My name is Tom Leonard and I travel the world 30 days at a time. I work in the Oil and Gas Industry for a service company that uses technology to help rigs all over the world safely drill and explore new depths and formations. Traveling and the schedule are my favorite things about this job. I work for 30 days and then I’m home for 30 days. My time at home is my own. No work, and all play. As the father of 10 children and husband to a beautiful, inspiring, and supportive wife, I am blessed by God beyond anything I could have imagined. Before coming to work in Oil & Gas, I was a Network Engineer for a major communications corporation. I discovered that as much as I love all things technical, cubicles and offices were not the stuff of my dreams. Prior to my civilian occupations, I served in the U.S. Navy. For nearly ten years I worked as an Electronics Technician where I repaired circuitry under a microscope. It was during my time in the Navy that I realized my love for photography. One of the times I was back home on leave, my Dad bought me a little Kodak 1 megapixel point and shoot digital camera. I returned to the fleet with this new camera and on a port visit to Seattle, WA I discovered the joy and excitement that photography adds to travel. I knew after that first trip that I wanted to invest more into this new hobby so I bought from my Dad his Nikon 950. This provided more flexibility and higher quality photos. The images I shot with it garnered attention from my Navy Command and they asked if I would accept an official appointment as a Command Photographer with a side job as an intelligence gathering photographer while we floated around The Gulf. Naturally, I accepted the honor and set out to learn as much as I could from anyone who knew anything about cameras and photography. On a trip to Mumbai, India, I picked up a photography text book from a hotel gift shop. This book, by John Hedgecoe, became my primary source of learning. I read and re-read every single page of it. I learned early on that good understanding and technique is fundamental to making consistently good images. I used to work out my good-to-bad shot ratio to measure my improvement. When I first started doing this, I was averaging about 1 in 100; that could be chalked up to simple probability. The more I learned and understood the hows and whys of photography, the more frequently I saw good images. My goal was to reach 1 in 10. Today, I no longer keep score of my images but I can certainly see how that exercise quantified for me my development and it made every image I shot, good or bad, a learning tool. Am I guru now as a result of all this. Certainly not! But I will say that I enjoy photography now more than ever because it has become purely a creative exercise, and the world is my playground. I hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy sharing it with you.
P.S. Thanks Dad for the free camera.
If you need to contact me directly, please feel free to send me an email.