When he wandered into an Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan in December 1984, National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry captured one of the most famous portraits the world had ever seen.
Rest assured though, what hasn’t changed is the sharp and familiar focus on our visual news and media culture. No other site reviews and critiques news images as well as publishes original photography — all in the name of helping you become a sharper “visual consumer.” Are you bombarded by powerful images from the world of news, culture and social media? Has the same portrait ever appeared on the cover of a major US magazine even twice, not to mention three times? What her intense, sea-green eyes told the world from the cover of National Geographic’s June 1985 issue a thousand diplomats and relief workers could not. What’s the symbolism of this symbolism enlisting the Afghan Girl in an entirely new role, not as survivor, or icon, or diplomat, or object of beauty, but in this case, the official representative of decades worth of notable National Geographic imagery?
In elevating one picture from its 108 years of imagery, it’s interesting that the magazine would choose a photo that, as much as anything at this point, is famous for being famous and about the hit single versus the richer album. Great shot technically but it doesn't have anything that makes it stand out from all the other similar entries.


This is probably the closest to the famous National Geographic cover of all of the many wannabe entries in this challenge. DPChallenge, and website content and design, Copyright © 2001-2016 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
The Afghan girl’s stare drilled into our collective subconscious and stopped a heedless Western world dead in its tracks. With that understanding, what else could you possibly use for this cover? Jane Goodall is more a throwback to the Dick-and-Jane era.
That captivation proved, once again, the power of photography to open eyes—and hearts and minds—with a single image.McCurry's portrait, which appeared on the cover of National Geographic in June 1985, was shot on Kodachrome film, a relationship that lasted for decades. Coincidentally, and as a testament to her ubiquity, I had dinner on my last night in New York after Photoville at a little Afghan restaurant near Times Square. In June 2009, Kodak announced it was retiring the film line and asked McCurry to shoot one of the last Kodachrome rolls.


And how much does it speak to the influence of the marketing and business side to capitalize — with all the vital themes out there — on redundancy? Besides its deep bench of gifted photographers and photo editors, NatGeo, too, is a pillar in articulating cross-cultural understanding, telling conscience stories and, so vital now, illuminating the ecological complexity and vulnerability of Mother Earth. The photographs from that roll will be donated to the George Eastman House museum in Rochester, New York. I’m sure plenty of people return to the Louvre to see the other Mona Lisa more often than that.



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