Hi, my name is Leo Cavazzana, a commercial and wildlife photographer from Brazil. I started photography seven years ago as a vehicle to see the world, and I have not stopped. I’ve shot campaigns for brands globally and wildlife documentaries for streaming platforms, all while still wearing the same pair of flip-flops.
I’ve been shooting with a Sony α7R IV for the past eighteen months and absolutely love it. I’ve put my camera through a lot, and it has always performed even in the toughest of conditions, be it minus thirty in the arctic circle or in the pitch-black dark in the African bush with a sandstorm.
The auto focus performance is very reliable, and I love the 64mp sensor. It really gives me the freedom to do whatever I want with my files, and being a wildlife photographer, I don’t control anything when I’m shooting, so having this freedom in post means everything to me.
I mainly use just two lenses for most of my work. The Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 and the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8. When shooting wildlife, I will also take the Sony FE 200-600mm F/5.6.
Even though I love fixed lenses, I’m often on the road and have to carry all of my gear in my backpack; I really love the G Master zoom lenses from Sony. They are sharp, reliable, and weatherproof (this is a must for me), and it means I can shoot anything from 16 to 600 with only three lenses. Portability is the key!
The bag that has delivered everything for me is the Peak Design 45l travel backpack with one large camera cube. It fits everything that I need; my camera, my lenses, my drone, spare batteries, hard drives, chargers, SD cards, filters, and my tripod.
It is really well constructed, easy to use, and an absolute beast of a bag while looking really cool! It’s probably the item I love the most. My strap is also from Peak Design, the same color as my bag.
I have a small and light Benro tripod made of carbon fiber. I think that any tripod is good so long as it is small and lightweight. My Benro tripod is nothing special but does the job. The only important thing to keep in mind is how much weight your tripod can manage, depending on the gear you are planning to use.
I have been using the Mavic Pro 3, and I find it to be amazing! I feel that Mavic has finally stepped up the game when it comes to drones. I have flown for over forty minutes with the same battery, and the fact it can zoom really well makes it possible to ethically photograph wildlife from a distance with minimal disturbance. The image quality is also quite amazing.
Hardware & Software
Ninety-seven percent of my photos are edited in Lightroom, with my finishing touches done with Photoshop. I don’t really like to over-manipulate my photos, usually just minor adjustments like removing distracting objects and adding a little gaussian blur for some sutil glow effect.
I use a series of personal presets as a base, and after that, I fix the white balance. For me, white balance consistency is key to keeping a consistent look throughout my work. When I’m done with the white balance, then I really let myself go crazy with the brushes and get into a creative flow.
I try to play with colors and light in a way that makes my subject pop and my story more powerful.
I always carry an air blower with me to clean my camera sensor as required. I often change lenses outdoor, and some dirt is bound to fall into my camera, so it’s really convenient to have an air blower with me at all times. I have a few ND filters for my drone and always take a thermal water bottle with me. So not too much at all.
When you are photographing, it’s always nice to keep in mind that you are out there to create your own version of things. Lots of times, we try to do what our references have done, but I’ve found that doing this only limits your own creativity. Be at peace knowing that what’s meant for others is not always meant for you and that what is meant for you will come your way.
Follow your gut and create freely. That is where the magic happens. I’ve often done this and have always been rewarded by the universe. Be it with awesome wildlife sightings or crazy weather conditions.
Be happy being who you are; that’s a superpower.
leocavazzana.com | @leocavazzana
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