Folberg, Neil

American (1950-)

Neil Folberg knew early on that he wanted to study photography. By age 17, he was a pupil of Ansel Adams and already shooting advanced images of the American landscape. Attending the University of California, young Folberg was allowed to design a personalized major in Photographic Field Studies, which enabled him to continue tutelage under Adams and other prominent shutterbugs of the times. But he was aching to see other places and capture more exotic locales.

The 70s found Folberg exploring his Jewish roots. His color landscape shots of Israel gained him notoriety and acclaim, so he broadened his scope and tried his hand at snapping pictures of deserts throughout the Middle East, including Egypt and Jordan. These were collected in his book, Desert Land, for which he also wrote several essays about his travels. While visiting these countries, Folberg became enchanted with the architecture of several synagogues and so undertook a project chronicling the interiors of these houses of worship around the world. As he traveled, the myriad buildings allowed him to experiment with natural and artificial light, evoking a range of moods and tones. Most recently, Folberg has turned his attention to landscapes of a different variety: one project in Macedonia attempts to illustrate the effects of a people on a landscape, while another finds Folberg turning his lens to the sky to capture celestial scenes.