Hello Photoion students and photography fans. Today we’ve got another Masters of Photography article for you.

This time we’re looking at the American photographer:

Harold Feinstein

Born in Coney Island in 1931, Feinstein took to the art of photography from an early age. He began in photography at the tender age of 15 years old, and within 4 years his work was purchased by Edward Steichen for the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art. This is an incredible achievement for any photographer, but for someone so young it is especially impressive.


Feinstein joined the Photo League at just 17 years old, and he went on to become one of the leading figures in the early Street Photography scene in New York City. Feinstein is responsible for some of the best street photography from the period. His early work on Coney island is an iconic look at joyful life of the island.

Once the majority of his work moved to New York itself, his pieces began to mature. They still focused on everyday life, and his subjects were often the typical Street Photography subjects; ordinary people going about their day, but his pieces began to develop a new sense of atmosphere.

Through his use of light, shadow, and contrast, Feinstein was able to create viscerally atmospheric images out of the most ordinary of subjects. A brilliant example of this is his piece, 12th Street From Elevated Train. It’s a perfectly normal scene of a New York street, but through his use of contrast, Feinstein is able to really accentuate the shadows of the people on the street which gives them an almost sinister quality.