Picture perfect: Rio in focus

Explore the Marvellous City’s vivid colours and shapes with a unique visual adventure through the land of wonders, led by photographer Flávio Veloso, a regular visitor to the natural settings of the city. Drawn to urban photography from an early age, he was certain it’d be an important part of his life. Beyond a pursuit of technical quality, one of his fascinations lies in differentiating his images with unusual perspectives, given that his primary focus – being Rio and its surroundings – is one of the world’s most consecrated and photographed places. Flávio is a member of Fixarts Fineart Photography, which grew out of the coming together of artists with different visions but a shared goal: producing high quality photography for worldwide art and decoration businesses. And here’s a small selection of images and captions from Flávio.

Mountains at Sunset, Rio de Janeiro
22°55’21.43″S – 43° 5’26.26″O. 17:00hs. 1/1250 in f.8.0, ISO100, 70mm

Here goes the joke that the most beautiful thing in Niterói is the view of Rio. This photo was taken from Niterói’s Parque da Cidade (City Park) where hang gliders meet and take off from. Separated from Rio by Guanabara Bay, many cariocas visit the site in pursuit of one of the most beautiful views of their city: a sunset over the hills so synonymous with Rio. The park can be visited between 8am and 7pm.

Copacabana from above, Rio de Janeiro
22°58’13.57″S – 43°10’56.34″O, 13:00hs, 1/500 in f 6.3, ISO100, 200mm

I believe few cities in the world offer a recreational area as versatile and free as Rio’s shoreline on Sundays. The main avenues that run parallel to the beaches are closed to traffic and are taken over by pedestrians, children, athletes and most of all, cyclists. The last group have been growing in numbers; as with many of the world’s major cities, Rio has also been encouraging people to get on their bikes. All in all there are 16km of cycle paths; starting in Leblon, it passes along the beaches of Ipanema, Arpoador, Copacabana and Leme, around Botafogo and crossing Aterro do Flamengo. Bicycles can be hired from all along the shoreline, by the month, day or hour. Find out more info at mobilicidade.com.br/rio

Maracanã in Scarlet and Black, Rio de Janeiro
22°54’47.19″S –  43°13’39.05″O, 21hs. 1/80  in f.8.0, ISO100, 17mm

Every great metropolis has its most popular sport and team, and Rio is no exception. Actually, Rio is a bit different, because the team in question is Clube de Regatas do Flamengo. The club’s support goes far beyond the city’s – or even the country’s – limits. Just shy of 32 million supporters, Flamengo has more fans than any other club in the world. Add to this that the team doesn’t have its own stadium, making its home the Maracanã (the biggest in the world), one can say that a Flamengo match is more than just sightseeing. It’s an anthropological experience.

Daybreak in Tijuca Rainforest, Rio de Janeiro
22°57’40.30″S – 43°16’26.47″O, 9:45hs. 1/8  in f.8.0, ISO100, 40mm

Travel a few kilometres from the beach, enter a dense rainforest, take a dip in a waterfall and a few minutes later be back at your hotel. This may be an easy task in lots of secluded tropical paradise hideaways, but few cities are able to offer this luxury to both residents and tourists. Tijuca rainforest, the largest urban rainforest in the world, is like an ecological corridor, connecting different areas in the city.

Some of the city’s most important landmarks are within the forest’s borders, including Pedra da Gávea, Pedra Bonita (a local hang gliding spot) and Christ the Redeemer statue. Some of the rainforest is protected as part of the Tijuca National Park. A place bursting with leisure activities, it offers trails of all kinds, climbing routes, caves, waterfalls, restaurants and a museum (the Castro Maia or Açude Museum), as well as some amazing wildlife that can often be spotted quite easily by visitors.

Sunset in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro
22°59’5.78″S – 43°11’20.35″O, 6:40hs. 1/40 in f8.0, ISO 100, 17mm.

Copacabana is known to cariocas as the place that never sleeps. Internationally famous, with its dynamic and infamous nightlife, it’s the first choice of location for a big number of tourists who visit the city. Many people credit some of its appeal to those characteristics, but in contrast to the hustle and bustle is the statue of Carlos Drummond de Andrade, one of Brasil’s greatest poets, positioned proudly in the middle of the pavement, he sits in contemplation, not even the faintest hint of buzz – but still it’s impossible to pass by and not be touched by his presence.

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