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AlessandraRC

If you are photographing in Rio

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I don't know if anyone here is at the Olympics photographing Rio, but today I read on the Brazilian newspaper that three Swedish men decided to ask their Uber driver to stop by a favela in Rio to take photos, when they were on the way back to their hotel. One was taken inside the favela by armed men for a while, the others and the driver were able to escape to the police station. It all ended well, but it could have turned out really bad.

 

I grew up in Rio, I love it there, and I wish those of you who are there to be safe: Rio is amazing, magic and beautiful, but it is a also a very dangerous city. Watch your back, practice common sense, stay within the tourist areas if you are carrying photographic equipment, don't go astray trying to have a genuine experience or to produce an authentic, out of the beaten path photograph. A photograph is not worth one's life ...  :mellow: particularly in view of the royalties  :(

 

Navigating there is complicated even for us, who were born and raised there, speak the language, and don't look or sound like tourists. Be careful pls.

Edited by AlessandraRC
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This is one of the oldest scams on the books. I had it tried on me in Panama City. Someone, usually a woman, distracts you so that her male accomplice can make off with your stuff.

 

Hate to say it, but it's the poor people of Rio who are being robbed, by the Olympics themselves! All that money should have been spent on healthcare, education, housing, etc. -- things that Brazil really needs. The Olympics have unfortunately become a big, first-world ego trip IMHO.

Edited by John Mitchell
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This is one of the oldest scams on the books. I had it tried on me in Panama City. Someone, usually a woman, distracts you so that her male accomplice can make off with your stuff.

 

Hate to say it, but it's the poor people of Rio who are being robbed, by the Olympics themselves! All that money should have been spent on healthcare, education, housing, etc. -- things that Brazil really needs. The Olympics have unfortunately become a big, first-world ego trip IMHO.

 

 

Sadly, I think you're right re: what the olympics have become and the side-effects they bring.

 

dd

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It's not only "third-world" cities that get hornswoggled by the Olympics. It took Montreal over 30 years to pay off its debt from the 1976 summer games.

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Rio is the most astonishing panoramic city on Earth. Nowhere else comes close. If you get up before the sun, and go up on the Dona Marta, the sunrise over the bay will take your breath away. It's a sister city to NYC; the food is special, and -- sadly -- it's only slightly less dangerous than a war zone.

 

I've been in three war zones, but I've only gone into the favelas once with a local guide, and that was taking a big chance. What I remember most about Rio is the constant samba rhythm the venders make on the beaches. I hope they still do that.  And there was that macumba ritual at dusk I witnessed on Copacabana Beach. I'm an atheist, but there was something real going on there, a woman delivering a friend's soul to the sea. 

 

B)

Edited by Ed Rooney

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ED,

 

Only Three, just a rookie.......................

 

Chuck

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It is possible to go into the favelas to photograph but it must be arranged beforehand with a trusted local contact. One of the problems is that there is a lot of drug traffic in the favelas, and someone showing up to photograph might be looked at with lots of suspicion.

 

I do not mean to discuss the olympics per se, but the presence of the army on the streets and re-inforced security at the tourist areas might lead some to relax their watch and feel safe where they are actually not. Staying within the tourist areas next to security, however, is better than venturing outside on your own in areas where you don't know what is going on.

 

It takes actually living in Rio to know on a day to day basis where you can go in in which circumstances, to photograph. One place might be OK today and become dangerous in a few weeks. 

 

Waking up early for the sunrise is generally safer than waiting for the sunset. Thieves also like to sleep into the morning like most people. 

 

But that's a shame because the South zone has the pretties sunsets I have ever seen, the sky goes red ... 

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I've always felt that the best time to visit anywhere is when there is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary going on. However, I dislike being in crowds, especially these days, and I don't make my living as a news or sports photographer.

Edited by John Mitchell

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It's not just a question of avoiding the favela's. These big events attract nasty types from all over the place. During the World Cup football it was quite plain that it wasn;t just the opportunists who were being opportunistic. One criminal who got caught had come down from Colombia for the event. A photographer next to me at a game in Salvador had a 400mm stolen from him on the sidelines of the pitch. Which is after you have been through various levels of security. Which means passes, bibs etc. One large agency had a lot of equipment stolen after their hired car and driver got "a flat tyre" where some men came and helped (themselves to their equipment.) It must have been planned wth the driver and the thieves beforehand. For the photographer in question it was the second time during the event that he had been robbed. At the end of the competition, the first question you asked a colleague was whether they had been robbed or not

 

I wasn't robbed, even though I was using public transport all the time... well, I wasn't robbed by criminals. Some of the prices were criminal... My dorm bed in Rio in a hostel, (nice staff but... well, I wont be going back) for the final cost €70 per night, four nights minimum. A flight between Recife and Natal was 6-7 times the norm on the days which had to be flown. And then you discover that Natal Airport is nowhere near Natal.

 

In order to recoup the costs, you really need to know that the distribution of your work works. Not speculative maybe's. But sure sales. At an event with a huge amount of competition. With a frustrating time difference.

 

 

Yes that's correct. A few weeks before the world cup I paid 95U$ for a hotel room in Copacabana with ocean view. I wonder how much it costs now! 

 

I could have stayed for the event since my entire family lives there but I chose to exit a few weeks before. Not worth it for me.

 

Cheers

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I've always felt that the best time to visit anywhere is when there is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary going on. However, I dislike being in crowds, especially these days, and I don't make my living as a news or sports photographer.

My thoughts precisely

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I've noticed that none of the younger Brazilians posting have mention "Macumba," one of the African-based religions (magic? witchcraft? like voodoo?). Figas are a part of Macumba. I'm wondering if Macumba has disappeared from the culture? I'm not comfortable being a spokesman for things Brazilian; it's a complex, multi-leveled subject, and for all I know the figa was something dreamed up to sell to tourists. 

 

:unsure:

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Interesting two part story in Petapixel about a photographer who was robbed of his equipment. A few days later one of the thieves tried to enter the Olympics with his credentials!

 

 

Olympic Photographed Robbed in Rio: $40k of Gear Stolen in 10 Seconds

 

Robbed Olympics Photographer Spots Thief Posing as Him at Venue

 

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I've noticed that none of the younger Brazilians posting have mention "Macumba," one of the African-based religions (magic? witchcraft? like voodoo?). Figas are a part of Macumba. I'm wondering if Macumba has disappeared from the culture? I'm not comfortable being a spokesman for things Brazilian; it's a complex, multi-leveled subject, and for all I know the figa was something dreamed up to sell to tourists.

 

:unsure:

Candomblé is a religion of the afroamerican culture in Brazil, "figa" is part of its traditions as "macumba".

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Thanks, Alexandre.  B)

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I've noticed that none of the younger Brazilians posting have mention "Macumba," one of the African-based religions (magic? witchcraft? like voodoo?). Figas are a part of Macumba. I'm wondering if Macumba has disappeared from the culture? I'm not comfortable being a spokesman for things Brazilian; it's a complex, multi-leveled subject, and for all I know the figa was something dreamed up to sell to tourists. 

 

:unsure:

 

 

Not it has not disappeared from the culture, although I see many less traces of it than I used to as a child. In my neighborhood, every morning, there were offerings on crossroads. Some quite sophisticated, with lots of food and cachaca. No one touched it if they could help it. Long time ago. 

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Yes, people are being robbed. I am guessing and hoping that people insure their valuable gear. My main concern is not so much for things stolen, which is bad enough, but that people are going to be victims of violence, which is much worse. Keep safe folks! 

Edited by AlessandraRC

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