This is not a critical analysis, as it would require a review of their whole work as well as knowing them in person. These are just my feelings as I look at their work. I like to assess them in comparison to each other’s.
The few lines have been written without permission. I hope I would be forgiven as I could not help sharing my feelings.
1. Steve McCurry
An iconic figure no doubt. He created a sensation when one of his photographs of an Afghan girl appeared in national geographic magazine. Years later he was requested to present a follow up. He went all the way to Afghanistan, located that girl (now a mature woman) and shot her (with camera obviously :-)
In all his pictures, you would see a human being, as if the whole purpose of shooting (even landscapes) was to draw attention to some human figure. All else appear to be of no significance to him. He is widely traveled and has presented people from all cultures and religions. His work creates a feeling of humanism, a tenderness and love for fellow human beings.
In his art, man appears to be the focal point of interest, a symbol of dignity despite all misery and hardships.
2. Alan Shapiro:
Recently introduced through g+. His characters are totally different types. Mostly the portraits are in BW. Human figure are presented devoid of the environment, it is difficult to say, what these people do and where they live. There is always something intriguing and disturbing about those people. Something which is difficult to explain. There evoke a feeling of disquiet. One wants to know who they are and why they appear to be in such condition.They are the sort of people whom one would immediately look at even in a crowd and wonder about them with a disturbing in our minds