Between Darkness and Light

The shadow is that place between darkness and light.

00054_09, Preah Khan, Angkor, Cambodia, 1999, CAMBODIA-10049NF. Shadow Play. Untold_book retouched_Sonny Fabbri 09/08/2015

Preah Khan, Angkor, Cambodia

We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows,
the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates…
Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.
–  Junichiro Tanizaki

Kampala, Uganda

Kampala, Uganda

The loveliest things in life are but shadows, and they come and go, and
change and fade away…”
– Charles Dickens

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Angkor, Cambodia

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow.
– T. S. Eliot

Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan

Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan

A shadow on the wall
boughs stirred by the noonday wind
that’s enough earth
and for the eye
enough celestial participation.
– Gottfried Benn
Translated from The German by Michael Hofmann

New York City, USA

New York City, USA



I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow.
– Sylvia Plath

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

Kandahar, Afghanistan

Kandahar, Afghanistan

The Sun never knew how wonderful it was
until it fell on the wall of a building.
– Louis Kahn, Architect
quoted in forward of In Praise of Shadows, Junichiro Tanizaki



Rijeka, Croatia

Rijeka, Croatia

There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re
absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.
– Jo Walton



Shadow is the means by which bodies display their form.
The forms of bodies could not be understood in detail but for shadow.
– Leonardo da Vinci



Muscat, Oman

Muscat, Oman

About Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry, recognized universally as one of today’s finest image-makers, has won many of photography’s top awards.
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72 Responses to Between Darkness and Light

  1. I’m sure that I can’t add anything new to what has already been said, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least thank you for these beautiful images and lovely words. The sunrises and sunsets quote really struck me.

  2. Magnificent pictures!

  3. Maureen O'Connor says:

    Thank you, Steve. Your work is the most honest, most heart-wrenching, most true. Your technique is invisible, allowing the viewer to really, really pay attention to the subject. Your art is exquisete. I look at your photographs and my heart smiles, darkens and then meditates about the beauty you show us, without apology and the sadness I am often too afraid to acknowledge.

  4. Your blog is amazing! Keep up the great work.

  5. Eu adoro o seu blog, parabéns!
    I just love your blog, congratulations!

  6. Evelina says:

    Every photo speaks a 1000 words. Amazing

  7. Carl Mandabach says:

    Photo of Kandahar so takes on into what it is like to be there at this moment..Traveling photography at its finest.

  8. kironponnath says:

    Amazing as always, Steve!

  9. giai01 says:

    Reblogged this on Giai01's Blog and commented:
    Tớ nghĩ thích thật…. THANK….

  10. Pin Campana says:

    Amazing, life, light, dark, dead…

  11. Anonymous says:

    amazing, thank you

  12. Thanks for finally writing about >Between Darkness
    and Light – Steve McCurry’s Blog <Liked it!

  13. LE ROY Joël says:

    all your photos are great Steve, they trigger in a like painting, thank you!

  14. Usted es un gran maestro, Mr. McCurry, las técnicas que emplee para dar magia a esas imágenes, lejos de menoscabar su arte, lo acrecientan. Gracias por toda esa magia.

  15. Love your work Steve! I feel like I have been on a journey of wonder ..

  16. thanks for this little, very nice moment to let me travel with you, as always i love those pictures!

  17. Reblogged this on Oxford School of Photography and commented:
    always majestic

  18. Emanuela Magi says:

    Thanks for your lessons in life. Your pictures always teach something.

  19. hola tiene un gran seguidor en santo domingo RD.ninguna fotografia tomada sale como el fotografo quiere siempre le falta algo

  20. Jaideep Chatterjee says:

    Such an inspiration. The deft play of light and shade has left me craving for more.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Such great composition and skill.

  22. Pingback: Between Darkness and Light — Steve McCurry’s Blog | ESDEX

  23. RON KOSACH says:

    I so enjoy your abiliy to bring the beauty of our world to us ..Ron

  24. Andreides József says:


  25. Jennifer says:

    Shadows transform the seemingly ordinary. Thank you!

  26. Mary Cifone says:

    As usual his posts are wonderful, beautiful, thoughtful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing your amazing talent.

  27. Sheila says:

    What a wonderful gift to start my Sunday morning. Thank you

  28. Amanda says:

    Yours is the ONLY photography blog I follow and for good reason; I never cease to be inspired by your work!

  29. zak says:

    eres un maestro me inspira mucho tu trabajo gracias por compartirlo con nosotros señor Steve..

  30. Pingback: Zitat: wie schön die Sonne ist | Martin in Berlin

  31. dans chacune de vos photos je découvre une histoire, parfois un livre c’est extraordinaire, la beauté est toujours présente, même dans les images les plus tristes. Elles deviendrons un jour le support de mes écrits, chaleureuses pensées, veronika

  32. paula graham says:

    Stunning body of work…full of admiration I am .

  33. Dina says:

    Magnificent, each capture a gem.

  34. Pingback: Between Darkness and Light | Learning*Education...

  35. Michael Warman says:

    No matter what you photograph they are always amazing, you are so skillful and have a great vision for photo`s

  36. Joy says:

    Wonderful & evocative pictures

  37. Leonard says:

    Just very perfect.

  38. Jacintº says:

    Cada imagen es un poema, un mensaje, un instante maravilloso o una hermosa expresión. Mi más profunda felicitación por tu brillante obra. Saludos desde Barcelona. Jacinto.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Your photos and corresponding quotes communicate instantly to levels that stir feelings, emotions and leave impressions of pain and beauty. You know how to connect to souls using your eyes. What a gift. So glad you share.

  40. xtzamala says:

    Stunning work!

  41. wmg van kempen says:

    Thank you so much. Waking up with your beautiful pictures is such a treat. It inspires me to look for more beauty in the world

  42. Anonymous says:

    Simply the best

  43. pmdello says:

    Wonderful theme and well expressed by your photos.

  44. Extraordinary beauty and words, and moving. Bravo.

  45. Donna says:

    So beautiful!

  46. Kathy Keane says:

    Every photo, mesmerizing and taking us far beyond our daily lives! A treat!

  47. Patricia De Bello says:

    Always breathtaking…..poetry in photography! Heartfelt thanks! Pat De Bello

  48. Anonymous says:

    I absolutely love these photos simply stunning looking at them just brings peace to my soul thank you

  49. PIERRE says:

    This man´s portrait you took in Jalabad, Afgh. is just stunning and remind some old classical school paintings & lightning (of course with less details in shadows…& all proportions guarded)
    Your picts are always a great pleasure for the eyes & memory, specially those of Afgh. for me.
    Thanks a lot Steve!

  50. Helena Kling says:

    It is a priviledge to be one of your followers. Thank you for sharing your work.

  51. Jane Lurie says:

    Magnificent shadow play, Steve.

  52. Mansukh says:

    Simply superb as usual. Thank you Stevebhai !
    “When darkness falls, beauty is lit from within.”

  53. adrineaa11 says:

    Magnificent! We appreciate your work more with each presentation. Thank you Steve for your continual inspiration.

  54. Bill Bennett says:

    Reblogged this on PGS – The Way and commented:
    The way Steve McCurry uss natural light is nothing short of brilliant…

  55. B E A U T I F U L ! Thank you!

  56. stostando says:

    Thanks a lot. I just love you

    • Carolyn Griffin says:

      The photo journey you take me on each time you post a series, takes me through many feelings. As a quilter, colours are my ultimate passion, but you take me through a story that at times brings me to tears, makes me smile, makes me sad, makes me happy, makes me worry, touches every emotion. Your work is truly exceptional. Thank you so much. Carolyn Griffin. Australia..

    • abraham says:

      awesome.”A thing of beauty is a joy for ever” John Keats ..many thanks

  57. Anonymous says:

    I met you in castelnuovo, Tuscany . I feel you are amazing. Thank you for sharing your sensitivity and soul trough an amazing technical capacity

  58. contented11 says:

    Do I have permission to paint from one of your photos? I do sell my paintings. Thanks in advance,

  59. Lindseypedals says:

    Fantastic as always.

  60. Marcio says:

    Impressive! Darkness & Light as masterpieces McCurry’s photos!

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