The winning picture in the “People” section of the 2013 iPhone Photography Annual Awards, published yesterday, is powerful enough in itself, but it struck me immediately as a homage, deliberate or unconscious, to what is perhaps the most famous portrait of 20th-century photography: Steve McCurry’s “Afghan girl”.

McCurry has already recounted in National Geographic the story of that girl, how he first met her at a refugee camp in Pakistan, and how he tracked her down 17 years later and photographed her again. In a book due out next month, Steve McCurry Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs, he tells how he secured many more of his best-known pictures. In the process, particularly in a chapter about Mumbai, he offers something of a teach-in on travel photography. He’ll doubtless offer a few more tips when he takes to the stage to promote the book at the Southbank Centre in London in October. I’ve already booked my ticket.


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