With his nature and socio-environmental photographs, Leonardo Merçon stands out among the photographers in the state Espírito Santo, Brazil. He tries to create an interaction between graphic design and visual arts, using the method of photography as well as supporting actions to create environmental awareness. Leonardo captures the essence of places of overwhelming natural beauty and challenging socio-environmental topics.
Born in Vitoria in Espírito Santo, Brazil, Leonardo graduated as Graphic Designer at the Federal University of Espírito Santo (UFES) and specialized in Photography and Graphic Design at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne (KHM), Germany. In order to realize his graduation project, his first photographic book, Leonardo had to buy the minimum needed equipment to accomplish this task. For five months, he worked as a photographer in the stone-cold mountains of Colorado, USA. Under these extreme conditions, during the coldest days when the temperature reaches -40 º C, he had to use his willpower to overcome all difficulties. He had already found his motivation. He was doing what he loved - photographing.
Even during his time at the university, the choice of his profession was already clear when he decided to do his first nature photography book. The project opened doors and helped Leonardo to win his postgraduate scholarship in Germany, a DAAD scholarship (Academic Exchange Brazil/Germany). In the year of his application for the scholarship only six Brazilians were selected. It was also with the help of his first book, that the famous photographer Sebastião Salgado invited him to do a similar project at the Instituto Terra in Minas Gerais, Brazil. The Instituto Terra is a private conservation unit of natural heritage implementing an Atlantic Forest regeneration program.
Leonardo devotes most of his time to the Instituto Últimos Refúgios, a non-profit organization that aims to sensitize society about the existence and the urgent need for preservation of conservation units in the country.
Prêmio Ecologia, 2014
HBW - World Bird Photo Contest, 2014
BBC Wildlife Camera-Trap Photo of the Year, 2013
Prêmio Ecologia, 2011
Últimos Refúgios: Reserva Biológica de Sooretama, 2015
Biodiversidade no Espírito Santo, 2014
Últimos Refúgios: Reserva Biológica de Duas Bocas, 2013
Últimos Refúgios: Parque Estadual de Itaúnas, 2011
Últimos Refúgios: Parque Estadual Paulo Cesar Vinha, 2009
Comunidade Quilombola Cacimbinha/Boa Esperança, 2008