Hi Leonardo! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?
I'm a nature photographer from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest – the most threatened biome in the country – and I live in a little town called Espera Feliz. I'm an unconditional nature lover, the kind of person that can easily spend an entire week inside the jungle in search of a great image just with the basic requirements to survive and to photograph.
QWhat's the weirdest situation you've found yourself in while taking a photograph?
ACoincidentally, my weirdest experience is also one of the most recent. In nature photography camouflage is a very effective device and I tell you, it's easy to come across as a 'strange' guy when camouflaged in a world full of 'normal' people. I had watched a documentary about the techniques of Hungarian photographer Bence Máté, and got inspired to put a similar concept to the test. I used my most recent backyard hut that has a large hole in one side where I can rest my lens. It's built entirely of materials found around and about (twigs and dry leaves) so it looks as natural as possible. And so, "Oh my God! What's that?", said someone. And "Look! There's someone in there!", said many others after that! Then I got up quickly, scaring all the various forms of life around me, and I said "Relax, it's just me!". The concept works quite well (I've managed to get really nice shots with it so far!), so I've repeated this technique since then with some frequency. I like to think that this is just part of the job!
QWhat do you shoot on? What's your favourite set up?
ALiving among patches of tropical rainforest, and since my first adventures into the rainforest itself, it is there that I find what I want to show. Wildlife is what I like to shoot, and nowadays most of the time I use a Nikon D7100 (lightweight body) with a 70-300mm VR II lens. For me it has the perfect balance between price, overall quality of the equipment, and of the images I want to capture. Not to mention portability. I can get everything I need safely in a simple motorcycle (my second passion) and go anywhere I want to go.
QWhat's your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?
AYou will probably get beautiful pictures by pressing the shutter button, but it's the delete button that is more likely to give you a solid career.