Sunday, April 22, 2007

Rio de Janeiro

In April, 21th 2007, a competition of the Air Race World Series took place in Botafogo bay, Rio de Janeiro. For the photographers, the event was a great opportunity to capture great images of acrobatic planes having Rio de Janeiro city as background. I used a 100-300 zoom lens, which becomes a 160-480 mm lens attached to a Canon EOS 350D camera, because of the 1.6 correction factor. In order to get images with frozen movements, a minimum time exposure of 1/1000 of a second was used.

Before the competition, two F5 jet planes crossed the Botafogo bay a couple of times.

"Air gates" have been installed in Botafogo bay, forming a circuit which the pilots should fly in the shortest possible time.

Pilots must pass through the red gates with the planes in vertical position.

Pilots must pass through the blue gates with the planes in horizontal position. The constructive nature of the gate pylons is prepared to withstand shocks without damaging the planes, as we can see in the image below at the right, captured just a few moments after the shock.

The audience of the event was estimated in one million people.

Photographers at the event were not disappointed.

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Thursday, April 5, 2007

San Francisco

"I'm going home to my city by the bay" - Douglass Cross, George Cory.

I stayed in San Francisco for 24 hours in July 2006, but I had just some hours to capture images of the city: a real challenge for any photographer.

In the Financial District, at the center of the city, the Transamerica Pyramid stands out among a cluster of high-rise towers.

San Francisco is a cosmopolitan city and its population is composed of immigrants from various parts of the world.

Two great bridges cross the the San Francisco Bay. The most famous is the Golden Gate Bridge at the entrance of the bay. The other one is the Bay Bridge that links the San Francisco peninsula to Oakland.

The island of Alcatraz, a former maximum security prison, is an attraction for tourists since the 1970's.

The historical and traditional cable cars cover the main boroughs of the central area of the city and can not be missed by the visitors.

In the agitated center of the city, it is possible to find some thematic restaurants.

It is needless to say that one afternoon is not sufficient to know and properly photograph one of the most interesting cities of the world.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Reno entitles itself "the biggest little city in the world". Although it has not the glamour of Las Vegas, Reno has big casinos open 24 hours a day.

The city is located in an arid region with extreme temperatures in the summer and winter. In July 2006, when I visited Reno, the temperatures would rise to more the 40 degrees C every day.

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Sunday, April 1, 2007


Covered by tons of ashes and pumice stone caused by eruption of the Vesuvius, in 79 AD, Pompeii reappeared after centuries of sleep, giving us a rare opportunity to see how the life of a Roman city was 2,000 years ago.

Amidst the modern Pompeii, the area of the ancient city is an open air museum and a archeological site where excavations are still going on. It takes just 45 minutes of train from Naples to reach the city. The exploration of ancient Pompeii can only be made on foot. During the day, the region may be very hot, as I could confirm in my visit in May 2006.

The distant silhouette of the Vesuvius volcano can be seen from almost all Pompeii, reminding us that the destiny of the region can be changed at any minute.

Scattered all over the city, you can find 2,000 years old remains of rich houses with well preserved works of art of artists whose names have been lost in time.

The great amphitheatre, which could accommodate more than 20,000 people, is one of the most preserved constructions of Pompeii.

The great gymnasium, a place used for practicing sports, is located beside the great amphitheatre and is also very well preserved.

In some isolated places of Pompeii, it is still possible to imagine the city in ancient times, as if some old dweller would get out, at any moment, from one of the houses. The main alleys are almost always full of hordes of tourists.

Capturing quality images in Pompeii is a challenge for the photographer, due to the peculiar conditions of illumination of the constructions, to the great quantity of tourists, to the heat and dust. Nevertheless, photographers are not easily discouraged by these kinds of challenge.

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