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the creative process

“Where my soul is fully alive”: Wisdom from Harold on his 88th birthday - by Judith Thompson

Portrait of Harold Feinstein by Judith Thompson

Harold would be 88 today, April 17th, 2019.  He left his body, but his soul lives on. At least, so I believe and so did he. And the desire to listen to the directives of his soul while he was  alive was a profound intention that shaped his life, his work and his way of being. It also touched the lives of all who knew him.

A love affair with teaching: “It’s like seeing the summer again after a long winter” - by Judith Thompson

At long last, and with the help of my good friend and renaissance man, Jason Novak, I am making a small dent in reviewing, editing and packaging the huge volume of audio-visual materials that provide an inspiring record of Harold’s 56 years of teaching. I have over 20 hours of video and 100 hours of… Continue reading

The Broken Christ: On compassion and the nature of this earthly life - by Judith Thompson

And Jesus was a sailor When he walked upon the water And he spent a long time watching From his lonely wooden tower And when he knew for certain Only drowning men could see him He said “All men will be sailors then Until the sea shall free them” But he himself was broken Long… Continue reading

Ripple effects: Subject, student and teacher remember a moment in time - by Judith Thompson

“Back in the 70’s I used to model for Harold’s classes.He took a beautiful picture of me which he called Lady in the Lake. It is in his book Harold Feinstein: A Retrospective.Would love to meet you.” Thus read the email I received a month ago from Susan Auslander who was 20 at the time… Continue reading

Belated thanks to John Szarkowski: Reflections on the joy of teaching - by Harold Feinstein

A few weeks ago I published a post entitled Remembering Edward Steichen. My recollections were mainly about the important role of encouragement (his) on the one hand, and the folly of rigid ideas about art (mine) on the other! I received a lot of nice feedback and am grateful it was published in The Eye… Continue reading

Passover, Easter and the promise of new life! - by Harold Feinstein

Happy Passover and Happy Easter to those who celebrate. Or, I could say Happy Spring! Even though it’s been the longest winter I can remember and outside my window there’s still way too much snow on the ground, the promise of new life is there. And that seems to be the message of these two… Continue reading

Up close and personal: Consistency and innovation in your work - by Harold Feinstein

Hardening of the categories causes art disease… W. Eugene Smith Coney Island. Flowers. City streets. Shells. Rodin sculptures. Abstract architecture. Draftees. Butterflies. Over the years I have allowed my creative appetite to taste many different subjects in both black and white and color and have employed diverse tools and methods in shooting and printing. I… Continue reading

Old “new” photographs: A lifetime of editing - by Harold Feinstein

The entire process of photography is editing – in one form or another. You choose one moment over another; one subject over another. And, when you’re reviewing your work either on a contact sheet or a computer screen, you decide which image belongs in your portfolio. Those you don’t choose are largely determined by whatever… Continue reading

Coney Island sheet music — of and for the people! - by Harold Feinstein

Sometimes the stars just seem to line up! I created this photo montage over six decades ago and have always loved it! The first version of it (below) was published in The New York Times in 1952 courtesy of my good friend, Jacob Deschin, the photo writer at the time. Then about a month ago… Continue reading

Journey into the Unknown: Musings on the gift of life - by Judith Thompson

Recently Harold had a short stay in the hospital. Afterwards he was reflecting on the things that have mattered the most in his life and I taped a short conversation between the two of us about his thoughts on life and photography. Judith: As a photographer for 67 years now, and a teacher to hundreds… Continue reading

Long before there was Photoshop… photomontages - by Harold Feinstein

Last week I was asked to speak at the Endicott College School of Visual and Performing Arts, a great little gem of an art school overlooking the ocean in Beverly, MA. I was a special guest for the opening of an exhibition curated by Boston University’s Photographic Resource Center entitled “Unconventional Inventions: Innovative, unusual, and… Continue reading

Thank you Dorothy Norman: Encouragement and the Creative Process - by Harold Feinstein

When I was a boy of only 18, I had pretty much found my photographic voice. I was fortunate to have the support of The Photo League, Jacob Deschin at the New York Times, and Edward Steichen at the Museum of Modern Art. I was essentially self-taught, though I did take a class with Sid… Continue reading