More Than Cameras and Pixels with Scott Stulberg

Scott Stulberg is on a mission to prove that great photography is about finding a vision.

 

Scott Stulberg is not a landscape photographer. He’s a travel photographer and teacher with a talent for shooting astounding landscape images. Currently based in Sedona, Arizona, where the scenery is nothing short of breathtaking, Stulberg divides his time between researching spots to shoot, traveling, photographing, and managing his photography business. On top of that, he finds time to teach photography workshops around the world. To say Stulberg is a busy man would be an understatement.

 
Lightning Storm at Night

 

Growing up with a father in show business sometimes meant having Frank Sinatra over for dinner or hanging out on the set of a movie. But early on, Stulberg knew a career in Hollywood wasn’t for him, especially when he got a plastic Anscomatic camera at the age of ten. Things got serious when his father built him a darkroom at home, which Stulberg referred to as the “light of his life.” Like his mother, Stulberg loved landscape architecture and focused on it in college, still finding time to dabble in photography. He split his time between the two before deciding to pursue photography full-time after graduating.
 
Manerola After Dark

 

Through assisting photographers, Stulberg learned how to take better images and now regularly teaches photography courses in order to share with students what he’s learned over time—that half the battle of photography is being able to see the finished product before the camera is turned on. Much like the way he talked about his darkroom, Stulberg couldn’t help but rave about the impact assisting other photographers had on his career and the way he looks through a lens. One of the most important lessons he learned came from longtime friend and photographer Melvin Sokolsky, who taught him that photography is much more than cameras and pixels and that a unique vision can make a good photograph. Recently Stulberg had the chance to lead a workshop with his friend and fellow photographer Ursula Abresch. (To see some of Abresch’s work, click here.) Regarding his experiences with Abresch, Stulberg said, “To me, she is like a magician with the camera and I don’t think she looks through the viewfinder the way the typical photographer does.” Stulberg doesn’t attribute his success to solely understanding how to use a camera.

 

When shooting, Stulberg has a few tried and true methods of maximizing the chances of getting a powerful image. The first step? Research. Before setting out on an adventure, he spends relentless hours behind the computer creating shot lists for his destination. Using Google, Pinterest, and viewing stock images of the area, he creates a recipe for the perfect shot. Once his plane lands, his first stop is the gift shop to check out the postcards because they offer sneak peeks of photogenic places in the area. Since most postcards don’t list exactly where the image is taken, it gives him the chance to ask locals and find out more about the area. Stulberg’s dedication to the perfect shot is evident in the astounding photos he takes around the world. Everything from photos of the mountains in Vermont to cheetahs in Africa can be found in Stulberg’s diverse portfolio. While planning has afforded Stulberg thousands of photographic successes, he knows the power of being spontaneous. Though focused on taking the shots he’s already envisioned, he doesn’t overlook the striking faces or memorable people he encounters during his travels. Images of people he’s met along the way make up a substantial portion of his work.

 
Manerola After Dark

 

Of his wide-ranging photos from all over the world, Stulberg’s work in Burma is especially meaningful to him. After spending time in Burma and considering it to be his home away from home, Stulberg created a book, Passage to Burma, to show others how remarkable the country is. His love of the country is evident when he talks about the brotherly relationship he has with the children of Burma and his gratitude to the Monkmasters for allowing him to shoot within their monasteries, a privilege few obtain. This piece of his career is what he hopes creates a lasting impression on viewers. And it already has. Spots in his upcoming photography workshop in Burma sold out in less than three hours.

 

For someone who started out with a plastic camera, Stulberg has come a long way and believes photography as a whole is becoming “better and better” with time. With photographers like Stulberg in the world, we couldn’t agree more.

 

Check out more of Stulberg’s work here and visit his site here.