Daniel Eliseu, 6, tees up for the “target practice” with his father as the coach/target. Little Daniel is from the nearby community Babilônia.



Football party in Santa Teresa



Water rescue lifeguards do their daily training. The super good surfing waves are also potentially treacherous for inexperienced swimmers. Ending today my two weeks of shooting for upcoming BEACH GAMES zine.



Antonio Chaves, 92 , comes to the beach daily to get 20 minutes of sun.



A chilly 72 degrees F keeps locals off Ipanema, yet the beach is packed with victorious Germans who figure this a warm beach day. 


BEACH GAMES  by David Alan Harvey

For sure I get wound up and totally immersed in every story I work on, yet most especially work that I do in Rio and Latin America in general. Never before have I returned to the same “stage” to do a second book. Normally I move on. Yet after my book (based on a true story) which evolved right in front of this audience, now comes book number two which will be totally different from book number one.  Or at least I am trying to make a book. I feel a book. Yet it could fail. Or, it could be a whole new thing. Time will tell.

I always gamble a bit. Take chances. The so called “safe way” never appeals.

So, in January I started working here in Rio on a new essay, BEACH GAMES, and am continuing it now as part of OffsideBrazil, a Magnum project sponsored by Save the DreamInstituto Moreira Salles, and ESPN. Neither my BEACH GAMES book efforts nor the Magnum group project involve sports style shots from the games in the stadiums, but are more about the feeling and life around the official games which as we all know by now are quite controversial from a social/political perspective.

Yet I am working towards symbols and feel no need to answer every question nor tell every aspect of “the story”. Really good stories are “stories” and not encyclopaedic. I am never interested in the  hypothetical “whole story”. When I think of literary authors, they never tell the whole story. Just their own.

Since this week is the final episode for the World Cup, I will be updating the pictures here in real time as I make them.




Life returns to “normal” in Rio after the World Cup finals. Quiet. Hanging out at one of the beachside kiosks for a coconut water or caipirinhas is always on the agenda.



German and Brazilian soccer fans were united on Leme beach yesterday for the World Cup final.



Winter swell Copacabana



Spectator hangs on a chain link fence watching an indoor football game in Morro dos Prazeres, in Rio de Janeiro



Seller on the beach in Leme 



My dear friend and producer in Rio, Roberta Tavares, sobs after Brazil had 5 goals scored against them in the first half of their World Cup game with Germany.  “I am embarrassed and humiliated by this game. Football is the one thing that puts all the Brazilians together. For this to happen on our soil will be a game my grandchildren will be talking about”



TV is how most people see the World Cup,  even if the stadium where the game is being played is only a few miles away.



Group of friends before the Brazil x Germany game, in Lapa.



Boogie boards riders on Leme beach. Surf had been green and glassy perfect waves at this point break for the last few days.



Roberta in Leme


Quiet day in Leme beach, during the World Cup

Quiet day on Leme beach during the World Cup



Passionate Brazil fans at the end of the game after beating Colombia 2-1 in the World Cup series. 



The often feared BOPE (Special Ops Military Police) take time out from patrol for a fast pelada (casual fun only) beach game.



Ipanema beach



Everybody (well almost everybody) is ecstatic after Brazil beat Colombia last night in the quarter finals of the World Cup.



Brazil soccer fans have a combative fervor beyond anything I have seen.  Here seen taunting arch rival Argentinian supporters.



Bianca Leticia Vale, 18, is a theater student/ patient at the hospital Nise da Silveira. Theater as a therapy is the mantra for their troupe.


Outside gym in Arpoador, Rio de Janeiro</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Photo by: David Alan Harvey

Weightlifter. Rio de Janeiro.



BRAZIL. Rio de Janeiro July, 10, 2014. Perhaps the most allegoric part of BEACH GAMES is of course all about “love games”.

67 thoughts on “CRAZED IN RIO”

  1. David,

    Is this going to be in black and white or color? or a combination of the two?
    It looks different from the January work. I’m sure because the CUP is happening now!

  2. CARLO

    i am not 100% sure about this….all of my work in January was in b&w (see Instagrams)….i could do a mix or go all b&w….the pics here are just from the last couple of days and yes based mostly on what is going on around the World Cup….i will add a few more this morning to round it out a bit….Beach Games is most likely going to be a tabloid style publication….almost a newspaper…..the same that i will do w Dubai….certainly NOT a coffee table book…..

  3. David,

    I was mainly asking since I read the article with your “5 tips” for traveling photographers…or something like that over at the Filson site.
    I saw one of your shots you posted here in Black and White over there (Filson Site) in color so it made me wonder.
    Its the one with the guy jumping on the right and the bicycle on the left on the beach in Rio.

    The mood must have been dark and sad yesterday after that terrible defeat…..saw that shot of Roberta in instagram.

  4. CARLO

    there is no picture here that could be on the Filson travel tips….all of these pictures were shot in the last few days except the last one but it has never been published anywhere before…i think there was a Filson shot which i made in b&w and they converted to colour (the raw files are of course in colour) which was shot as the same time as the one here, but it is a totally different picture…totally different type of picture as well….anyway, for my work, so far everything is in b&w….


    it was in 1920 that Brazil lost to Uruguay 6-0..their worst loss ever….the World Cup did not start until 1930…

  5. David,

    I was not talking about any of these recent shots.
    I was talking about this one:




    It looks great either way!

    It just made curious if you were thinking about doing a combo of both color and Black and White….

    Thinking about it….does this bother you in any way? You posted that shot originally in Black and White here but then it gets posted somewhere else in color?

    I’ve noticed how this happens sometimes. Not from black and white to color but color work that gets published and the colors are completely different…the original is very cyan in tone but the magazine publishes it really red instead….it’s almost like a totally different picture…the mood is gone…

  6. wow, so my dream was kind of prescient (the one i text you, that your next book was about sports, only in the dream was baseball…so, well, my dream life is insane! ;))….anyway, carry on and give Roberta a hug…

    coming soon!

  7. David…

    Did you get the inspiration for a Rio in BW from so much shooting with the Mamiya 7 last summer?

  8. Yea but Uruguay 2–1 Brazil in the 1950 World Cup round robin for the tile wasn’t it known as the m..?? something blow

  9. PAUL

    i had not really consciously thought of that, but i think you are on to it…and for sure i went even to the Mamiya 7 and the Fuji 6×9 and the Bessa 6×7 all because i am a b&w guy in the first place…my colour is totally based on my b&w….


    no, that does not bother me….i was in b&w mode when i made that shot , yet knew well at the time it was also perfect for colour …had i been on natgeo assignment at the time, a for sure double spread……so its fine for Filson in colour…makes sense for them in colour…..and doesn’t take anything away that i can see from what my final work will be….Filson will be Filson, and Beach Games will be Beach Games…besides i simply loaned the picture to Filson…they did not commission me to shoot it….


    i am gonna do in the next few days here another one of my shoot in front of the audience bit…not my intention at all when i arrived in Rio, yet now circumstances with the Magnum project etc make it work out just right and i like the pressure of shooting everyday and making a real time essay…..so what you will see here is not exactly a contact sheet but surely a sketch pad…..a diary…..and i love diaries most of all …..i have i think 5 or 6 more days here, so this will not be an epic…a quickie by my standards…..back down at the end of september and all of january, and then i will be done i think….


    i think you know way more about football than do i…..i rarely watch a soccer match…yet here now in Rio i have become a maniac fan like all the rest here in town…..no way to avoid the buzz….and it makes everything and everyone a bit more ON,,,

    cheers, david

  10. I am not a fan of b&w on the net these days it seems to be a lot more aesthetically pleasing as a printed image than on a back lit screen.

  11. IMANTS

    well i agree of course…but then again i do not like any photo b&w or colour on the screen as much as i do a print….in theory of course the screen, like an iPad screen, is much “better” than a reflective light print or book reproduction…it is the tactile nature of both that i think appeals…what really sings of course are large film transparencies…those are only good for very special exhibitions etc…

  12. David…
    This real time/live from Rio should be good fun and inspiring. Although I’m sure not all photographers can deal with this kind of situation. You seem to enjoy it or at perhaps pay no attention and keep on as usual? Lots of pressure can really block some peoples creative juices… Personally I’ve discovered I need the pressure pot boiling and the stress bubbling at full boil. I like the “no choice but get the photo” situation…

  13. David,

    Like I said…the shot is great either way….works both ways.
    Talking about black and white….I remember telling you how I found B&W to be really difficult for me instead of color….the look on your face was priceless ;-)
    I force myself to shoot B&W once in a while to snap myself out of thinking that way…get more loose…

    Looking forward to seeing what’s coming in real time!
    The shot of Roberta is beautiful.

  14. PAUL

    i think every creative act involves an “edge” of one kind or another…nobody creates from a “comfort zone”….so it could be pain or ecstasy or pressure or fear that fires one up…or all of those things…that is why you can tell so much about a photographer from BurnDiary…real time essay….for sure not the only measure by any means….there are some who rarely produce, but when they do it is brilliant..consistency is rarely virtue in the land of the arts ….i just automatically shoot almost every day even when sitting on my porch…i have no idea why i do that actually….but i do…when i look at my colleagues around i have noticed very few do that…most want an actual project…i shoot with or without a project going..i am compelled to shoot…this does not mean it always “works”….it just means the process is clearly important…i don’t want to analyse it too much…

  15. David, all matters of camera, b&w, color, technique and message aside, what impresses me most is the dynamo in you. When others would have sat down to enjoy the accolades and to reap the benefits of having put together such a phenomenal body of work and of having earned such a reputation, you put the Energizer Bunny to shame and just keep going and going and going… You give new meaning to the phrase, “forever young…”


    well for sure i am not forever young…yet the energy comes from simply working and enjoying the work…and absorbing the experience…one thing i did from a very early age that i think set me up for life was to work on projects that meant something to me personally…i very rarely ever did anything to just satisfy a client….even if on a commissioned project, as i am now, i still bend it around to fit an essay that i really want to do…by doing this from the beginning, i tended to get commissions from editors etc who hired me to “do your thing”…this was always the case at NatGeo for example and even for the few advertising jobs i have done…

    i could see early on that photographers who only “aimed to please” a client were soon totally lost on their own photo personalities and then of course ended up not even knowing what they believed anymore…so i vowed never to let that happen….

    the very simple equation of doing what you do best and doing what you love to do and let the rest just fall into place, seems to work for me…..i also always kept my living expenses low so that i would never feel forced to do a job i hated even if it paid a lot….

    photography has always been my hobby…my joy…and always a reflection of how i see the world….never empirical in nature, just always my diary…

    for sure this is what you do as well Bill….you photograph life around you…you do a daily diary….this is very very common ground between us….

    cheers, david

  17. Fantastic photos here and it’s gonna get better..
    I don’t want to overload the blog here so if you want TRUE DAY TO DAY second to second analysis check my FB.. Swearing allowed :).. Love y’all

  18. David…

    Are you as always just shooting with your one lens and small camera combo, or are you still using the D800?

  19. PAUL

    i love the D800 as almost the perfect camera….YET, it sits at home!! it is just too big for the streets of Rio….here i really need something unobtrusive…all of this work is with the XT-1….i am working 90% of the time with the 50mm equivalent (35)…i also have primes 28 and 35 equivalents, yet in the last couple of years i find myself going for the “normal” 50mm look….i will be making 2 more trips to Rio before i publish my zine/book BEACH GAMES….one of those trips could involve simply doing classic portraits..if i do that , then maybe the D800 will be the one to use…by the way, with the D800 i also use only the 50mm lens…

    cheers, david

  20. David…

    Personally one of the biggest advantages of digital is being able to use a 50mm lens. Whenever I get sick of digital I remember struggling with the lack of depth of field with my M6,Velvia and the 50mm… I love the slight sense of mystery a 50mm can convey compared to a 35 which I’ve always thought tells too much.

  21. “Personally one of the biggest advantages of digital is being able to use a 50mm lens”

    Well that’s as bizarre a statement as I’ve seen for a while.

  22. John Gladdy…

    It isn’t bizarre! :-)
    With digital these days high iso let’s you use 50mm with ease and good depth of field in available light…unlike Velvia 50 where you had to shoot wide open and ended up using my 35 lens…
    BTW got any new work we can see and surprise us as usual?

  23. I haven’t done this here for a while, so here goes:

    And so the monsoon came to town yesterday, complete with intense flashes of lightning and downpours so tremendous that one could forgive an impartial observer for wondering if Noah and the Ark would be floating down Main Street any time soon, and, if so, would they stop at Subway’s to pick up some sandwiches for the wife and the kids and the two of every sort of creature that walketh or creepeth upon the face of the Earth as they headed off towards the mountains of Ararat? The wind howled in a suitably gruesome manner and the sky turned black in the middle of the day and all the denizens of our happy little burg trembled under the fury of the storm. And then, of course, there were the people who braved the wrath of nature and went forth into the storm in order to get a gallon of milk or a pound of ground chuck at the supermarket, brave men and women who refused to bow down before dictates of nature but who wandered out, umbrellas in hand, leaving this observer to wonder just how much of a dumbass do you have to be to go outside in a thunderstorm holding a metal spike in the air? First, when the winds are lashing around at about sixty miles an hour your umbrella is not going to help you; it will not even make an adequate sail, should you find yourself in a situation where you need an adequate sail. I’m not saying that will ever happen in real life, you understand, but it might, and an umbrella that the wind has turned inside out is worse than useless. It won’t keep the rain out of your face and it certainly won’t help shield you from the rest of the elements, which, I have noticed, tend to be fairly nasty during these meteorological temper tantrums. Sec0nd, during the aforementioned meteorological temper tantrums the abundant lightning whips about striking both willy and nilly, deep frying them to a golden toasty brown. Given this, I repeat my previous question: why are these dolts going outside holding a metal spike in the air? To me, this appears to be almost suicidal behavior, almost as if these poor saps were volunteering to have Nature in all her mystery and majesty remove their clearly bargain basement chromosomes from the gene pool in as expeditious a manner as possible. While I am all for improving humanity and its morals, this appears to me to be a very short-sighted, if not more than vaguely painful way of accomplishing this altogether laudatory goal. Wouldn’t all of these people be much better off if they simply stayed indoors until the storm blows by and then go out for a gallon of milk?


    i think i know what Paul is saying about the 50mm lens…when i was shooting slow iso colour transparency film, i could not use the 50 in the same way that let’s say HCB used the 50 with b&w…simply a low iso thing…for anything w low iso the 50 is not the same tool as it is with higher iso’s with either Tri-X (400 iso) or with digi….of course one can use the 50 with low iso , but it then must be used wide open most of the time (at least in my case)…it then is not a great candid street lens (no depth of field)…but with high iso digi it becomes a street lens again, just as it was for the old b&w photographers..i like the more “compressed” look of the 50…in short, digi makes it so that i can use the 50 in a way i could not w colour film…for colour film, the 35 became my 50….now the 50 is my 50…

  25. marcin luczkowski

    The photos are great. Beach, women, sun and emotions. You are the best in it. Like fish in clean water.
    And the B&W looks great.

  26. David,

    Wow! Gotta love the energy of this Rio series and also the enthusiasm of a great photographer putting up for the public, more or less in a diary-stream fashion, work before you edit it into the book that will be published. But, hey, this is but one of the things what we’ve grown to admire about DAH, isn’t it?

    One thing that struck me about some of the pictures in this series is that somehow I miss a higher-contrast note — is this intentional in terms of post-processing, or just immediacy from using out-of-camera JPGs?



    thanks Mitch..

    i am operating kind of as a one man band and off the cuff and stream of consciousness crazy no sleep rag tag fast no time to think mode…i am right out of the camera and with no super tech person w me and my 11″ laptop screen is messed up, needs to be replaced, and well i am the worst person on the planet w the tech side….i was a really good b&w printer yet no knowledge of photoshop etc…so please have patience with what will be the final results here…my main point for publishing here is to do what i have done in the past and just put it out on a day to day basis my “contact sheets” so to speak…by the time we get to print, all of this will be “fixed” i can assure you….

    this is just the way i work sometimes….shoot first, think later….live it, shoot it, worry about the tech side later….

    there must be a better way!! ha ha…in the meantime, i am wrapped into it for just another day or two…then home for family stuff…

    i always appreciate your comments Mitch…

    cheers, david

  28. David,

    Love the B&W. I think it helps to eliminate “noise” in the composition and allows one to focus on shapes, lines, and the flow of curves better and it seems to do better with human emotion. Do you find that B&W helps you connect to your subject’s emotions better? You were there so can remember the “real” emotion of the moment but viewers weren’t so have to rely on the composition and tone to tell that story. Maybe that’s over thinking it too much. :)

    Curious if you did much evaluation of formats, or is the APS-C X-T1 your choice because of the Fuji sensor? I’m evaluating Micro Four Thirds myself for the compactness and am thoroughly impressed by the sharpness of the lenses and the capabilities of the smaller sensor (and lighter bodies, etc…). But I’m also building out a medium format RB67 kit because I can’t seem to separate myself from film no matter how hard I try! :)

    Love the magazine and am looking forward to future work.

  29. Hi David, big fan of your work. I have a practical question for you. Does Brazil’s strict image rights law affect your work in any way? Do you have to ask for people in your Rio photos to sign model release forms?


  30. Andre,

    Knowing Brazil well, though I haven’t been there since the early 1990s, I would think it’s a question of strict laws that aren’t generally applied because people usually don’t mind being photographed. That’s the situation in France, although there is a long distance between French politeness and Brazilian warmth — that is to say, a carioca is very different from a Parisian.

    Tenho saudade de Rio, Mitch

  31. David,

    >>i am operating kind of as a one man band and off the cuff and stream of consciousness crazy no sleep rag tag fast no time to think mode……by the time we get to print, all of this will be “fixed” i can assure you….<<<

    Thanks. That's what I thought. And it's a great way of working. I feel that getting your stream of consciousness is a great benefit of Burn and the internet.


  32. marcin luczkowski

    Silver efex plug-in is great. Highly recommended if you want film like effect in prints. If you like grain. I Love it.


    well i was a b&w photographer long before colour…my colour based on my b&w…you might be overthinking too much…i think “emotion” is not an either/or for b&w or colour

    for street work like this i have always used the smallest good camera i could find…used to be the Leica M6 for film, and is now a variety of small Panasonics a couple of years ago to now the Fuji’s…i use whatever is comfortable…i do not do much tech “comparing”….i leave that to others….

    cheers, david


    no…no problems at all…i only need in general model releases for anything used in a ad…honestly after shooting here in Brazil over a 15 year period, i did not even know Brazil has a “strict image rights law”…you are the first person to ever mention it to me…and i have done two tv shows, four magazine pieces , and one book here! however, i believe you!!!

    cheers, david

  35. Great seeing you work in B&W David! Some stellar shots here, with some classic decisive moments — as one would expect from you! :-) Have you ever tried converting to B&W using Nik Software’s Silver Efex? It emulates different types of film grain — quite realistically — giving digital B&W a more tactile, gritty, analog look. Not so clean and sharp. It really helps with the computer-screen-vs.-printed-page dilemma that you and Imants discussed. Anyway, they have free trials you can download, you should check it out! I think you’d really dig it. (No, I don’t work for them. :-))
    Nonetheless, thanks for taking us on yet another wonderful journey through Rio! One can always sense your love of the place through your images.

  36. Hi David

    I asked because I recently read a story about a photographer who works here in Rio doing street photography work and had to get permission from the people in his photos so that he could publish his book. Mind you, this was done in part by people recognizing themselves or their friends in photos posted on Facebook, so as Mitch said, people actually don’t mind it, but apparently Brazilian publishers (or their lawyers) do…

  37. >>well i was a b&w photographer long before colour…my colour based on my b&w…you might be overthinking too much…i think “emotion” is not an either/or for b&w or colour<<

    You gotta love photo forums: earlier this week I came across a thread with the title "Where would be a great place to travel to to shoot only B&W?" The poster then says that he just got a Leica M-Monochrom and asks what countries he should go to in order to get good B&W pictures — he got three page of serious replies! Before this thread, my favorite thread title ever was one I saw more than ten years ago, "I'm going to Cracow, what film should I take?"

    My own dingbat comment above on the contrast reminds me of two hilarious spoofs on internet-wallahs commenting on famous photographs:

    Great Photographers on the Internet:

    Great Photographers on the Internet, Part II


  38. ANDRE

    well literally thousands of copies of the magazine version of my book are all over Rio..in favelas, in the hands of local govt officials, written about and shown in O Globo on tv and in museum exhibitions….with pictures of a wide swath of the cultural life in Rio, the cops, the “gangsters”, the wealthy class, and everyone in between…i have not had any complaints from anyone…and nobody signed anything….of course my book was not printed in Brazil…so maybe that’s the difference…

    cheers, david

  39. David

    I know, I bought The magazine version myself :) It’s great that in practice there hasn’t been a need for model releases. I was just curious about whether you have ever needed them while working here.


  40. Pingback: “Now the 50 is my 50” – David Alan Harvey Or, in Fuji X-speak, Now the 35mm is now my 35mm | Eyebeam Images

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