Bhutan by Steve McCurry
Bhutan, or more specifically the Kingdom of Bhutan, is to peace what neighboring India is to sensory overload. Holding a special place in his heart, Bhutan has hosted photographer Steve McCurry before, yet its mystery and magic weaved their charm as if it was his first time. With the country famous for trading in GNH – or Gross National Happiness – it is not hard to understand why Steve fell under Bhutan’s evergreen spell once again.
Inherently interested (and influenced) by the quiet power of Buddhism, McCurry has spent much of his career photographing Asia. Yet Bhutan, a spiritual paradise, where rivers, forests and mountains are considered as important as man, is where he traveled with Silversea Cruises in March 2018.
Starting in Thimpu, Steve McCurry was able to immerse himself into the country’s culture immediately by visiting the vast temple of Kyichu Lhakhang, approximately two hours west of the capital. Its enormous prayer wheels are turned every morning and night for purification, a ritual Steve was of course fascinated by. Traveling deeper, the photographer witnessed a popular local song and dance festival, among many other incredible experiences.
The team then traveled onward to the magnificent Tiger’s Nest Monastery, also known as Paro Takstang. A prayer-flag strewn two-hour ride up the steep climb was well worth any discomfort, as, perched high up in the valley, eye-level with the sky, he caught sight of the famous monastery. While many may stop here for photo opportunities, no images are quite as spectacular as McCurry’s unique view.
But of course it was the people of Bhutan that reached right into Steve’s soul. This is where his curiosity lies – meeting the locals, listening to their stories, imbibing in their traditions. A visual storyteller extraordinaire, it is through the foundation of their voices that the McCurry genius comes truly alive.
Capturing the Authentic Beauty of the World
Steve McCurry needs no introduction. He is most probably the greatest living photographer today. His iconic “Afghan Girl” image has captured the hearts and minds of thousands – the eloquence of her haunted expression, telling the world of her fate through her vivid green eyes – is simply stupendous.
So, when considering our new direction, Steve was a natural choice for us. He is a born storyteller with the soul of an explorer. His unique ability to capture what is left of the authentic beauty and truth in the world and express it with clarity and emotion is just brilliant. A McCurry image not only takes you on a journey, it inspires you to travel the world.
To learn more about the partnership between Steve McCurry and Silversea visit: www.steveandsilversea.com
Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than 30 years. His work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike – yet always retains the human element that made his celebrated image of the Afghan Girl such a powerful image.
McCurry has been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, the National Press Photographers Award, and four first prize awards from the World Press Photo contest.