In response to Arion Berger’s 7/18 Demimonde, I take issue with the contention that National Geographic’s published images were “far below the magazine’s usual standards.”

I have completed printing an 80-print retrospective exhibit of Steve McCurry’s images of India, 1983 through 1996, to be shown at the Visa Pour l’Image, Perpignan, France, the annual international festival of photojournalism. It is a personal testament of his concern for the people, cultural diversity, and the country that they share. For Berger to contend that McCurry’s images in the May 1997 issue are “far below the magazine’s usual standards” ignores the facts in favor of a cheap shot to prop up a weak argument. Let me set the record straight:

Steve McCurry has worked exhaustively in southern Asia for the majority of his career. He has numerous National Geographic magazine cover stories. The Afghan girl refugee with the “haunting eyes” is his signature image. His work represents personal dedication to the high standards National Geographic magazine has established for photographic coverage.

Imaging Technician, National Geographic Photo and Digital Imaging Labs