Leonid Bogdanov was born on February 17, 1949 in Leningrad. He died on January 1, 2003 in St Petersburg. He became keen on photography in 1960. From 1968 for 10 years he held a photography circle in The "Pishevikov" (Food Industry Workers') Palace of Culture. For many years his photo laboratory at The Food Industry Workers' Palace of Culture in house No. 5 in Bolshaya Moskovskaya Street had been a centre of unofficial photography. His friends – A. Sopronenkov, B. Smelov, B. Kudryakov, O. Korsunova, S. Falin and others – often printed their photographs here. Besides this, many photographers came here to meet each other, to show their photographs, to look at other people's photos, to listen to good music.
In 1978 L. Bogdanov got a workshop in Kolomna near Alarchin Bridge (Griboyedov Canal Embankment, 140). The unofficial photo club moved to the new workshop together with Leonid. For 25 years it "had been a place visited by most of the famous St Petersburg masters of photography" (O. Korsunova).
Leonid Bogdanov was a wide-range photographer (portrait, landscape, architecture, works of art, fashion, advertisements, theatre, publishing industry, etc.) and knew all the technical and technological sides of the photographic "kitchen" to perfection, but still the dominating place in Leonid Bogdanov's artistic heritage is occupied by the Leningrad landscape. For more than 10 years he groped and sought for the image of the city that would correspond to his feeling of the world, and from the beginning of the 70s a series of photographs where this feeling was embodied appeared.
If one uses primitive symbolism it can be said that L. Bogdanov's Leningrad is a black city and it grows from devilish darkness. But the overall sensation from the works is different. The incredibly beautiful and refined line separating the city from heavens, the living patches of light in the rivers, canals and on the wet asphalt, the windows shining lonely and the sparse street lamps, the embankments floating out of the darkness, the street lamps' poles, sometimes the facades of houses.
In one of Leonid's significant works ("The Broken Clock". 1975) in fact a huge clock on a house's facade is depicted. The house is sunk in darkness, but nevertheless the darker window embrasures appear on the wall, some architectural details can be guessed. The eaves of the roof cuts the shot diagonally from the left upper corner in a broken line. Behind the disquieting line of the eaves there are torn clouds. The clouds and the round face of the clock are highlighted in the photograph. The white face is partly cracked, and the paint has peeled off and fallen down. The figures from "3" to "6" are hardly visible. The glass is covered by a web of cracks. Both hands of the clock are standing still at the figure "12". A noon or rather a midnight of the white nights. The time of lethargic Leningrad that has stopped or the decrepit empire's absence of time?