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Brenda Stern
pictura gallery

Steve Raymer
IU School of Journalism

Last modified: Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Career retrospective of IU photojournalist's work at National Geographic to open Sept. 4

Aug. 25, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A collection of photographs spanning a career of nearly 40 years by Indiana University professor and National Geographic photographer Steve Raymer will make its debut Friday, Sept. 4, at pictura gallery in downtown Bloomington.

Raymer photo

Photo by Steve Raymer

Raymer's photo: Mount St. Helens

An artist reception and opening are scheduled that evening from 5-8 p.m. at the gallery, located at 122 W. Sixth St.

Raymer joined National Geographic magazine as a staff photographer in 1972 and produced some of the most iconic images of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, from famines in Bangladesh and Ethiopia to the collapse of the former Soviet Union. Now an associate professor at the IU School of Journalism, Raymer continues to photograph for National Geographic and other international magazines.

"I have worked in more than 90 countries trying to tell stories that are both urgent and often redeeming," says Raymer. "What photojournalists do is to try to crystallize an idea or an era in that universal language of human emotion. It is an honor to know that a few of my pictures have found a life beyond the specific editorial reasons for taking them."

Raymer's body of work is shaped by a lifelong focus on telling stories with pictures whether in the context of photojournalism or fine art.

"In the photograph, 'Mount St. Helens,' he pictures the volcano six months after its eruption," said Lisa Berry, curator of photography at pictura gallery. "The wide angle view suspends the viewer in space, as if we are taking in the curvature of the entire earth. This feeling isn't unlike looking through Steve's vast body of work. He takes us around the globe all at once, and at the same time, invites us to linger in the small stories of the people who live there."

Steve Raymer

Steve Raymer

Raymer's photographs illustrated 29 National Geographic articles and are included in annual editions of "National Geographic 100 Best Pictures." From 1989-1995, Raymer was director of the National Geographic Society News Service and continued reporting from Russia, the first Persian Gulf War and Vietnam as that country opened to Western trade and tourism.

"National Geographic is synonymous with remarkable photography," notes pictura gallery owner David Moore. "We are delighted to bring to the Midwest some of the Geographic's most memorable images along with some of Steve's recent work that has the same intimacy and beauty for which he is so well known."

Raymer was named Magazine Photographer of the Year in 1976 by the National Press Photographers Association and several of his photographs are included in the permanent collections of the International Center of Photography in New York and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Raymer has authored three photographic books and served as the photographer for two others on subjects ranging from St. Petersburg, Russia, to the Muslim world of Asia. He is working on a new book titled From Calcutta to Kolkata, a portrait of India's second-largest city and its former imperial capital.

The show opens Sept. 4 and runs through the end of October at pictura gallery, located on the square in Bloomington at the corner of Sixth and College. For more information, call 812-336-0000 or visit