Steve Mandel has been a nature photographer for over 25 years. His early work involved astronomical imaging using film, then, starting in 1996, CCD cameras. Many of his astronomical images were used by NASA for their website and publications. His photos and articles have been published in Smithsonian Books, Sky and Telescope magazine, newspapers, and Steve is a co-author of the article, "Extended Red Emission in High-Galactic Latitude Interstellar Clouds" published in the Astrophysics Journal, a professional publication. He designed and built equipment used to produce wide-field images in ultra-narrow spectral bands of hydrogen clouds and supernovae remnants.
He established two robotic observatories in the mountains of New Mexico and from there imaged previously unseen structures in high-latitude galactic dust clouds. Based on this work and his other astronomy activities The Astronomical Society of the Pacific awarded him in 2008 their international Amateur Achievement Award. The American Astronomical Society awarded him with the Chambliss Amateur Achievement Medal the same year, an award annually given to North-American amateur astronomers..
In 2007, Steve began to study and use wildlife photography as a way of informing people about the rapid pace of habitat destruction globally and its disastrous effect on wildlife. In 2008, he established the Lions of Gir Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, to address the needs of the critically endangered Asiatic Lions of the Gir Forest in India.
In 2009, Steve's image of the Japanese Macaques titled, Snow Monkey Mother and Child, was given a Highly Honored award after it was chosen from over 21,000 entries to be displayed with 150 photos in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum's - Natures's Best Windland Rice Smith competition. This photo was also used as the cover for the highly acclaimed book, Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals.
In 2012, his image of lemurs in Madagascar was given a Highly Honored award in the same competition and is currently on display in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. And, for the third time in 2013, Steve was honored in the competition by having his image of a Proboscis Monkey given a Highly Honored Award and put on display in the Smithsonian.
Steve's images have appeared in the New York Times, Smithsonian Books, Reader's Digest, Forbes Magazine, Sky&Telescope, Astronomy, and other publications and websites.
Steve lives in Soquel, California with his wife Carol, who was at one time a professional photojournalist. He has three sons, Joe, Paul, and Alex, all excellent photographers in their own right. It runs in the family.