Over the past 30 years, Michael Lustbader’s images of the natural world have been published by National Geographic Publications, Audubon, Sierra Club, Eastman Kodak, Oxford Scientific Films, and literally hundreds of other book, calendar, and paper product companies, world-wide.

His stock photography is represented by Photo Researchers in New York City and The Image Finders in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a member of the Bio Communications Association, the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, the American Physician’s Art Association, and a charter member of the North American Nature Photography Association.

A Cibachrome/Ilfochrome printer for over 25 years, he is currently exploring the world of digital imaging and printing, studying at The Rochester Institute of Technology and Pittsburgh Filmmakers.

Michael has co-authored “Close-up Photography--Capturing Nature’s Intimate Landscapes” and “How to Photograph Close-ups in Nature”. He has just completed “Butterfly Dreams—The Seasons through Haiku and Photographs”, a compilation of his images with original translations of traditional Japanese haiku by William J. Higginson.

Background for Butterfly Dreams:

I think I had always been struck by the similarity between haiku and photography--the recognition and capture of one instant in time, one form with words, one with images. Surely photography is simply another permutation of the “haiku moment”...

I began pairing photographs with haiku perhaps 7 or 8 years ago, but became increasingly frustrated with the variance in translations of the same poems, my own ignorance of how to order the combinations, and total ignorance of the cultural aspects and meanings of the verses.

I had all of William J. Higginson’s books, and when I saw his name during one of my internet searches, a bulb just went off. I emailed him in 2002 and over the next 5 years, we assembled the project that became Butterfly Dreams. All of the haiku included are originally translated by Bill for this project. Pity Bill! I’m sure he will receive credits in his next life for his patience with me during this crafting.

Bill: “This combination simply doesn’t fit together—the haiku you quoted is incorrectly translated and when fixed makes no sense with this image.”

Michael: “But the subject is such a good match…Can’t we use the incorrect translation?”

Bill: Groan (reaching for Maalox).

And so on and so on.

Copyright © 2007 Michael Lustbader & William J. Higginson