Local Photographer Steve Biro Shares Travels
Story by Michael Seguin
Photography by Steve Biro
For photographer Steve Biro, everything comes back to a sense of wonder. “I try to look at the world around me the way a child would,” Steve explains. “If you can explore the world like a child and try to see everything with a sense of wonder, I think you’ll capture the world in a really unique way.”
Steve was born and raised in Windsor. An employee at the Ford Motor Company, he first began experimenting with photography 12 years ago as a way to better remember his travels.
“I was mostly doing it for myself,” Steve recalls. “I suppose that a good portion of my early photography was for my memories. I was creating a photographic account of my travels. I still love going through photos of my trips and reliving them that way. I guess that’s originally how it started. I just wanted to capture what I was seeing.”
Buoyed by the glowing feedback his photographs started receiving from friends on social media, Steve decided to explore his new passion further.
“I started getting comments about the landscape photography I was posting from my trips,” Steve states. “So, I thought, ‘Why not take things to the next level?’”
Steve’s original mentors were photographer Bob Gallagher and techniques he found on the internet. And now, after several years and several thousand snapshots, Steve has become one of the Windsor’s most eagle-eyed photographers.
For a time, his primary motivation remained sharing the beauty he encountered on his travels with others.
“I just love nature so much!” Steve exclaims. “My photography evolved into wanting to share the beauty of nature with everyone around me. Some of the nicest feedback I ever got was when people said, ‘Oh, I’ll never get a chance to see that, so I really appreciate you sharing that with me.’ I’m really grateful to be able to share what I see with people who might not get the chance to see it. I still take great pleasure in that.”
While Steve has travelled all over the world in his pursuit of wonder, he maintains a particular fondness for northern countries, such as Iceland.
“I love Iceland,” Steve states. “I’ve been there three times, now. I’ve even brought some photographers there on a workshop last fall. Iceland has so much to offer. Everywhere you drive, there’s something different and unique jumping out at you. It’s just spectacular. There’s thousands of waterfalls and they all offer something different. Ice capped mountain ranges. Glaciers. Icebergs. And of course, the Northern Lights. If I could see the Northern Lights every day, I’d be very happy!”
Steve’s wanderlust has also taken him across Canada.
“I’ve been to Banff a couple times,” Steve explains. “Everyone knows how incredible the scenery is there. And the wildlife is just incredible. You see a lot of bears and eagles. I have a real passion for travelling in North America. There’s so much to see that we could never see in one lifetime.”
However, after many years of photographing the wonders of nature, Steve began to notice how much beauty there was to discover in his own backyard.
“I became infatuated with our city,” Steve states. “Before long, I was out almost every day shooting something in Windsor. We have an absolutely beautiful waterfront. I think sometimes because we live here we take our surroundings for granted, but I love going down to our waterfront at sunset or on a stormy day. There’s a lot of beauty that comes with living on the water. And I love trying to capture the Detroit skyline!”
As well, Steve expresses a particular fondness for local attractions like Ojibway and Malden Park.
“I can go there almost everyday and take pictures of something different,” Steve states. “It’s always surprising to me. I can see anything from snapping turtles to hawks to all kinds of songbirds and herons and egrets. I really enjoy going out there by myself and photographing nature. We have a lot right here in Windsor. People would be surprised. There’s so much at our fingertips.”
While it’s difficult for Steve to narrow down on his personal favourite photo, he is proud of the shot he took of an eagle mid-flight at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy in Vittoria.
“That is one of my favourite photos,” Steve admits. “That being said, I have a couple others that are near the top of my list. A lot of the time, my personal favourite photos aren’t necessarily my most spectacular shots. Sometimes, when I’m in a shoot and just totally absorbed in the whole experience—the light is amazing and I’m enjoying the tranquility all around me—that makes a picture more important to me. The entire holistic experience of taking that photo means more to me than the photo itself.”
While COVID-19 has halted Steve’s travels, he does have some plans in the works.
“Next year is going to be an Africa trip,” Steve explains. “It was basically postponed a year because of the pandemic. And I definitely want to make another trip to Iceland. I also want to make a trip to Churchill, Manitoba and photograph whales and polar bears. And, of course, that gives me another chance to see the Northern Lights!”
When asked what advice he would pass on to younger photographers, Steve encourages them to educate themselves as best they can.
“Learn to use your camera the best that you can,” Steve advises. “It’s very important to learn the parameters of your equipment.”
However, Steve stresses that the most important thing any photographer needs is that characteristic sense of wonder.
“Just have fun with it,” Steve states. “Experiment with it. Look at the world around you like a child would. We all have our moments where we think, ‘Ugh! I missed the shot!’ But the reality is, if you have fun with it, you’ll get those shots. You’ll be eager to get up in the morning. You’ll be eager to get out there. If you’re having fun, that’s the most important thing.”
More information about Steve’s work can be found at stevebirophotography.com.