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Monday, 22 December 2014

Leo’s window on the world

A FELLOW of both Britain’s Royal Photographic Society and the Photographic Society of America, Leo Palmer travels the world with his wife, Carol, in search of the ultimate picture.

Indeed, Leo says for the past 40 years he has viewed life through a 50mm aperture. Carol, an outstanding photographer in her own right, agrees: “He lives and breathes photography.”

Leo himself says: “People ask me what sort of photographer I am, but my answer is ‘anything that’s in front of the lens’.

“In Krakow and Budapest, it’s street photography. It’s people and places photography, rather like Henri Cartier-Bresson – the candid portraiture in the street.

“When you are in New Mexico, there isn’t a lot of street photography and there it tends to be landscapes and architecture, with wonderful light. India is rich in portraiture, while Ireland and New Zealand are outstanding for their rural landscape.

“Before I go anywhere, I need to know what I am aiming at, what I want to bring home.”

Leo is chairman of the Royal Photographic Society panel devoted to travel photography, which assesses whether candidates have achieved the standard of associate or fellow in that particular field.

He is also one of the driving forces behind Hexham Photographic Society and as such, he devotes a lot of time to nurturing the talents of the next generation.

“When I started out, a lot of photographers wouldn’t tell you anything,” he said.

“You would ask ‘how did you do that?’ but they wanted to keep it a secret.

“I was determined never to be like that!”

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