When you are presented with an opportunity to listen to magnum photographers Steve McCurry and Jacob Aue Sobol talk about their work, it is not something you pass up. They were brought together by Leica to introduce their new exhibitions: Steve McCurry’s The Eyes of Humanity at the Ernst Leitz Museum Wetzlar; and Jacob Aue Sobol’s Arrivals and Departures at the Leica Gallery Wetzlar.
The first ever recipient of the Leica Hall of Fame Award, Steve McCurry is one of the world’s most prominent photojournalists. His portrait of Sharbat Gula, otherwise known as the Afghan Girl, graced the cover of National Geographic in 1985, and is part of his exhibition The Eyes of Humanity: a collection of 90 colour motifs chosen by McCurry himself, taken over a forty-year span covering twenty-six countries. “Exhibitions like this are important to illuminate situations happening around the world,” said McCurry, when interviewed by Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, the Art Director and Chief Representative at Leica Galleries International. “Great photographs change us. They sear into your brain and you never forget them - there’s an elegance of poetry and humanity.”
McCurry’s work has positioned him at the intersection of reportage, portraiture, travel and landscape photography. When asked about the advancement of technology in his line of work, he reflects, “The future of photography is bright. Technology is much easier to work with. Working with digital [cameras] personally is so much easier than it was working with film. I shot with film for thirty years so I know a lot about it, but I prefer working with digital now, and being able to see pictures immediately. The SL2 is probably the best camera I’ve ever used.”