DUNES A series done in the deepest of the North American desert, places where getting a flat tire is not an option you would have to walk days to reach the first park ranger station, enjoy these images, a true trip into the guts of majestic NATURE.
Trees Rocks Desert series by photographer Leandro Sanchez Some of his most inspirational moments as a photographer for Leandro Sanchez occur while he treks solo deep into the vast Western USA desert landscape, which have resulted in his photographic series such as "Rocks" (Rocas) and "Deserts".
Technically these shoots are complicated: searing sun, flash-storms, sandy gusts, rattlesnakes, or traversing massive rocks carrying photographic equipment can be difficult obstacles - yet nature always offers a visual reward. There has never been a time for Leandro when venturing deep into nature that he has come back empty-handed...
Nature, as he says, has a magic to it - various windows of opportunity that if you are in sync with the elements and focused enough, it is possible to capture those rare images of stark, majestic beauty.
For Leandro, hours of driving, walking, and climbing through rugged desert terrain are dedicated to simply scouting for that ideal location: a particularly perfect rock, or a unique vantage point where a photograph can masterfully tell multiple tales.
For many of the visuals he captures, Leandro ventures intentionaly deep into nature - places where most likely no one has for decades or more (possibly never) set foot on "that hill, that rock"... places that obey his 1/2 rule: half a tank of gas just to go one way in on a lonely dirt road, and the other half tank left for the way out, with a car loaded in gallons and gallons of water for the trip (plus extra lest he goes beyond that 1/2 tank rule and has to hike his way out on foot in solitude).
The heat easily reaches into the 100's daily and drops 50 degrees by night - in these places a flat tire means a certain 2 or 3 day walk back to the nearest road where he might find another passing car. The risk is large in the vast desert: Leandro could not realistically change a tire on a 30-degree hill, especially when totally alone...
But where there is risk, there is gain. Nature is a rigorous teacher of discipline - the one who does not go by that discipline will suffer, and the one who respects it stands to gain much. Alone in the desert armed with nothing but a camera and a simple drug-store rattlesnake bit remedy kit (which may or may not work once put to a true life-or-death test), times can be scary yet also extremely rewarding - some of the visuals that Leandro has captured in these series are the result of these long trips of solitude - a total disconect from the comforts and constraints of modern life.
For Leandro, these are moments of bliss - being in complete solitude in the deepest of a vast searing desert, pursuing that one image that reaches the pinnacle of artistry. Plunging in the guts of the master he calls nature, Leandro recalls a moment where all was almost put to the ultimate test: in 2010 when he was fiding focus on a night time shot, stepping back into the darkness... it was a matter of mere inches as he saw for his first time a rattlesnake - it was for Leandro a moment when he realized who exactly rattles whom: nature rattles us, and that's just the order to be respected in nature. The snake would not back down and slither away - neither dust, tossed sticks, noise would work - nothing moved the serpent from near Leandro's tripod; only patience made him realize that one waits for nature - its laws are clear: we adapt to nature, not the other way around.
Clearly that knowledge paid off and several shots were achieved in that stunning moonlit night. Leandro does not look to just photograph, he looks to show the magic that surrounds us, the powerful place that we inhabit. Leandro recognizes how lucky he is to be part of such a grand voyage... At times, back in NYC while perusing his photos and color-correcting the images, Leandro alters the colors of his nature photography, like he does in his Directing work - whether there is color film rolling in the camera or B&W, he believes Nature reacts the same way. Similarly, in his digital still photography, Leandro at times alters nature's tones to make the image more vibrant to the human eye.
He photographs during the day what is clearly visible, at night what is clearly non visible to the naked eye, whether via strobes or portable lights, to illustrate the full intention of his work - he is always in search of the visuals that capture this with emotion; a marriage of technique, art and light to deliver unique visuals of what's already grand: "NATURE". Leandro is an Award winning photographer at ARTSLANT 2010 showcase bio The photographic eye of Leandro Sanchez, award winning photographer (artslant showcase 2010)