Cool article and feature in Brazil’s largest paper INFOGLOBO about photographers covering @rio2016, focusing on my 9th Olympic Games, following Phelps and Bolt throughout the years, as well as talented @gettyimages photographer @mario_tama
#brasil #rio #rio2016 #press #bts #olympics
Here’s the translation for those of you who don’t speak Portuguese:
Rio has long been a photographer’s dream, a city with landscapes and edifices as varied as the faces of its people, and a people whose love for the camera is unmatched. Now, with the Olympics in town, thousands of athletes — and photographers — will reach the pinnacle of their careers on Carioca soil.
The two and a half week span of the Games, from the lighting of the Olympic flame in Maracanâ to the fireworks at the closing ceremony, will mark the most photographed moment in Rio’s history. But this moment also comes at a time when Rio is facing substantial challenges politically, socially and economically.
Tales of the city’s woes, ranging from the concerns about the Zika, to the increased crime rates in the favelas, to the plumbing problems at the Olympic Village, have traveled far and wide. So, what will the thousands of cameras in Rio de Janeiro focus on? Will it be the sambas at the Arcos da Lapa? Or the rubble and exposed pipes of a downtown that is perennially under construction? Will the cameras focus on the marathon swimmers straining against the waves at Copacabana beach, or the debris in Guanabara bay?
Mario Tama, an American photographer for Getty Images, has been based in Rio de Janeiro since 2013. Not only has he covered the 2014 World Cup, but he has also traveled around Brazil, capturing everything from Candomble ceremonies to anti-government protests in Sâo Paolo.
Tama says this Olympics will be particularly special for the photographers who will be documenting the games.
“It’s such a physically striking beautiful place, and the Brazilian people are so warm and welcoming and open to being photographed,” says Tama. “I think this Olympics is going to produce an amazing set of photography.”
Tama, who will be covering his first Olympic games, adds that the challenge for a lot of photographers will be pushing past the cliches of “postcard Rio:” of Carioca life as a nonstop, bikini-clad party. He has been posting photos on his Instagram account of Rio’s street art, construction (or lack thereof) of the VLT line, and the Mare favela complex. One of his aims is to present stories that are “as varied as Rio and as Brazil is.”
“What I hope to do is capture the overall relationship of these events in the midst of Brazilian citizens, and in the midst of Rio and in the midst of the challenges that Brazil is facing,” says Tama. “And also how this mixture of tourists and locals kind of gather around and embrace or don’t embrace the Olympics.”
For Donald Miralle, a veteran sports photographer who will be covering his ninth Olympics, the Games present a multitude of challenges and rewards. As it turns out, the Olympics are as much a test of endurance for the photographers who shoot them as they are for the athletes who compete in them.
“It’s nearly 20 days straight of work,” says Miralle. “Some days, you’re doing 20-hour-days. You’re not getting a lot of sleep, you’re running around, usually in a city you’re still trying to figure out.”
Luckily for Miralle, this won’t be his first time in Rio. He shot the Pan-American games in 2007, and many of the events featured there will be held in the same sites.
“The topography and the area that Rio is situated in is stunning and gorgeous and very unique. It lends to very unique photography,” says Miralle, whose favorite venues were rowing (in Lagoa Stadium, with Christ the Redeemer in the background) and beach volleyball at Copacabana.
While Miralle looks forward to capturing a myriad of events taking place on Rio’s distinct topography, he’s especially looking forward to completing his journey with Olympians Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt, for whom Rio is likely to be their last Olympics.
“Everyone wants to shot the marquee athletes like Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt,” said Miralle, who has shot every single one of their gold medals.
Miralle has been posting some of his favorite shots from previous Olympics on his Instagram, shots that include superstars Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, and Serena Williams’ historic performances, as well as fencing, rowing, and archery.
“I love the artistry you see at the games,” said Miralle. “Every day at any venue, there is history being made, and moments that you have the opportunity to freeze and immortalize forever.”
But Tama hopes that the tourists who come to Brazil in hopes of getting the perfect shot on their Instagram will go beyond the beaches and the Olympic venues and see more of what Rio has to offer.
“There’s so much more,” says Tama “and it’s so much more interesting and undescribed.”