Neil Folberg was born in San Francisco in 1950, but spent most of his childhood in the Midwestern United States, becoming interested in photography around 1966. In 1967 he began studies with Ansel Adams, the American landscape photographer. In 1968 Folberg enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley which led through a program of individualized study with William Garnett to a B.A. in Photographic Field Studies. He was married in 1975 and in 1976 he and his wife settled in Jerusalem. They have three boys.
In 1979, Folberg began photographing in the Sinai, working there until Sinai was returned to Egyptian control. His desert landscapes have been collected together along with a text that Folberg wrote in a book titled In a Desert Land: Photographs of Israel, Egypt and Jordan by Neil Folberg published by Abbeville Press of New York in 1987.
He had a major exhibition at the Musée Nicéphore Niépce in Chalon-sur-Saone, France in 1990/91. In 1992, he was commissioned by the Aperture Foundation to photograph synagogues all over the world, published by Aperture Press, New York. The book, And I Shall Dwell Among Them: Historic Synagogues of the World was accompanied by travelling exhibitions in Europe and the United States and publication of a portfolio of EverColor pigment transfer prints by Aperture Press and Vision Editions.
He returned to black-and-white work with his series of photographs of starry night landscapes set in ancient ruins and scenes of the Middle East. This work has been collected together in the book, Celestial Nights: Visions of an Ancient Land (Aperture Press, New York 2001). The traveling exhibition, circulated by Aperture, was shown in a dozen museums throughout the world, including venues, in France, the U.S. and more recently, the Museum of Photographic Arts in Japan.
Travels with Van Gogh and the Impressionists (with author Lin Arison) includes works done in France during the years 2001-2003. A traveling solo exhibition of these works, titled “The Impressionists' Salon” curated by Eleanor Flomenhaft, is now being organized.
Neil is currently concentrating on new work. He is often found in Vision Gallery in Jerusalem