Adventure awaits you! Hiking, cycling, and photography

An outdoor adventure is always exciting. A camera can be a lifesaver. A photo taken on a hike may leave you with a memorable memory, a print that can be sold, or a story.

Leonardo Brasil changed his career path after seeing the Rocky Mountains.

Leonardo, originally from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, is now a professional photojournalist from Denver, Colorado. He loves visual storytelling, coffee, and bike adventures.

Leonardo was kind enough to answer our questions about why he enjoys photography, what his experiences in the cycling and running industry have done for his work, and his favorite gear. Please scroll down to read the interview. Follow us on Instagram this week as we share some of Leonardo’s fantastic landscape, cycling, and adventure photos.

This interview has been edited to make it shorter and more concise. Cover image by Leonardo Brasil.

How did you start as a photographer?

LB As a child, I always enjoyed taking photos with my father’s old camera. But I began to seriously take up photography only a few short years ago after I moved to Colorado. I had my first view of the Rocky Mountains.

Landscape photography initially sparked my interest because I wanted to share stories of my outdoor adventures. But I soon realized that the viewfinder on the camera changed how I experienced nature. My hikes started taking place before sunrise and lasted until well after sunset. But the “transformation” came when I began carrying a 50lb backpack into the mountains to sleep near what I wanted.

As a photographer, I encourage people to explore our beautiful world.

Leonardo Brasil

Deep in the San Juan Mountains, there is a sadistic, grassroots 100-mile race called the High Five 100. This was my second time photographing it. In this picture, Kent is making his way up Wetterhorn Peak, the second 14er of the race.

Why do you love taking photos?

LB, I enjoy telling stories! Since I first picked up my camera, the bulk of my work has been based on telling stories. Photography allows me to explore new places and immerse myself in other cultures. I never imagined I could make a living from my passion.

Your work is certainly influenced by your experience as a trail runner and cyclist. Please tell us more about this.

LB: Absolutely! The majority of my assignments come from the running and cycling industries. I think that’s because, before I was a professional photographer here in Front Range, I spent a lot of time with local experienced runners who began to “market” my work to sponsors. They then started contacting me for specific photoshoots. In this industry, the community is vital. It’s about who you know.

My experience as a trail runner and cyclist allowed me to represent the two sports better in photos. I also developed the fitness necessary to chase athletes and not slow them down. This is an invaluable skill. It’s not good to be the weak link in an expedition.

This “photoshoot” involved me following professional ultrarunner Cat Bradley on a 16-mile run in Nederland, Colorado while carrying all my camera gear on my back. It’s safe to say I could barely walk for several days after this run. But I am ecstatic that I was able to keep up with her until the final 4 miles.

Tell us about the gear you use. What are your favorite cameras, lenses, and software programs? What is the one piece of gear you cannot live without?

LB My gear selection varies depending on the type of photography I do, but this is what it looks like most often:

Landscape: Nikon D850, Nikkor 20mm f1.8, Nikkor 24-120 f4, Tamron 70-200 f2.8 G2, Benro carbon tripod, B+W polarizer filters.

Commercial and race coverage: Nikon D850, D750, Nikkor, 20mm f1.8. Tamron, 70-200mm f2.8. All of the gear is stored in either an Fstop Guru UL or Loka UL.

Adventure bikepacking: Ricoh GRIIIx – Portability is a necessity on multi-day expeditions by bike. I want something I can grab without stopping and swinging a backpack around. Ricoh was a great choice. It’s got an APSC camera, a sharp lens and fits perfectly in my Revelate Designs feedbag. (I have shot many stories for major brands with this little camera. I’ve even had images published in magazines – that’s how good it is! ).

Adobe Lightroom Classic is the only software I use to edit my photos.

A bicycle is one piece of equipment that I cannot live without. I have a car-free lifestyle and use my bicycle for 80% daily tasks. My assignments are mostly in the cycling industry, and I avoid motor vehicles whenever possible.

Since 2019, I have been backpacking. It all began with my passion for backpacking and cycling. We don’t own cars. My bike represents freedom, health, and the best way for me to meet new people. It helps to break down barriers and encourages interaction between strangers. This image was taken on my last tour of Colorado in September 2022.

How long have you been using PhotoShelter? How has it helped you with your creative workflow or your photo business

I’ve used PhotoShelter since about 6 years, I think. It was my first platform, and I never felt the urge to switch. From backup photos to effective templates, it has everything I need all in one place. Sending images to clients is a painless and easy process.


You can add anything else or promote it. We are happy to share with you!

LBI would like to thank you for letting me tell you a little about my life! I must also mention that I am not an ambassador/sponsored brand, and everything I bought was with my own money.

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