller Steve McCurry. 


We’ll delve into the story behind the photograph that defined his career: the portrait of a young Afghan girl with her torn shawl and piercing green eyes that appeared on the cover of National Geographic magazine in June 1985. It’s one of the most iconic images of the twentieth century and easily one of the most recognizable magazine covers ever printed. The portrait is likened to a modern-day Mona Lisa due to her captivating gaze.


Steve McCurry has captured many powerful and poetic photographs over an exceptional career that spans five decades. He’s devoted a lifetime to documenting the essence of humanity with a sharp focus on conflicts, vanishing culture and ancient traditions, as well as scenes from contemporary life.


His long-held fascination with photographing far-off places began when he quit his job at a local newspaper and bought a one-way ticket to India. In this episode, you’ll get a snapshot of Steve’s most memorable travel moments as we hitchhike across the USA, pick fruit on a kibbutz in Israel, swim with sea lions in the Galapagos and accidentally spend the night in a Buddhist monastery in Ladakh.


Of course, some of Steve’s adventures aren’t for the faint-hearted – he’s covered extreme weather events and warzones, survived a plane crash in Slovenia and got his big break as a photojournalist in 1979 after crossing the border into Afghanistan disguised as a mujahideen rebel.




Monsoon photo-essay in Life Magazine by Brian Brake



Ragusa, Sicily


South Carolina








Chitral, Pakistan

Peshawar, Pakistan

The Galápagos Islands

Ladakh, India


Mandalay, Myanmar



For a real visual treat visit or you can buy Steve's recently released photography collection In Search of Elsewhere: Unseen Images, available here


You might also like to follow @stevemccurryofficial on Instagram.


If you enjoyed this episode, please be sure to subscribe, rate and review so others can discover this podcast as well. If you’re looking for some more travel inspiration, you can find me on Instagram @escape.artist.podcast 

Thanks so much for listening to the podcast over the past few months. See you soon for more wild and whimsical adventures in 2021 for Season Two of The Escape Artist!


(Music by the talented Giselle Rosselli


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