Things in Rio de Janeiro are getting worst. What a week. A municipal parliament were brutal murdered by uncertain reasons, but is becoming clear that were by her activism against federal intervention in our province. It is a really serious situation. Many demonstrations through all country in memory of Marielle Franco. Tough time.
Maybe you that follows my blog have seen this landscape before. Actually the Arpoador is a cliché of the city, that is, not only in my blog, but in any postcard or reference to Rio de Janeiro. I was passing nearby and I finally decided to use the variable ND filter I had bought months ago for a long exposure photography. I tried six or seven shots, and curiously the first one was the best. [ISO 50 – F22 – 28mm – 20 sec]. But I soon realized that I have a lot to improve on this long exposure technique. I still need to understand the best weather conditions and the best time. I noticed that the cloud displacement could end up spoiling the photo. In this case here, it gave an effect that I consider the limit of acceptable; the others were a bit ugly when it came to capturing the movement of the clouds. Which leads me to think that a day of complete clear or completely cloudy skies are better components for this type of photography. I want to study this subject further.
I was yesterday for the first time at the carnival parade here in Rio de Janeiro. I went to shoot a video for a job, but I ended up taking some photos too. This week I intend to be able to post some others. My angles of the track were a bit limited, in the sense of being the same all night but I tried to find some details that caught my attention, like this woman who ended up becoming a friendship during the parade. It was fun 🙂
Here in the neighborhood, besides the lack of urban infrastructure that I am trying to capture as seen in the previous posts, we can also find some beautiful scenery. The Pedra da Gávea is one of the most enjoyable tours in the region. Now in the summer, however, I do not feel like doing the hike that leads to the summit because the strong heat can make this activity something close a torture! In the winter, instead, in the middle of the year, I like to walk through this forest. This post is my entry to the photo challenge Tour Guide .
My photographic wanderings continue to portray the same space as the last posts, that is, those around my neighborhood here in the western zone of Rio de Janeiro. I think it will continue this way until I can come up with better shots of ideas of light and composition. To capture a more elaborate light the photographer has to know at what time it will touch on a certain surface, what kind of shadow and contrast it will generate. Of course I’m always open for this moment, when this encounter with the perfect light occurs spontaneously. The moment I realize that I’m in the right place at the right time so I do not miss the opportunity to shoot! But it’s not always so. So photography also requires planning. As I’ve been saying, these posts are not planned. These images are the result of my random passages through the streets.
Until recently I only wanted to make photographs of landscapes, highly elaborated, technically beautiful. Suddenly I realized that because of this, I was shooting very little. Landscape photography requires large displacements, and at the moment of my life, I have to stay right here in my city. It was then that, two weeks ago or so I went out with the camera and happened to photograph the things I saw. Since then I’ve never stopped. I’m addicted to going out with the camera daily and photographing the streets and people. The result is that I’m not producing very elaborate images, but at least I’m shooting every day. My big question today is if this, for my personal portfolio in instagram it is healthy. I used to post only my best pictures. Now I am a little freer from this self-imposition. Before I wanted to give a more consistent look to my landscape production, but it occurred to me that I posted much less. By a suggestion of a reader here in the blog I created a specific account for this type of image more uncompromising, and I’m posting … The result of this experience is that I find myself in a crisis of identity, that is, in the impossibility of doing the photos that I really like, the one of landscapes, I went to make photos of the streets made almost in any way. On the one hand I find it healthy to photograph daily and post on instagram and here on the blog, on the other, my work is getting less elaborate. It is up to me now to try to find a middle ground between producing more consistent images, mainly in terms of ideas of light and framing, while maintaining a periodicity in terms of publication … I hope I am not charging too much
Here in Rio de Janeiro we are at the carnival. It’s a time of year when the whole city seems to be in a frenzy, in an ecstasy, people go crazy, driven by alcohol and drugs. When I got up in the morning I decided to take a look at this climate of the city, maybe it would give me some good pictures. Upon arriving at the beach of Ipanema there was a crowded crowd, drinking caipirinhas, vodka, beer, smoking … I went alone. Walking around the streets, I tried to listen to somebody else’s conversation, trying to understand where all that happiness really came from. I realized there was a reason everyone was dressed up … I felt like a fish out of water. The sun was burning on my shoulders and I decided to sit on a waterfront kiosk and drink some coconut water (where this picture was taken). Since I did not like the party, I realized that I would not be able to get good pictures. It is necessary to flow with the environment. It was not my case today.
Robert Capa has a book called ‘Slightly Out of Focus’ in which he advocates that his photography style, while not technically perfect, was about what his colleague Cartier Bresson was saying – to capture the decisive moment. These two photographers serves as a means of insipiration for this series of images that I have been producing since last week, between my house and the subway station that I do daily in an old bus that passes here by my neighborhood. Far from any comparison with the two masters of photography, my inspiration refers only in the sense that I am aware that these images are far from being a technical perfection – I would not mention the composition aspect. However, I believe they have something that captures an immediate sense, catch a moment that I believe, over the years, will gain a certain strength – at least in my memory – but also, may serve as a record of an era here from my neighborhood. I’m not saying that there will be many people interested in this, who knows? But what motivates me in producing and presenting these images is, above all, my desire to practice photography on a daily basis, in a less ambitious way. The meaning of this blog is precisely this, to record this practice to try to perceive some evolution over time.
Variations on a Theme
Men working hard and risking the dismantling of a Christmas tree … sooner than ever … Rio, January 2018
Posting another uncompromising series of some photographs taken in between my house and the subway station, in the west side of Rio de Janeiro. This is not about showing extremely elaborate photographs. This series is just a record of what I see during this journey. Most of these images are imperfect in framing and even in exposure. I did not even used the lightroom to handle the highlights and the shadows. I have used a feature that I really like of my Sony A7, which is to transfer the images to my phone, over wifi, and later I apply presets of an app that I like quite a lot, the VSCO. But the point here – after the feedback I received in my previous post – is also to share my feeling in taking these pictures. I am not sure if it is clear in this selection of images, but when I circle around this neighborhood I feel unpleasant sensations of living in a dirty neighborhood with a precarious infra-structure. Transportation here prioritizes the car and the diesel buses , which causes the air, along with other wastes being burned, to be polluted. This worries me, considering my own health. At the same time, this dramatic atmosphere is a fertile field for practicing photography. Walking in this chaotic environment gives me the feeling that many things are happening around me. Every corner seems to be a story.
Variations on a Theme