Flower Seller, Dal Lake, Srinagar, Kashmir, 1996

National Geographic, September 1999, Kashmir: Trapped in Conflict

“Each morning for two weeks during his 1996 visit to Lake Dal in Kashmir, McCurry travelled with the flower sellers. He had established a ritual for the morning hours, when the sun was at its best. Shortly after dawn, he would begin the day in the market; then he would ride with the boatmen.

He knew these were the places for strong pictures. He also knew he needed to work for his pictures, to look and to wait for the right light and action to come together. And then, that morning, from a boat filled with flowers, he caught the boatman’s hand in the reflected light of the V of the trees on Lake Dal.” – Phaidon 55

Magnum Photos, NYC5901, MCS1999005 K017

Phaidon, 55, South Southeast, Iconic Images, final book_iconic, milan frame, final print_poster, iconic photographs

A flower seller paddles through Dal Lake’s quiet waters. Few observers expect diplomacy to restore equal serenity to his homeland. Buffeted from within and without by waves of seemingly intractable strife, Kashmir faces a stormy future.

Good pictures take time and work. When visiting Lake Dal in 1996, McCurry travelled with the local flower sellers as they journeyed down the river. For two weeks he would ride with the merchants during the morning. On this day the vibrant flowers and boatman, arm raised in mid-paddle, combine with the morning light to create the perfect composition.