Rio de Janeiro

Destination Introduction

Statue of Christ
Statue of Christ, Rio

Rio de Janeiro is located in the South East of Brazil and is the second largest city. It has a population of 6 million people. Rio is vibrant and modern and is perfect for photography, especially the major sites. The city is famous for its stunning mountainous back drop and the surrounding Tijuca forest, as well as its man-made wonders such as the statue of Christ the Redeemer. The city is located on the coast and has a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean. There is a strong Brazilian culture in Rio particularly during the Carnival during the height of summer.

Photographic Subjects

Copacabana Beach
Copacabana and the Sugar Loaf

The city offers many varying photographic subjects. One of the must see sites is the Statue of Christ looking out over the entire city. With a wide angle lens this offers extended views over the city. Behind the ridge running along the coast is the Tijuca forest which is an area rich in wildlife, with many species of butterflies and birds. Perhaps the most famous aspects of the city are the Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. They are extremely wide and long and therefore offer a good area to photograph the city from. Also on the coast is the ‘Sugar Loaf’ mountain which can be accessed via cable car. Clear views over the city and the statue of Christ make it a perfect point to take photos from – either with a wide angle or a telephoto lens. On the architectural side, you can visit the Maracana stadium, home of the Brazilian football team which in itself can make a stunning subject. If you are particularly daring, then you can drive through a favella (shanty town) such as Rocinha to capture the lives of the poor living in Rio.

Photography Tips

Statue of Christ
Statue of Christ taken from a Helicopter

Definitely one of the best ways to photograph the entire city and get fantastic panoramic views at the same time is to arrange a helicopter ride around the whole area. This way you can take more interesting photos than at ground level. The helicopter can take you all along the coast line, over the Maracana stadium and around the Statue of Christ. Since the helicopter trip is quite short and you don't have time to change lens, we recommend that you use a wide angle lens for the best results. Keep your camera ready to take photographs of anything that you may come across. In metropolitan areas, there are infinite possibilities for an interesting photo! Photographing at night (even from just out of a window) with a long shutter speed can be a good way to capture the busy and colourful atmosphere of the city – try to get some interesting effects by techniques such as panning during the exposure.