About Mike DeLeonardis

Mike DeLeonardis
Sunset in the Big Cypress National Preseve


PHOTOGRAPHY

I grew up in Miami, FL and have been photographing weather and nature since the 1990's. I started shooting black-and-white photography because I could develop and print the photos for free at the time.

My tastes shifted from nature to wildlife and I noticed animals looked better in color. I shot mostly animals for about 10 years and then started taking pictures of weather. In making the switch to weather I noticed I preferred the look and feel of black-and-white overall.

Currently, unless I’m photographing something where the color is the subject of the image, or the color adds to the image, I’ll almost exclusively shoot with black-and-white in mind. As a storm chaser I try to encompass the weather into a lot of my pictures. Over the years I've shot 35mm, medium format, and full-frame digital.

WEATHER

On August 24th, 1992 I was in the eyewall of Hurricane Andrew. Sustained Category 5 winds were blowing against my house. For almost a year after that I lived in a trailer while our house was being fixed. My friends moved away, my school was condemned, and my life changed forever.

It was during Andrew that I appreciated the raw power of nature. As the years went on I slowly merged my hobbies of science, computer programming, mathematics, weather, and photography to where I am today.

For the past 20+ years, I would always track hurricanes (using a map and a pencil to draw the paths in the 90’s). I would study the storms as much as I could so that I could forecast and try to predict how they would behave. After some years I decided to not keep my interests to myself, so I started posting information on the internet. I initially found that most data from the Hurricane Center and such was very confusing to the average person who just wanted to know where the storm was going. I’ve always tried to break out forecasts into simple terms and not just post graphics but explain what you’re looking at.