We are kicking off September by honoring another globetrotting pro who now focuses his efforts on education- Scott Stulberg.
Scott is most well known for his killer travel photography and many of his images are available as stock photos. His work has been used by Microsoft, Newsweek, and The New York Times, as well as for greeting cards, calendars, and book covers. If it's an amazing stock image, it is likely Scott's.
We recently talked with Scott about his more recent photographic endeavors and what he is doing to improve himself and those around him.
Photoflex: Scott, how have you been spending your time recently? What are you working on?
Scott: As much as I still love my own photo shoots, recently I seem to be inundated with teaching my classes at UCLA. Though that takes a great deal of my time, it is extremely rewarding. Whether I'm in a classroom with my students or I am teaching online at PPSOP, it gets to be pretty busy. I'm always looking for new things to show my students as I want them to be thinking big and limitless as much as possible.
Sadly, photography for many people can be the same old, same old far too often. I love being able to get my students motivated to try new things- things that either push their creative or physical skill, or things they haven't even thought of yet. It really is a great feeling and I love that I am able to keep pushing them in that direction.
Photoflex: Since you teach so much, do you still find need for workshops?
Scott: I still do workshops, but I mostly have it down to two or three total, with one going once or twice a year in Death Valley (one of my favorite places around the world for amazing photo opportunities) and another is a special workshop in Burma, one of the most beautiful places on earth in my opinion. If there is one part of the world that I am extremely comfortable with and love going to more than anywhere else, it's Southeast Asia. It is such a different way of life and the opportunities for a photographer are mind blowing. Such a spiritual and special place on this globe and the people are like nowhere else.
I like to take small groups there and show them how to see and think differently when they're in such a foreign environment than what they are used to. I push them hard and show them what it's like to be a professional photographer working nonstop to create beautiful images in some of the most unique places on earth. It's less than about dealing with pixels, and more about understanding what makes a powerful image. Of course it can all be subjective, but with a little understanding and the right tools, the possibilities are pretty much endless, especially in an amazing location. The workshop ends up being more of a personal journey for those who go with me. That's what I love about doing travel workshops... it's really like nothing else.
Photoflex: It really sounds like you love what you do, Scott. Are you currently broadening your scope or improving on any techniques?
Scott: I am always pushing myself to improve not just my photography skills, but also my post production skills. If there is an amazing workshop that I think I coulddefinitelybenefit from, for example Joel Grimes's recent workshop, then I really want to be there. I think that as a photographer, you never stop learning. There is so much more to know and so much to improve on and I love playing with new ideas and new photography equipment. That's one of the reasons I also love playing around in Photoshop, as there are so many new things to learn and also new things that can improve so many different kinds of images.
I wrote a book on what I consider to be the best Photoshop plug-ins made, and I love seeing all of the new things that some of these companies have been creating and also updating. It never ends, and for someone like me, I'm like a kid in a candy store with all of the stuff. I have also been doing a lot of webinars lately for software companies showing some of the best plug-ins for Photoshop. It's a great way to see this stuff in action and to understand which of these plug-ins might be the most beneficial for the kind of photography that you do.
I guess when I think about it, I'm so glad I'm not doing anything else. I get to combine my love of travel with my love of photography and go to some of the most beautiful places on earth. My girlfriend is with me most of the time, and together we get to experience and photograph some amazing parts of this world.
I am not sure if I would ever want to do anything else.
Scott's Favorite Lighting Equipment
41x74 inch Translucent Oval LiteDisc
Adjustable and Shoot-Through Umbrellas
Medium LiteDome with Grids
7 foot OctoDome
All photos copyright Scott Stulberg.