My E-5 meets Brazilian strangers (IMGS)

Started Feb 18, 2011 | Discussions thread
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RoelHendrickx
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My E-5 meets Brazilian strangers (IMGS)
Feb 18, 2011

Last month I was in Brazil for 6 days. Flew in by Sao Paulo, but that was just a stop-over and I did not get to see the city ( a pity, I am sure ). Neither did I see Rio de Janeiro, or Salvador de Bahia or any of the other tourist hot spots. I did spend one day at the Iguaçu Waterfalls but I have not processed those pictures yet.

I spent most of the time in some small towns in the Paranà region, near the Argentian border (the towns were Realeza, Capanema and Planalto, to be precise). The inhabitants of that region are mostly from European descent.

Realeza suburb, early Sunday morning:

Inbetween the work I had to do down there, I took my usual long walks on mornings, evenings and a free Sunday before noon, and I encountered numerous strangers, on the streets, on their verandas, in public places. Brief encounters with some words of Portuguese, a handshake and a smile. I always had my E-5 with me, with various lenses and varied settings.

Here (and in the first reply) are some of the portraits that resulted.

  • For the actual street shots, I seldom make contact, to maintain spontaneity. It is easier to get forgiveness than permission ( although that is often not too hard either ). I do however show the picture afterwards, in many cases.

  • When I get closer (or even get invited indoors), permission to photograph is something that is implied in the blink of an eye. This results in what I call "casual portraits", with the person aware of me and sometimes posing like he/she wants to, but not staged and not directed.

  • For something like photographing a service in a church, I do approach the main characters beforehand (that would be the priest), and tell my intentions and purpose, to get approval for me witnessing and photographing the events.

Friendliness, an open mind and respect are key.

As for the camera? It just needs to perform and not get in the way of the human contact.

The E-5 (large though it may be) does that : coupled with the walkaround lenses, it is always reliable and ready to capture a variety of situations, handheld and in different lighting situations. I enjoy working with it.

Frankly, I don't get the argument of people being intimidated by a larger camera. If there is any danger of "intimidation", it is up to the photographer to take that away with his own attitude.

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Roel Hendrickx

lots of images : http://www.roelh.zenfolio.com

my E-3 user field report from Tunisian Sahara: http://www.biofos.com/ukpsg/roel.html

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