The Unguarded Moment.
Thirty Years of Photography by Steve McCurry.
Photographs by Steven McCurry.
Phaidon, London, 2009. 156 pp., 75 color illustrations, 10¾x15".
The title of this book is a phrase that Steve McCurry uses a lot when talking about his work - he is always trying to capture those 'unguarded moments' when people are at their most unselfconscious and natural. McCurry takes photographs all over the world, for National Geographic magazine and his own projects, so this book includes the places, colours and forms of Yemen, Mali, Niger, Chad, India, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), France and the former Yugoslavia, among others. 'The Unguarded Moment' is the same size as South Southeast, but apart from the wider range of countries and continents covered, another key difference between the two titles is that all the images in this new book are landscape format. In 'The Unguarded Moment', people go about their everyday business in extraordinary circumstances and settings, like the young tea vendor wading through the waist-deep monsoon waters in India, the fishermen casting their nets in the Niger river in Mali's Sahel Desert and the boy working in a candy factory in Kabul, Afghanistan. This book includes striking portraits of a Tuareg woman in Mali, an intense you ng gypsy boy in Marseille, France and pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma. There are children paying close attention to their teachers in school rooms in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, as well as five young monks happily playing with computer games at a monastery in India, just like any other boys their age would.