The Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro has a very bustling beat. It’s not one of the prettiest beaches I’ve seen but it certainly is the most utilized and the most enjoyed by it’s visitors.On a regular evening there’s football, fishing, families and fun. On public holidays there’s a seething carpet of sunbathers layered between hot sand and shady umbrellas. Leaving the sidewalk to reach the water surely requires agility and precision legwork to navigate the thick scattering of bodies over sand. I theorize that this site, at it’s peak body count, is a routine training ground for Brazilian footballers. It seems designed specifically to help develop their notoriously dynamic footwork and dribbling skills.
Okay, jokes aside (you got the joke right?), shooting at sunset on the Copacabana was a remarkable experience. The tint, clarity and angle of the light hitting the beach and it’s patrons produced some of the most unique seaside pictures I’ve had the joy of capturing to date.The sea spray coming off the waves produced a mist that shrouded the silhouetted beach-goers and revealed their stories through simple shapes. The mist also produced an unexpected effect. As visual clarity was reduced with distance, figures in the background became fainter and fainter. I absolutely loved the fading effect of the busy background. Ultimately, it didn’t seem like a beach at all. The scenes resembled an isolated frame from a post-apocalyptic movie scene with scattered and confused people scampering randomly in the backgrounds.
Slipping outside of Rio to visit the Cristo Redentor and the Pao de Azucar (translates to “Sugar Loaf”) proved to be a great idea. I usually hate doing the “touristy” things when I visit somewhere new. I prefer to see and experience “daily life” situations and places. The thing that really made this trip worthwhile for me was the view from atop the hills, both the Pao de Azucar and at the Cristo’s location. Rio has an amazing geography. Its almost as if the hills wrap the city in a protective embrace. The view has great visual appeal. Unfortunately I only had one spare day there to get some shooting done. For anyone with more time though, Rio de Janeiro holds great promise for some very unique and awesome shots.If you happen to be there for the world cup (lucky bugger), be sure to visit these sites and soak in the view. And, if your camera/camera phone has a panorama function be sure to pan and stitch together a nice one for the memories. Boa Sorte!
Have fun browsing the pictures below and be sure to check out the gallery (“Travel” Album) for more shots.