Stephen Leonardo Photography
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Stephen Leonardo

Steve Leonardo at Waves

Life holds a treasury of beauty that I wish to share with others. I was born in the Bronx, New York. In my early teens, a temporary loss of eyesight transformed me. The experience became a life-changing event that impacted the rest of my life. Upon the return of my eyesight, my perception heightened to see with eyes wide, a driving creative force in my life.

My first camera was a Minolta 101, a gift from my parents who nurtured my love of photography. I'm intuitive and a self-taught photographer although I've been inspired by the works of Ansel Adams, Annie Leibowitz and other photographers whose works are globally recognized. Viewing passionate work cultivated my perception of the world which I seek document through the camera's reflection.

I gained technical expertise through practice and coursework in photography at Rockland Community College in Suffern, NY. where I attended numerous photography seminars, most notably, The Nikon School for Photography. In addition, I worked in a studio environment and as I learned to see visually, through experimentation, different lighting techniques, the effects brought my work to a new level of conscious expression.

My love for nature transformed my photography after I worked with S.P.A.C.E. a local environmental group. The images I captured provided an important role in broadening public awareness of the plight of our delicate environment. Several of my photos won first place awards. In 1994, I was awarded Grand Prize in a photo contest sponsored by the Hudson River Ferry Sloop and judged by a photographer from National Geographic. The competition brought together many photographers from New York City to Albany. My photo titled "Morning Mist" hung at the Hudson River Museum for one month

Tina LeonardoMy assistant and source of inspiration is Tina (Jignasha) who is also my wife. Together, we plan our destinations, taking into consideration the seasons, the sun and its location, the time of year and day to achieve the ideal lighting format.

My quest for capturing the energy of light guides us to journey across the globe traveled Our excursions thus far have included many states in the USA, the Caribbean, Mexico ,Asia and England. Our trip to India produced incredible results. While there, I trekked equipped with three Nikon cameras and a backpack of lenses as I embarked on a journey of personal awakening. I successfully captured the essence of India on film. The voyage led us to Hindu Temples where the energy of Hindu saints embraced me.The energy of the color orange emanates a challenging vibrancy which I captured in my photos.

Since 2001, I've traveled to Southwest Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The spiritual dimension now permeates my vision, continuing to impact upon my images as I trek through high desert and red rock country. The golden light on the southwest terrain continues to inspire me.

I've had great success shooting with a 2¼ medium format camera for my landscape photos. Mamiya 7 II Range-finder Camera and the Bronica 645 System are well-suited for my style. I've also used a 35 mm Nikon F5 system extensively, specifically for extreme wide-angle and long-telephoto shots. Every so often I'll use my 4X5 or my 2-1/4 Mamiya RB67 cameras. A hand meter and Manfrotto tripod with ball head are integral pieces of my equipment for my shoots. The film I use most often is Fujichrome Velvia and it's not unusual to find a roll or two of Kodak film in my camera bag too. My latest works have been published in November/ December 2006 issue of "The Hook Magazine as well as Culture, Art & Community in the Lower Hudson Valley.

Currently, my photos of Cristo Gates in Central Park are on view as part of a mural at the New York Presbyterian Hospital Komandsky Center For Children's Health. Other exhibitions February 2007 at Uma Gallery 30 West 57th Street NY, NY and in March 2007 at the New City Library 220 N Main Street New City, NY.

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