This Week’s Photo — Taj Mahal and Train — Steve McCurry

As I finalize details of an upcoming photography trip to Agra and Rajasthan, photos I’ll be discussing in next few photos are going to have an element of India to them. This is so I can collect my own dots and fill my own bucket with ideas.

In the photograph that I am sharing today, I love how Steve McCurry photographed perhaps the most photographed place in India, Taj Mahal in a completely unconventional way and telling a completely different story. He photographed not only the Taj Mahal, but Taj Mahal in it’s environment.

This photo, like few others before it is about two things for me — moment and conflict.

First I want to touch on conflict. This image is full of it. The biggest and the most obvious one for me is the conflict between the serenity of the Taj Mahal in the background with the smoky chaos of the steam engine in the front. This contrast is highlighted strongly due to both of these subjects achieving a similar amount of real estate in the photograph.

There is also a big color and features contrast between the graceful white architecture of the Taj Mahal and the unsightly features of the steam engine.

Then there is the moment. As with many photographs, moments can make a photograph. In this photograph, I believe the moment is when the two subjects — the train and the Taj Mahal hit perfect balance in the photograph — and highlighting the conflict and contrast discussed earlier.


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