Editor's Pick

Photographer Q&A: Harold Feinstein

A few months ago, we featured photographs from Harold Feinstein's new book, One Hundred Butterflies. Curious about how these photographs were made, we submitted a brief Q&A to the photographer. His response to the most basic question about his choice of camera is fascinating.

Brazilian morpho butterfly.

Brazilian morpho, Morpho aega, South America (Harold Feinstein) hide caption

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What kind of camera did you use for these photographs?

I used an my Epson 10000 scanner as a camera... and set up a black background.

Where did you find these butterflies?

They were provided by Fred Gagnon of the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens in South Deerfield, Mass. It is an 8,000-square-foot conservatory housing 4,000 species of butterflies. He loaned me the specimens, all of which had died naturally and were preserved.

Is there a particular photograph or photographer that has been on your mind lately?

When I was younger, it would have been Henri Cartier Bresson or Brassai. As I've aged, I've been very attracted to Selgado's work. But the truth is that now, at the age of 78, my focus is on Harold Feinstein. I love the work I do. Ask me again when I'm 99. (I was going to say 100, but I was afraid of being too redundant).

At the moment, my favorite photograph of mine is My Mother's Curtains. Most of my work has been black-and-white 35mm photography up until about 10 years ago. But I've always loved color also and had earlier series of 35mm color of flowers and seashells. But the digital world has further opened up the world of color to me. There's much more on the way! Wait until I grow up!

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