The Sample Gates at Indiana University. Photo by Stephen Sproull



When Stephen Sproull first picked up a camera, he often thought of all of the places in the world to which one could travel to capture beautiful images. “Now I’ve come to understand that I don’t have to jump on a plane to find that,” he says. “I don’t need to be somewhere exotic to find beauty. I’m from a small town near Bloomington, and I want to make beautiful images of the places that are a part of me.”

If there is a secret to capturing the landscapes, cityscapes, and portraits that are the mainstay of Sproull’s portfolio, it’s patience, not only in waiting for the right image to present itself, but in allowing his craft to develop.

“I’ve had a camera for 13 years,” says Sproull, 30, an electronics engineer at Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center. “The first nine years were me being more technical, analytical, and controlling every aspect to make a nice image. The last three to four years, I’ve been able to get over that and make spontaneous images. I’ve paid enough attention to the technical aspects that I can let it go now.”

Sroull, who grew up in Springville, Indiana, near Bedford, says he carries his camera with him most of the time when he’s out, taking advantage of being in the right place at the right time. “If I see a hill, I wonder what it looks like when a storm rolls in or at sunrise or sunset,” he says. “And I’ve come to understand that making beautiful images isn’t just about what’s around you, it’s about how you capture it, how you compose it.”


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