A page about night expeditions, escapades and chance encounters.

Posts tagged “Rio de Janeiro

A New Hope

IMG_1559-1-2Roughly four years ago, I had a flight connection at Santos Dumont Airport, in Rio de Janeiro. The world cup was going on in Germany and, as we approached to land, I could see both the Christ Statue and the Sugar Loaf specially decorated for the occasion. The Sugar Loaf had a beautiful impressive beam of light that rose hundreds of meters in the air, in Brazil’s national coulours. I managed to escape in the few minutes between flights and got to a spot right beside the airport to register the view that would be the first picture in this project.

A couple weeks ago I returned to that place, while taking the opportunity to photograph in the emptied streets of Rio during the first match of this year´s Word Cup. Though the place looks almost the same, except for the missing gas pumps, a lot has changed ever since. This time the cup happens here. Despite all types of catastrophic prophecies from the old traditional media concerning the event, it is on its way to be the best world cup ever. According to the big media outlets, by now we´d be right into a period of mayhem, with stadiums that wouldn´t be ready in time for the event, absolute chaos in transports and all sorts of biblical plagues affecting us. It turns out that, despite some minor setbacks, things are running smoothly and almost everybody involved is happy about it, specially us, the hosts. Go Brazil!

World Cup



As you may well know, football in Brazil is nothing short of a religion. So, despite some protests in the major cities, it was expected that the majority of the streets would be empty during the matches Brazil was to be involved. Normally, the working shifts are adapted so no one misses the game. With the inaugural match at 17h, the working day ended halfway into the afternoon. Little by little, there’s an abnormal rush hour, and soon the streets are deserted. Being the host of the cup, after over 60 years of waiting, one could count on the majority of people being in front of some TV set by then. What better chance to photograph in supposedly “impossible places” than that?

Como você sabe, futebol no Brasil é quase uma religião. Então, apesar dos protestos nas principais cidades, esperava-se que a maioria das ruas estaria vazia durante os jogos do Brasil.Normalmente as jornadas de trabalho são adaptadas, pra que ninguém perca o jogo. Com a partida inaugural marcada pras 17h, o dia de trabalho acabou na metade da tarde. Pouco a pouco, forma-se uma hora do rush atípica, e logo as ruas ficam vazias. Sendo o país sede da copa, depois de mais 60 anos de espera, dava pra contar que a maioria das pessoas estaria em frente a alguma tv. Quer ocasião melhor pra fotografar em lugares supostamente “impossíveis”?



Vantage Point


Just Staring




Welcome 2014





Damiel, a good friend who has embraced this project, and let me photograph him in many places, was about to leave Brazil for a couple years to study in Germany. Right before he left, we went to check those tracks that had been luring me into photographing them. This is part of what we did that night.

Damiel, um amigão que adotou o projeto, e me deixou fotografá-lo em vários lugares, estava prestes a deixar o Brasil pra estudar uns anos na Alemanha. Logo antes de ele ir, nós fomos pesquisar esses trilhos que me ficavam me enfeitiçando pra fotografá-los. Isso aqui é um pouco do que fizemos naquela noite.

The Dark Brick Road

Blank thoughts at the dark brick road, next to where sea and sky merge.




This week I read that China is currently  shipping  thousands of tons of goods in seemingly endless trains along the historical Silk Route. Changes are thus forced throughout Asia And Europe, from Kazakhstan and Russia, rippling through Iran, Belarus, Poland and on to Western Europe.

In the outskirts of Rio, a small closed rail circuit lies, near what used to be a secondary road linking the western part of the capital to the nearby cities.  That old little road now turned into a broad avenue with a bus rapid transit line. Brazil seems to be allergic to rail tracks. Except for limited subway systems in a few cities and some cargo lines, trains are basically used to transport the very poor in subhuman conditions.

This little circuit had been drawing my attention for a while.  A first attempt to use it for pictures was hindered by the closure of that brand new avenue, due to works (they were actually rebuilding a whole section that simply sunk – welcome to Brazilian public works standards).  This time it would be my last chance to photograph a friend who´s going to study abroad, and in the end it turned out fine. His pics will be here soon.

Essa semana eu li que a China atualmente envia toneladas de produtos, em trens aparentemente sem fim, ao longo da histórica rota da seda. Dessa forma, mudanças se impõem ao longo da Ásia e Europa, do Kazaquistão e Rússia, afetando Irã, Bielorrúsia, Polônia e adiante, para a Europa ocidental.

Nos subúrbios do Rio, encontramos um pequeno circuito ferroviário fechado, junto do que costumava ser uma via secundária de ligação da parte oeste da capital às cidades próximas. Essa antiga estradinha, agora foi transformada numa larga avenida com um sistema de BRT. O Brasil parece  ser alérgico a trilhos. Salvo por alguns pequenos sistemas de metrô, em poucas cidades, e algumas linhas de carga, os trens são basicamente usados para transportar os muito pobres em condições sub-humanas.

Esse pequeno circuito chamava minha atenção há algum tempo. Uma primeira tentativa de usá-lo pra fotos foi frustrada pelo fechamento da avenida recém inaugurada, para a realização de obras (na verdade estavam reconstruindo todo um trecho que simplesmente afundou – bem vindo ao padrão brasileiro de serviços públicos). Dessa vez seria minha última chance de fotografar um amigo que está indo estudar no exterior, e no final tudo deu certo. As fotos dele aparecem aqui em breve.

Johnny Had Three Little Hellboys


…but little did he know.

Back to Life

2013, Barra da Tijuca, beach, Brazil, city, city lights, cityscapes, deserted, forest, hill, mountain, Prainha, Recreio, Rio, Rio de Janeiro, road, sea, skyline


2013, Barra da Tijuca, beach, Brazil, city, city lights, cityscapes, deserted, forest, hill, mountain, Prainha, Recreio, Rio, Rio de Janeiro, road, sea, skyline



Back to reality…

(Let me See You) Stripped


Has nothing on this…”

Vamos a la Playa!


Rio de Janeiro is known all over the world for its urban beaches, like Ipanema or Copacabana. What most tourists don’t know is that at the Southwestern tip of the city there’s a major natural reserve, with impressive beaches, mostly visited by surfers, hikers and nudists. Recently, I’ve explored that area with a few guys. More pics coming soon.

O Rio de Janeiro é famoso mundialmente por suas praias urbanas, como Ipanema ou Copacabana. O que a maioria dos turistas não sabe é que no extremo sudoeste da cidade exste uma grande reserva natural, com praias impressionantes, visitadas a maior parte dos dias por surfistas, trilheiros e nudistas. Recentemente eu explorei essa área com uns colegas. Mais fotos em breve.

Águas de Março


The tropical storms that hit most of Brazil this time of the year can easily produce non-stop lightning in the thousands. Those storms have inspired Tom Jobim‘s song Águas de Março (Waters of March), which come, as one verse says, to close summertime. If you live in a tropical area, you´re probably used to the continuous disco-like flashing and the pompous ear-wracking track list that comes along with it.

As tempestades que atingem a maior parte do Brasil nessa época do ano podem facilmente produzir milhares de raios ininterruptamente. Essas tempestades inspiraram a canção Águas de Março de Tom Jobim, que chegam, como diz um dos versos, fechando o verão. Se você mora numa região tropical, provavelmente está familiarizado ao piscar de luzes como numa discoteca e aos sons ensurdecedores da trilha sonora que vem como acompanhamento.



A B-Side photo from the session with Pedro.

Uma foto do lado B, da sessão com Pedro.

In Your Room




Some more pics from the session with Pedro. And a little bit of behind the scenes…

Mais umas fotos da sessão com Pedro. E um pouco dos bastidores.

The Architect


Someone gets in touch with you. Says he likes your photos and he’ll be in town for a few days. You invite him to try taking pics. He says he’s staying in a hotel right beside one of Rio’s architectural landmarks, currently abandoned, Hotel Nacional. The hotel, reflecting some of the in vogue ideals of urban planning from the 1960’s, is in stark contrast with the equally iconic Rocinha favela that developed in the same area. The cylindric tower was designed by the acclaimed (and apparently immortal, sickness-and-death-dodger-104-year-old-and-counting) architect Oscar Niemeyer, the same one who, along with architect and urban planner Lucio Costa, was in charge of the construction of Brazil’s current capital and World Heritage Site-Brasilia. Our man too, is an architect, which made the whole ensemble irresistible. Here’s the first post of what we did last night. Thanks Pedro.

Angra dos Reis

Despite the controversy and setbacks in Brazil’s nuclear power program, a third reactor is under construction, right beside the only two existing ones, in the Southern coast of Rio de Janeiro state (probably among the most scenic areas ever to be chosen for this kind of construction). The lights that illuminate the mountain on the left come from the construction site, on the right, down many meters, by the sea.

So, that´s the Sugar Loaf…

And, what if your buddy is also into taking the opportunity of an almost empty sugar loaf to bring home a most unusual souvenir?
Not the usual picture visitors come back with…

E se seu colega também tá a fim de aproveitar a oportunidade de um Pão de Açúcar quase vazio pra levar pra casa um souvenir incomum?
Não é bem a foto que os visitantes levam daqui…

Sugar Loaf

What does it feel like to have one of the world’s greatest and most visited touristic spots virtually just for you?
The surprise of having it almost empty in an awesome evening, in one of the busiest times of the year for tourism in Rio, is priceless.

I guess everybody was down there enjoying Rio’s Carnival already…

P.S. – You can have a feel of the Santos Dumont approach in the first half of this video. Thanks to Avianca pilots for making this.

Qual a sensação de ter uma das maiores e mais visitadas atrações turísticas do mundo só pra você?
A surpresa de ter o lugar quase vazio, num fim de tarde maravilhoso, numa das épocas mais movimentadas do caledário turístico do Rio, não tem preço.

Eu acho que todo mundo já tava aproveitando o carnaval do Rio lá embaixo…

P.S. – Você pode ter um gostinho de uma das aproximações para o Santos Dumont na primeira metade desse vídeo. Obrigado aos pilotos da Avianca por fazerem os vídeos.

The Call

Cities Backlight – Búzios

As years go by, the number of sites free from light pollution decreases dramatically. If you´ve been able to visit one of those sites, consider yourself blessed. In between those places and our cities, one can take advantage of their glow as a huge backlight device for landscape photography. Here´s another image of this series.



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