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Travel Photography Inspiration Project: Brazil

Brazil is known for its golden beaches and the Amazon rainforest, but there is more to be had in the largest country in South America. DPS readers like you submitted their photos for a look around the county from the comfort of your computer.

This is the fifteenth country we are covering the DPS reader fueled DPS Travel Photography Inspiration Project.

If you would like to be involved in the next country’s post, drop me a line here.

The Jump

The Jump by Alexandre Furcolin F.

Kids playing by the sea at Praia de São Bento, in the state of Alagoas


Barbeiro (Barber), Capim Grosso, Bahia by Julie Orfirer

As always, getting off the beaten path, staying as long as you can in one place – enough to be a familiar face in a small town if possible – will give you the opportunities to catch life as it is. Brazil is a friendly place with people who are willing to help with communicating and show off what is special about their home towns.

soft light dune brazil

soft dune light – Jericoacoara, brazil by Michael Robert Powell

Shooting in the wet season after rainfall saturates colors and often sees moody skies. I softened this image to give it a lightly-painted effect.  A scene sparse on detail can enhance the composition.


Church and Tree by Jacson Querubin

An old church in Angra dos Reis. This is an photo taken from a boat tour in Angra. Angra dos Reis is a city near Rio de Janeiro (about 250km). It has more than 200 islands. Angra (nickname that everybody uses) has a lot of hotels and resorts to stay, but it has some hostels too. Great place to rest and se a nature beauty near Rio de Janeiro. Its like a Brazilian Santa Barbara (a city where a lot of rich people and celebrities go rest and take the beach). Prefer between April and November you’ll get of the season and lower prices (exclude July).
Spray artist

Street art, Rua da Carioca, Rio de Janeiro by Angus McIntyre

Tip: Look out for Rio’s brilliant and colorful graffiti.

Wild curves

Wild Curves by Alexandre Furcolin F.

The breath-taking landscape of Lençois Maranhenses national park, in the state of Maranhão. A huge desert of fine sand dunes permeated by lagoons that accumulate turquoise water after the rain season.  Definitely a must-go.


Feira (Marketplace), Capim Grosso, Bahia by Julie Orfirer

Market days are becoming more rare in Brazil as the supermarkets take over but in the interior of Bahia they are still weekly events. Photographic opportunities are everywhere and can be overwhelming. I processed this in monochrome to focus on the moment rather than the abundance of color at these events.

oasis - ceara state brazil

beach oasis –  cearà state, brazil  by Michael Robert Powell

The northern coast of Brazil has  some stunning sand dune scenery, often you feel you’re in the Sahara. I had no choice over the timing of this middle of the day shot. I saturated the image further in this stitched panorama and was happy with the bright day effect.


Bridge to Mothership by Jacson Querubin

The Honestino Guimarães Museum, in Brasília. This photo was taking on a tour in the Monumental Axis in Brazil’s capital. On Brazil’s capital, Brasília, we has the Monumental Axis where all the 3 power has offices (and all ministries and others federal agencies). In this Axis, we have the Honestino Guimarães museum, planned by the famous architect Oscar Niemayer. With curves and abstract lines, the museum is great (as well as all Niemayer’s projects). The best time to walk (a long walk, BTW) it is in the morning. Take some water and prefer go by bus or car/taki, to see all the famous places. Brasília is an expensive city, so plan ahead and try to avoid big conferences that has there (search, ’cause you can pay a lot more, with this events).

Carved birds by Angus McIntyre

Tip: The popular tourist resort of Paraty is almost too picture-postcard pretty; concentrating on details offers the chance for more interesting shots.

Intimate Window

Intimate window by Alexandre Furcolin F.

A nine people family sharing a (barely) 2 room house made of mud and straw in one of the many forgotten poor communities, this one in the state of Alagoas. Numerous family, scarce resources and smiley faces, the typical portrait of Brazilian rural areas families. Looking at those honest happy faces in such a precarious environment always makes me rethink the money-happiness relation. –


Pescando (Fishing), Corumbá, Mato Grosso do Sul by Julie Orfirer

This is sunset at the Rio Paraguai on the Brazil/Bolivia border in the Pantanal. It’s an example of waiting in the right setting for the right moment. Of the hundreds of birds flocking and fishing, just this one skimmed the water for his meal.

Travel Photography Inspiration Project: Brazil

street people sleeping – rio by Michael Robert Powell

The streets can be mean in Rio – not just for the homeless but also for tourists: take precautions with cameras. This image I converted to B&W for greater impact and added a soft vignette to focus more on the guy closest. A day earlier he had no mattress, someone had bought him this as he suffered in the street with an infected leg.


Iguaçu Falls by Jacson Querubin

Iguaçu falls is one of the new 7 wonders of nature. This is a long exposure taken in Iguaçu Falls. This photo was taken with a tripod with a ND400 filter. When traveling to Foz do Iguaçu, Paraná State, Brazil, you have a lot of places to visit. One of the beautiful places in the world, the Iguaçu Falls are breathtaking with its nature and beauty. There are about 100 falls counted. When visiting the falls, prefer going in the morning (the park opens at 9 am), be on the first bus going direct on the last stop (so you can have photos with few people on frame). The only access is with the oficial bus tour (you pay at entrance).

Santa Teresa

Tram tracks, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro by Angus McIntyre

Tip: The ‘bonde’ (tram) from Lapa to Santa Teresa offers lots of opportunities, both as a subject and as a platform for taking pictures.

Asceptic City

Aseptic city by Alexandre Furcolin F.

The minimalistic geometry of the monumental federal capital Brasilia, entirely planned and buid in 1956 by Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer, inevitably produces the sense of emptiness that I attempted to reproduce in this picture.

TIP: If you like architecture and modernism, do not miss Brasilia. If you are short in time, i would agree that you may have more interesting options to visit than Brasilia. But if you are interested in constructivism and in the aesthetic of volumes, shadows, lines and curves, i strongly recommend one day composing pictures with Niemeyer’ reinforced concrete.

vultures amazon brazil

vultures on village church – amazon by Michael Robert Powell

This was simply a lucky shot as I passed thru a village. Have your camera ready for such images that flash by fast and don’t offer a second chance. I was drawn to the juxtaposition of crosses and vultures, converting it to B&W with a bit more central light for punch.


4 Lines by Jacson Querubin

Transmission powerlines from Itaipu Dam. This is a long exposure taken in Itaipu Tour. This photo was taken with a tripod with a ND8 + ND400 filter. Another place to visit in Foz do Iguaçu, Paraná State, Brazil. Here
you get the triple border (Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina), for example. Besides the vast nature surrounding the city, you have the largest hydroelectric powerplant generator in the world (annual generation, not the installed power): Itaipu Binacional. You can have an all day long tour within Itaipu sites: Biological Refuge Bela Vista, Ecomuseum and the Dam. If you don’t have a full day, I recommend go in the afternoon tour (take about 2 hours before sunset).

You will have to pay a fee to make the visit. You also have a technical visit that you can see inside the DAM – but this visit you will need proper clothes – closed shoes and pants, no shorts allowed.


View along Ipanema Beach by Angus McIntyre

Tip: even though the beaches of Rio have been photographed to death, they’re still beautiful; take your camera (but don’t leave it unattended).

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Peter West Carey
Peter West Carey

leads photo tours and workshops in Nepal, Bhutan, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and beyond. He is also the creator of Photography Basics – A 43 Day Adventure & 40 Photography Experiments, web-based tutorials taking curious photographers on a fun ride through the basics of learning photography.

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