Steve McCurry and My Kodachrome

“Some photographers carry so much gear to prepare for every photographic eventuality that they can’t even move. Not me. I carry one camera, one lens and a bunch of cards in my pocket. I am great at only one thing.”

Steve McCurry, a photographer for National Geographic made this statement during a recent presentation at Malone University, Canton, Ohio. He got me thinking about the way I carry myself as a photographer.

He shared his inspiring images and stories including his most famous photograph ‘Afghan Girl’. He also lamented the end of Kodachrome and discussed his plans for shooting and exhibiting images from the last rolls off of the production line. Kodachrome ceased production in June 2009 and will no longer be processed after December 2010. A documentary will be produced about the end of the film and will feature McCurry’s images. The final Kodachrome images will be exhibited at and donated to the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY.

His talk inspired me to do two things. The first inspiration is to lighten up! I’ll be carrying only one camera while doing my documentary work. I’ve already been minimizing the gear that I carry, but now I will change my mindset and focus on the elements of documentary that I am good at, rather than feeling guilty about missing ‘something’ because I don’t have the right gear. The second inspiration is to live as if it is now or never. Kodachrome is going away. It is now or never. This is my last chance to photograph Pennsylvania’s state parks with Kodachrome. I may be the last person on the planet to do so….

Where have you drawn inspiration from lately and what do you plan to do with it?