A Walk Through Rio Brazil with the Leica M9

Rio Brazil! What a great place for street photography! It’s sunny, it’s hot, it’s humid and it’s gorgeous! The beach, the sand, the drinks and the cool atmosphere make this stop my personal favorite place so far. Before we hit Rio I was  told by SEVERAL people that it would be dangerous for me to shoot in the street here as the crime is high. I was almost scared off but the photographer in me forged ahead so me and Mr. Steve McDonald (guitar tech for the tour) made a plan to take our M9’s out in to what we assumed was “The Forbidden Zone” – the side streets of Rio.

So there we were. Me with my Grey M9 and Silver 50 Summicron around my shoulder and Steve with his stealth all black M9 with taped out logos and black 50 Summilux pre-asph. Steve was mainly shooting from the hip and he was getting some GREAT shots. Me, I had better luck with framing them with the VF though I was so much more obvious. There was even a time when we thought someone was going to go for the cameras so we ducked into a shop real quick.

It was intense at times and exciting at others. I’m happy we went out to shoot though, and it’s cool that there is yet another M9 shooter here on the tour to go explore with while we are in the various cities.

Below are the results from yesterday and again this morning when we walked around some. I still say that the Leica M is still the ultimate street machine IMO! Enjoy! BTW, ALL images were shot with the M9 and 50 Summicron, mostly wide open. Click on any image for a larger and better view!

This guy was great. All smiles but obviously down on his luck. I asked him if I could take a picture of his smile and he shook his head yes and smiled for the camera. He even gave me a handshake after I shot the image.

Before we hit the street and on the way to the hotel we saw vendors selling anything and everything on the highways.

As we arrived to the hotel Marcus gives a smile  – 50 Cron wide open 🙂

after checking in to the hotel we came down to eat and I saw the waiter and a guy from the hotel next door hugging. As I framed them they looked at me and it almost looks posed but it is not.

Many buses go by every minute or so and they seem to all be packed with people. Everyone seems to be wondering why I was taking their picture 🙂

As we headed down a side street I noticed this wall of graffiti and even though the colors stood out I prefer this shot in B&W. This is one of my fave shots from the day.

The deeper we walked into the neighborhoods the more looks we were getting. This one was shot from the hip.

On the walk back we headed to the beach and it was lovely. The late afternoon sun was glowing and the weather was great with a nice breeze blowing by. This little girl was getting water poured over her head. Looked like fun 🙂

While this guy was getting a massage by his girlfriend 🙂 I was getting a massage by my camera strap slung around my shoulder, lol.

We stopped at this beach front cafe and had a beer before heading back to our hotel…

In Rio I noticed many people like to hang out of their car windows and see whats going on at the beach. Makes for some cool photo opps.

As we walked I saw this statue with an older gentleman sitting next to it. I liked this composition with the moonlit ocean in the background and the three ladies sitting on the bench behind him. It appears that the statue is sitting and having a conversation with the man.

A few more from the first night in Rio…

And the rest are from this morning during a two hour walk!


  1. Thanks Greg. Ive seen $450 to be the best price. Would you prefer that to any of the Voigtlanders? I need a great lens that will stay on me at all times, as they say “the best camera is the one you have on you”. So size is important, as is speed… because I’d like to make use of the Nex’s great low light. What do you think of the olympus zuiko 38mm 1.8… this is a very small lens… apparently its made for a half sensor camera – how would this affect its use on the nex? Adaptor size must also be considered, so the advantage of using Leica M adaptors/lenses pays off… for this reason I doubt any Canon FD’s will be of advantage (even though I have a few and have ordered the adaptor)

    • Yes, themartist, in my opinion, Rokkor is best among small and relatively inexpensive lenses. I don’t have any samples from a NEX camera but I have plenty from my Leica. Here are some of them (you can still get an idea):


      I guess, that should be enough. You can see for yourself, this little Minolta performs great. You can’t expect this kind of IQ from a comparable Voigtlander lens. If you insist on Voigtlander, they have a nice little 35mm called Color-Skopar II Pancake. It’s almost as sharp as Rokkor but Rokkor’s colours, micro contrast and general IQ is way better, in my opinion. Besides, Rokkor produces that distinctive Leica look (being, essentially, a Leica-designed lens manufactured by Minolta), whereas the Skopar has a very different look that I don’t really like. I’ve had it before and I sold it. I did have some nice results with it but not much. Here are a couple of examples:


      See, it’s different. Nice but not as nice as the Rokkor. Of course, it’s cheaper and you can get it brand new with warranty and all that. Another advantage is that it’s 35mm vs. Rokkor’s 40mm. On your NEX, 35mm will correspond to 50mm, which is nice. 40mm may be a bit too long for everyday lens. It’s up to you to decide. I would go for the IQ and use my legs to compensate for the lack of wideness. But of course, there are situations, alas, more often than not, where there just isn’t any room to step back. But I think, 50mm is also in the same category. For those situations you need something wider. I can recommend Voigtlander’s 15mm or 21mm. I haven’t had any personal experience with the latter but had plenty of fun with the former. Take a look at some files I shot with 15mm and my friend’s Sony NEX-5:


      Well, the last one is from Leica. Couldn’t resist it. Just look at the colours, sharpness, flare resistance, etc. Fantastic little lens!

      I think if you manage to get the Rokkor in good optical condition and the Voigtlander 15mm you will never regret it with your NEX-5. You’ll have great quality lenses for most shooting situations as a very compact kit. You can have your Rokkor on most of the time and you 15mm sit in your pocket at all times, too. It’s really tiny! Just make sure you get the older LTM version. It’s smaller than the new one and with your NEX you don’t need rangefinder coupling. Neither do I with my M9; this lens’s depth of field is so huge you almost never need any focusing. It’s a true autofocus lens! Well, I guess I said enough about it to trigger your interest. Now I better go and collect my check from Cosina. Ha-ha! I wish…

      In case you’ll be interested in a budget tele lens some day, get the Voigtlander 90mm APO Lanthar f3.5. It’s just perfect! I have it and I love it. I don’t use 90mm much but when I do this lens gives me awesome performance. And I much rather have a cheap Voigtlander laying around, waiting for those rare occasions than an equivalent Leica lens which would cost five times more. Here are a couple of shots from my Lieca with the Voigtlander 90mm for your future reference:


      Wow, my reply has turned into a full blown lens review… Sorry about that. Just wanted to help.


      • Thanks for your time Greg. I’m currently looking at buying a 40mm f2 rokkor, Contax Zeiss planar 35mm f2 or Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm f2.5. I think the Rokkor seems just as small as the color skopar on the Nex… but not sure if the extra 5mm will bother me. Then theres the Zeiss Planar… a little bigger though. Managed to find all at around the $350 mark… decisions, decisions.

        My nex-5 body arrives from London next week, with a canon FD adaptor so I can use with my FD’s… thing is, I want a SMALL fast 35. Size really counts on this matter…

        • Themartist, I am always glad to help. You can’t go wrong with Zeiss. Optically, I mean. I have no personal experience with this Planar 35mm but I do have a Biogon 35/2 and it is one hell of a great lens! I didn’t recommend it to you because you said you needed a compact system. Biogon ain’t compact and would stick out on your NEX like a cannon (pun intended). Otherwise, it’s one of the very best 35mm lenses out there.

          Based on some internet pictures, I can see that Planar 35 is not as big as Biogon but is definitely not as small as Rokkor. So, if compact size is crucial for you then your only choice seems to be the Rokkor.

          As for Skopar 35 Pancake, believe me, Rokkor is way better. I had them both and to me that is an established fact. And yes, it is practically as tiny as the Skopar. There just isn’t anything smaller out there than this Rokkor in comparable quality category.

          You see, in the end you want to come back home with great looking pictures. That of course is up to your artistic eye, first and foremost. The camera’s ‘eye’ is not nearly as important but it can be of great help. So, if you have a choice, go for the best. In the category you’re after, which is to have a compact system in your pocket at all times, Rokkor IS the best. Even better than its sibling, the Leica Summicron C 40mm due to improved coating.

          It’s fun to shoot with the Scopar and it’s a good lens but, you see, on the ‘Leica planet’ we become a little spoiled by the great glass from Zeiss and Leica and it’s hard to settle for anything less. Rokkor is undeniably in the ‘Leica glass’ category. It IS a Leica glass, after all. Skopar is like a substitute teacher: it can do for a while but you will always want your great old mentor back.

          I hope I have convinced you enough and you realize now that you really have no other option. It only looks like you do. Again, this statement is based on the ‘compact’ criteria specified by you. Otherwise, of course, there are many great lenses out there.


          • Just read your email Greg. Thanks again for your time. I did so much research into this, ended up being half the fun. I was about to buy a Rokkor, but ended up getting myself a 40mm Summicron instead. Got it for $400, so now just waiting for it to come. I didnt manage to find a Rokkor quite as cheap, and I think at the end of the day, buying my first real “Leica” lens just added all the psychological weight required. cant wait to put it to use. Thanks again so much for your help…

          • Themartist, congratulations!

            I think Rokkor and 40mm Summicron are virtually indistinguishable. Rokkor is said to have better coating but that is not detrimental to overall image IQ. Summicron is a great little lens! I’m sure you’ll be very happy with it.

            I would love to see some of your pictures made with your NEX and Summicron when it arrives. And it would also be very nice to hear about your impressions on using the combination in real life.

            If you don’t want to post it here you can email me at gregory.shanta@gmail.com.


          • Hey Greg. Just wanted to send you my first images taken with my summicron 40mm. I created a romantic little account of how I met my girlfriend in Ipanema, for our 1st year anniversary. First time I ever did something remotely romantic in my life, but the camera, lens and surrounds just motivated it. It involves illustration and photography. amooorrr.tumblr.com .I have a flickr account at http://www.flickr.com/themartist but no leica shots uploaded yet. I’m actually an animation director (www.themartist.com) and photography is relatively new to me… but been really getting into it.

            The cron is a great little lens. Its a little used, but gonna touch it up. Also it has the 39mm filter stuck to the lens… I read about how some used the wrong 39mm thread… but I might just leave it as is, as I don’t want to use the lens with a hood (which apparently the correct filter requires). Also, I notice that the lens only focusses at 2.7ft… which is a bit far, I’ll work around it.Its small, any smaller it would be tough to use… but still can just fit in my pocket on the nex. Its a tight pocket fit though…so I’ll have to get myself some cargo shorts for the extra pocket size. It also looks WAY sexier than those ugly sony lenses. Thanks for the correspondence Greg… I’m glad to be amongst the snobbish leica crew now. Martin[img]http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_lkhalvCl2O1qjcq5po1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ6IHWSU3BX3X7X3Q&Expires=1304442034&Signature=nINFMPyX3tMNwCaV4o2EmZZz5q8%3D[/img]

  2. Let me try again, at the risk of being included in the “dark entities”. Nice expression btw; apparently intended to include only yay sayers on this blog.


    I don’t like photographing the “poor and destitute”, as I mentioned before, with whatever equipment, open or stolen images. To me it feels like taking advantage of a (defenceless; he or she is not likely to come running after you) person without doing anything to improve that person’s situation. So I don’t do that. New York presented quite a few opportunities; I did not use them.

    We are not social documentary photographers like the ones in the past. The times have changed. All we get out of it are images which (in my view, photographically speaking) are less than interesting at best.

    The utterances about taking expensive equipment into possibly unsafe areas only add to the gap between the rich tourist (a passer-by) and the people in those areas (they are there to stay; your picture won’t change that).



    • Oh. I agreed with Stani, even though it was apparent he was a bit inebriated at the time. I got the gist of what he was trying to convey.

      • Michiel, you have agreed with Stanis but the funny thing is that Stanis has disagreed with himself the very next day! For which he’s got my respect. It takes some guts to admit being wrong in public.


    • Okay, but you are assuming that you know the situation! You are assuming that the subject is “poor and defenseless”. All of your comments are based on ASSUMPTION, that you know the situation, that the subject isn’t willing because of that split second moment in time that YOU interpret as being one situation! What if you’re wrong?

      There are many facets to a picture, there is what you see and then there’s the moment that you are being let into. Look deeper when you’re less drunk, and you might see something different, it’s called ‘being open to interpretation’. Don’t automatically assume that a situation is one way because only you see it that way. That is the reason we all make photographs, to provoke thought or to portray something that the photographer wants to show. That is our prerogative as the photographer and that is why we do it. Sometimes it works, sometimes less so and then of course there are times when the unexpected happens. To start making political assumptions about a situation based on one frame that you are a minute part of by proxy at best when you were sozzled (self-confessed mind you) is just……well it doesn’t really make sense and is in essence narrow-minded. Then there’s the assumption that the photographer is not “a social documentary photographer”, now you are attempting to dictate the the motive behind the photographer of whom you know NOTHING about! Don’t you see, you’re projection is floored on so many different levels and that’s because you are over-analyzing and more specifically….projecting views on a situation that you really know nothing about.

      Because you’ve been here to Rio bares no relevance whatsoever. You may have travelled across India but that does not make you qualified to tell people where they should point their camera and when to click. Some of the greatest photographs of our time involve the photographer having to detach themselves from the situation, I could list endless classics if you want…Verani Federico, Nick rain, Frankie Quinn (some of them are hanging on my wall at home) All but the last name mentioned aren’t even famous wartime photographers and can be found on flickr. Some of these photographs were made under difficult situations during the Belfast conflict and they are beautiful, not because they show what any one who’s had a few drinks want’s to see…but because they are real.

      It is a senseless debate when trying to tell a photographer what he or she should or should not show, when they should or shouldn’t take a picture and when you start getting into justifying what kind of gear they shouldn’t be using….it’s starts getting way to existential and out of control. Look at the winner of the ‘M9 Giveaway’ competition, it portrayed ‘Loss’ and was picked by My wife and Rankin. By general consensus of everyone here, it was the clear winner.

      They eye is at the discretion of it’s owner….they are merely photographs that do one of two things, either they have an effect emotionally or they don’t! You CANNOT force the hand of the photographer, it is called poetic license!


      • Wow… strong stuff!

        I was gonna say something to Michiel along the same lines. Maybe not as strongly as you did… but essentially same things. You’re much quicker than I am, ~6!

        It’s all about poetic license on the photographer’s end and the general fate of events on the other end. If the photographer, exercising his poetic license, has any ulterior motive of dubious nature — that’s between him and his conscience. If he’s any good at photography, the further fate of the image may be separate from his life and his motives. It could fly all over the world and do good even if he didn’t intend it in the first place. But then, who we are to determine someone’s intentions? I prefer to assume that everybody is good rather than assuming otherwise. At least in general situations and most certainly so when there is no substantial evidence. In India, which has been mentioned several times on this page already, there is a saying about bee-like people and fly-like people. The bees always hunt for nectar and the flies… well, everyone knows what they’re after.


        • Well Greg,
          strong stuff perhaps but Steve won’t say it so that leaves me. I’m in my hotel room being lazy and staying private while Steve is out there with other members of our crew making pictures. None of them went out saying “right, today we are going to go find some poor destitute looking individuals and exploit them”, they just went out!….period and by the way, they happened to have their cameras with them so they took what they saw.

          One of my favorite images from Steve’s tour is the one of the boy and girl in the street with a bicycle. The boy has a look on his face of “hey, what business do you have here taking my picture” whilst the girl has the look of “hey, you’re taking my picture, well guess what….I might as well look HOT as all hell so go on…take it, it lasts longer”. Both of them ultimately have a look of pride and therein lies the essence of reportage. I love this image for the conflict and tension because it is reality.

          Alternatively we could look at pictures of pretentious bokeh and vivid colour of the 28 Elmarit shot wide open and we could comment on whether or not it’s the camera back-focusing or the lens and if so, why does it not do the same on the Nocilux….or does it :-/

          I woke up this morning after an epic late night with Steve and our close nit group after having been out at Mario’s here in Rio. I took my M7 and 50 with me and some Neopan 1600 (yes, I still have some and bought every roll I could find). I will post them here and to my gallery when we get home as my lab is one of the few I trust.

          I’m having the time of my life performing here in this part of the world and there are a thousand images I take each night when I walk on stage with the most powerful capturing device of all…..my open mind. For all the ones I miss and for the ones I cannot see due to being a part of them, there’s Steve to take care of that.


          • Seal, I don’t mind strong stuff, it shows passion. Passion is good (except when it’s bad…)

            I like the ‘bicycle’ picture, too. Besides the mood of this shot I also like its composition. It’s very nicely framed from both sides, in my opinion, by man’s leg on the left and a half-open trash bin on the right. I think it contributes greatly to the mood of that picture.

            As for photographing ‘the destitute’ on the street, I do have some moments when I feel inappropriate to make a shot and other moments when I feel it’s OK. But nobody but myself can feel that for me or say to me if I could capture this or that scene. It’s my intuition and I have to rely on that alone. We have homeless and beggars here in Moscow, too. Sometimes I just give them something without taking a picture, sometimes I just pass by and sometimes I take pictures that I can’t forget. I’d like to share three pictures with you and others here that I love and cry over again and again.

            First one is of a small girl in Bombay. She approached me for money, her fake ‘mother’ standing nearby watching. I didn’t give her any money as I knew she wouldn’t benefit from that at all: the ‘mother’ would take everything and bring it to their mafia boss. So, I went to the nearest ice-cream vendor, got some ice-cream and made sure the girl finished it in my presence. I made a picture of her upon our initial contact. She was much happier afterwards. Here’s the picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gregshanta/4947234543/lightbox/

            Second one is of a religious beggar that we have plenty of in the streets of Moscow. I was just so taken by the beauty and the intensity of the scene I immediately pressed the button without even thinking. The beggar-lady didn’t even notice me: she was so absorbed in her trans-like state. I gave her some money and went away. Here’s the shot: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gregshanta/4948543872/lightbox/

            The third picture is of a crazy homeless girl who comes everyday to the same spot and sits in the same place in the same posture even. And she just observes the crowd for hours and hours. First, I was just watching her, day after day, then we managed to have some eye contact and she saw my camera. I could see that she didn’t care wether I take her picture or not. So I took it. Later that day I brought her something to eat but she didn’t even look at the food. This picture of her (and the Bombay girl’s) makes me cry every time I look. Here you go: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gregshanta/4947998269/lightbox/


      • Well “6”, I don’t know whose response your commenting on, but I am not and I wasn’t drunk when I posted my comments. I will “assume” for now that your observation was aimed at Stani, not at me. For the rest, it’s a difference of opinion (no harm in that) and a different approach (no harm in that either).



        • Well Michiel,

          Bar the being drunk bit, I was responding to your ranting quoted below and anyone else here who feels they have the right to tell people what they should and shouldn’t do with their camera 🙂

          “I don’t like photographing the “poor and destitute”, as I mentioned before, with whatever equipment, open or stolen images. To me it feels like taking advantage of a (defenceless; he or she is not likely to come running after you) person without doing anything to improve that person’s situation. So I don’t do that. New York presented quite a few opportunities; I did not use them”

          You see Brother, it’s the “So don’t do that” bit that I personally find a bit curly.
          Mate, you’re totally entitled to your opinion as I am mine, it’s one of the great things about this site but telling someone “so don’t do that” turns it into some kind of dictators soapbox and well….we just can’t have that.


          • “6”: Please read carefully. “I don’t do that”. It’s not an order directed at others, it’s a statement about what I do and don’t. An expression of an opinion therefore, not a rant.

            Careful reading might also allow you to distinguish between different posts. Just a thought.


          • Michiel,

            I was educated in England, I have reasonable command over my native tongue…I can read not only text, but the tone in which the point is being made.


          • “6”: Please don’t read anything into my post(s) that isn’t there. I was expressing my own opinion. Period.

            Christmas pic of Amsterdam added to pacify you.


          • @Greg: Thanks. The weelchair thing is just a fleeting image of a late winter afternoon, with light fading fast. The image creates slight tension (I think) because of the lines moving the eye in to the frame and the old couple moving out of the frame. That was intentional; any – deeper – meaning attached to the image later is unintentional.

            As with this one: I saw the triangle only when I saw the image on the screen.
            I hope I’m not messing up Steve’s Rio report here… 😉

          • Michiel, that’s exactly what I was uncomfortable with — the tension, the conflict of movement. If it was intentional, I respect that… but I’m still uncomfortable. The ‘triangle’ picture looks good and balanced to me. But anyway, this is just my dilettante opinion. Don’t pay much attention to it.

            As for messing up Steve’s report, after all my posts you can relax. Most damage is already done by me. Sorry, Steve!

            But seriously, I like the way Steve’s blog is vibrating with all kinds of passions and genuine emotions. It’s becoming like a club or a community of some sort that is very vibrant and nice to be in. I wish it wasn’t virtual and we could actually get together and have the same kind of exchanges in person. But hey, we live in a virtual global village now and that’s the reality of it. After all, most of us wouldn’t even know of each other’s existence if not for the Internet and people like Steve who put together great blogs which turn into communities. And people like Seal who give away their Leicas and take people like Steve along on their tours, thus providing inspiration to all. Great stuff is happening here, don’t you think?


        • I didn’t read all your posts, Michiel, so I didn’t know anything about you confessing to being drunk or not. I just had to take Seal’s words for granted there. But what I wanted to say to you but didn’t say because Seal already spoke about it, was along the lines of poetic license and intuition and trust in people’s good intentions. About being honest and true to one’s heart. And having the bee-mentality. Those kind of things.


          • Cheers Greg!


            P.s.: you don’t need to read my post(s) at all. Just don’t put meaning into them that wasn’t there.

          • Did I, Michiel? I don’t recall interpreting any of your words whatsoever… I just said about the things I wanted to talk about. There wasn’t any interpretation of what you said.

            Some (if not all) of my thoughts could be more of a general reflection on things being said here. I try not to blame anyone of anything and not to suspect anyone, either. ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ is my favourite song and ‘Live and let live’ is my favourite motto.

            Nice picture, the ‘flowers’ one. I didn’t quite dig the wheelchair one, though.


  3. Hey Steve. Great photos. Santa Teresa will be a great option for some shooting. I live in Rio and have just bought a nex-5 body… waiting for it to arrive next week. Want to buy the smallest, most pocketable, 25 to 40mm prime .. any ideas? If you want to meet up, send me an email.

    • Themartist, you may want to try the Minolta M-Rokkor 40mm f/2 or its sibling Leica Summicron C 40/2. I tried it on my friend’s Nex-5 and I was very pleased with the results. Both those lenses are almost identical optically. Minolta is said to be a tad better due to better coating. Size and appearance wise they are virtually the same, very small and well built. They are not so easy to find but they pop up every now and then on eBay or KEH. Price for mint condition should be around $400 to $600.


      • Greg man. You got me right about being in bad mood. I was bit tipsy when typing trying to cope with my pain, not in my ass but in my hipbone I broke three month ago and that still gives me a shits. Immagine dear friend, me the guy that some thirty years ago walked barefoot and hiked from Calcutta to Rameshwaram then to Kania Kumari and back to Manali, now is humping like old nerd, which I am by the way. Yes guys, get the best stuff that can get you to the point where making the world more human and happy proves you made good investment. By the way SteveHuff, nice and powerfull opening shot in your blog from 21th March. Cheers friends

  4. Awesome set Steve! Definitely the most compelling set of photos of yours for me. This was particularly special as Rio was my other hometown. I spent ages 1 – 6 in Sao Paolo and 6 – 13 in Rio.

    And very very gutsy taking the M9 out there. Or just roaming around! During my last visit to Rio, I witnessed two muggings.

  5. Steve, I absolutely love the old guy and the statue shot! It’s perfect is all respects: composition, mood, light, tone, humour, everything! The graffiti shot is my second favourite.

    Be careful out there, please! It’s no joke, really. I’ve heard many sad stories of people losing their gear in Latin American cities. All in broad daylight. I love looking at your pictures but not at the price of you losing your camera. If you can’t resist the urge, use your black X1 instead, if you have it with you. Or borrow Seal’s GXR if he’ll be willing to part with it for a while (which I have a feeling may be too heartbreaking for him…). But still, be careful. Sometimes those guys hit first and then take their loot and run. Those are not just horror stories but real life. The hell with the pictures; safety is number one priority!


    • Geeweez, Greg. You didn`t react to my remarks on photographing with disposables in high immaginary risk zones and the sweaty palms gripping your 5K baby when some nasty dudes eyeing you, with you praying that the bloody mugger haven´t read in Pop Phot how much your gear`s worth. I am so happy I helped to spread some paranoia between the gear lovers, yoohoo. I gives happy snappers some thrill. Like going down some dingy underground passage wondering if you will make it as a virgin after all. I personally, when photing in Ucraina, used to say my M6 is a Zorkij6 but it was civilised country. They knew what Zorki was. But in western hemisphere? boy you lost! So Gregorian, keep on snapping in Moscow telling the rough boys it`s Leningrad and wsio budiet` priajatno. Cheerson Stasik

      • I haven’t even that faintest idea what you’re talking about. All manner of fatalistic code that only you seem to understand. If you want to make yourself useful, our PicOrTwo pics have a button whereby you can donate money to our chosen charities. It’s pretty cool actually, we take pictures and show the world through our eyes, you receive them and if you get the urge to feed the starving families that you were talking about…you can do something about it instead of being bitter about the cost of Steve’s camera gear. Easy!


      • Stanis, I didn’t react to your ‘disposable camera’ post because I sensed some negative tone there which I didn’t like. I don’t mind anyone shooting with any expensive gear if they can afford it. What’s wrong with that? You work hard (and smart!) and then you get rewarded and you get yourself some gear that you can afford. Sounds fine to me.

        As for using costly things while some people starve in some other part of the world, I think if you really serious about that then you should be ashamed of virtually anything you own and take for granted, living in the West. That would include your telephone, your clothes, your evening bear, your dog or cat food (if you have pets) and even your old armchair in your living room. Not to mention your car, your TV set and stereo…

        I’ve seen extreme poverty and I can tell you that even my Casio watch or my cheap Nokia phone or a pocket knife will be considered extreme luxuries over there. I was once in India, actually returning back to Russia from there and I forgot to put my little Victorinox pocket knife in my check-in luggage. When the Customs guy saw it he suggested I threw it away as it was not allowed as a carryon item. I tried to respectfully disagree stating that I paid about $100 for it and was not exactly in the mood of disposing of it. The Customs guy was totally puzzled and amused and, laughing his heart out, he said that we western people are crazy if we’re paying $100 for an item that is hardly worth $5. I think he was right but we have these standards in the West and this is our life. I believe we shouldn’t be ashamed of anything but be good and try to help others in the best way we can. There are plenty of opportunities to do good without going crazy about our lifestyles. And if we really want to go crazy about it, out of true shame and compassion, we should go all the way and become like St. Francis.

        I bought my M9 with the last money I had and I am not ashamed of owning it. Most people own cars and big TVs but I don’t have those things. I have my M9 and some lenses instead. This is my life. I try to help others any way I can and my M9 doesn’t disqualify me of that capacity.

        Lastly, I don’t think Steve’s photography was or could have been affected by whatever feeling you ascribe to him and he could have done better using some cheap camera. This is pure negativity, Stanis. Steve is a good photographer and, to my understanding, quite a brave guy, actually. He’s heard those scary rumors about safety and he still went out with his camera to shoot in the street. And he managed to make some really good shots.


        • Okey Greg. I suppose I got what I deserved. Sorry for sounding negative, offensive or envious to you and other guys. Looks like I overstepped some llines. Of course, anyone could cut me off telling me to stay away from forum if I didn`t liked it. I guess I got carried away in a fabulating way, maybe in order to put some existentional lighter/sombrer angle to business of street shooting. I know there are all sorts of people living their passion through the stuff they love. Motobikes, antic cars, whatches, boats you name it. And they dont`t have to be necessarily well of people, if for nothing else just because many put all their spare cash in their dreams. Maybe my dumb writting was a result of a reaction to a trend of gloryfing in quasi religius terms adoration of sct.Noctiluxes and sct.Summiluxes. Well, it`s everybodys right to be religious. I hope I didn`t looked telling people what they should do with their stuff. Like `6 said “there`s button”, I could sell my M6 and donate. Sorry it ended in that direction. It was not my aim. I plainly got carried away as I see that even my attached photos of mr. Tichy and his disposable camera, wasn`t at all philosofical and humorous in manys eyes.. Anybody who would care to read about him would discover a truly moving and human story behind this guy. So Greg, I like your remarks for being lighthearted and cheerfull while living in a tough world, combining the technoknowledge with human existentional angle. The world changes so will I. Hopefully for better. Cheers. Stanis
          p.s. a propos your Viktorinox story. In Poland in old commie days, two cars crash. One, big Cadillac, another small polish made Micro. The drivers get out and the owner of polish one starts wailing over the loss of a car he had to work whole his life. Evidently embarrassed american turist said he was so sorry for him and the he added wistfully- did your really have to buy such expensive car?

          • Hi Stanis! I am very glad to read this post of your’s. Actually, yesterday I wanted to say to ~6 and others that you’re a nice guy and were just in a bad or peculiar mood or something (as we all happen to be from time to time.) But then I thought who am I to know and speak about other person’s state of mind. So, I didn’t say anything. And I am glad I was right in what I wanted to say. I want to shake your hand but, alas, we’re in the cyberspace where handshakes can only be symbolic and virtual.

            I think I understand your indignation about religious affection of some people (myself included) to certain glass and brass objects. Well, there are a few things that determine that, some dangerous, some quite harmless.

            I think, by our very nature we humans are inclined to three good things: beauty, eternity and perfection. Whenever we see any even remote resemblance of those qualities in an object, event or a person we naturally get excited. And that’s OK. After all, we’re in a quest for the highest good, even if we end up being excited about some very small representation of it. So, we love our Leica glass and cameras, our Victorinox knives, our Apple computers, iPads, Bentley cars or whatever. Those are good things and they represent, in minute proportions, those great qualities of life we aspire for.

            The only bad thing about it is that sometimes our innocent excitement turns into some form of obsession. And that’s where the ‘religious bug’ starts creeping in. We’re all guilty in one way or another of being affected by that bug, in one form or another. So, I say, we should take it easy, both on ourselves and others, too. Actually, this is the only cure for the bug. To be lighthearted about it and laugh upon ourselves when we catch it inside our brain.

            Another thing is: those seemingly perfect things won’t make us perfect, won’t make us take better pictures or, in case of expensive pens (another popular fetish), make us right great poetry or the next Anna Karenina. But the point is, they won’t prohibit us of doing all those great things or becoming better persons, either — if we have a capacity for that. So, who cares? You want to enjoy some gadgets — enjoy them and feel good about it. Don’t want to enjoy them — then don’t, and feel good about it, too. Things don’t make or break human spirit. Basta.

            OK, that ‘basta’ was actually meant for my philosophical rambling. All I wanted to say to myself and others was “Go and watch again that timeless ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ video and don’t sweat the small stuff!” Noctilux or what not. Love is all you need!

            I know about Miroslav Tichy. I like some of his pictures but not all. And I don’t care what camera he is shooting with. His DIY camera looks weird to me and I think he was somewhat crazy and actually preferred that camera to ready-made one. He could surely afford some cheap film camera. I’ve read his story. Now imagine if he’d be just some guy in a suit taking same kind of pictures he did. Would anybody be interested? That’s a good question. I don’t know, honestly…

            Actually, Tichy is my namesake. Our last names mean the same thing: ‘peaceful’.


            P.S. Apropos of your Cadillac/Micro story. Years ago I had a friend in the U.S. and he drove an old WV Beetle. Once he was driving in L.A. and, being somewhat absent-minded that day, smashed full-beetle-speed into some guy’s brand new Rolls-Royce that was parked on the street, its owner standing beside it. The Beetle may be a crappy car but it’s quite strong. So, the Rolls-Royce was hopelessly ruined. My friend wasn’t injured but he was scared to come out imagining what the other guy would do or at least say to him for destroying his quarter-of-a-million-dollar baby. So, he remained in his contorted Beetle, motionless. The other guy, naturally surprised, to say the least, first stood numb gazing at what was his Rolly just moments ago. Then he turned and started moving toward my friend’s car with an indecipherable expression on his face. My friend braced himself for the worst. But the guy came up to his car and asked him in a totally calm, or rather, concerned voice: “Are you OK there? Are you hurt? Do you need any help?” My friend then came out of his car and assured the guy he was fine. They talked and my friend found out that this guy actually just purchased that Rolls-Royce that very day! And yet he was so calm and friendly and caring. Nice story, isn’t it? Victory of human nature over expensive gear!

  6. Location, location, location. Great location and great shots. I totally agree the M9 is a great street machine! Have fun the rest of the way. Looking forward to more concert stuff. You have a nak for the emotional shots which is missing in a lot of concert shooting.

  7. Great shots as always Steve, I can clearly see you’re having a good time in Brazil!
    One question: you feel a black M9 is better for street photography? I like the looks for the steel grey version, but my brain says black…

    • Bjorn, I vote for black! Black is way more practical. Your brain gives you the right advice, I think.

      I even tape all the logos with black tape and I have my back screen turned off at all times. Black M9 is an absolutely perfect camera for street. Nobody, not even photographers can tell it from an old film camera unless closely examined. Look at my comment above. People just refuse to believe it’s a digital camera.

      Grey is more cool, but black is a great tool! Depends on what you’re looking for…


      • Thank you Greg!
        I’m looking for a great tool, so the black M9 really does make more sense in that respect. It’s the age-old debate between the heart and the head, but I guess when spending this kind of money, rationality is more important than just liking the look of the steel grey version.
        I might turn out making my mind up last minute, in the store in Solms…

        Thanks again,

        • Good luck with your purchase, Bjorn!

          I remember the feeling when I first got my M9. It was really the thrill of a lifetime! I couldn’t believe my eyes seeing it in my hands and I couldn’t believe my hands feeling it; and couldn’t believe my mind saying to me: “Yes, this dream camera is your’s now!”

          Now I am long cured of the euphoria. It’s no longer a fetish as it was in my anticipation and my initial impression of it. It’s become a great, indispensable tool for exploring my vision. I don’t care anymore how fancy it is or how expensive or fashionable. It serves the purpose, period. The money is long gone and forgotten (money is a fluid substance, anyway…) and I value my M9 for its usefulness and reliability. I don’t care about its financial value. I even welcome each new scratch as it makes my M9 more worn and trusty, like my old slippers. Feels much better than new!

          I wanted to get the grey one, too, initially. But I got lucky: the store only had a black version at the time I was ready to buy. I never regretted I got the black one and I’m sure I would have with the grey one.


  8. The massage on the beach shot is absolute magic. If that was the only photo you took on the entire trip you nailed it right there. A lot of the other shots are fantastic as well but that shot would overshadow even the best of ‘merely’ great shots. The woman’s cooing expression. The blue time of day. Tits. Hello. What else do you need? Love these. Be careful down there, though. Seriously.

  9. Well, Glad you didn’t get robbed. There is no way in hell I would take even my EP2 out in public in Rio.
    I work for a Major airline and can tell you I know several people who have been robbed in broad daylight in very public shopping areas. They don’t care. This goes for most big South American cities. I don’t know what you look like but I stick out like a sore thumb with blonde hair and that makes a difference if you can blend in.

  10. Why did you bother, you guys with your M9s that each one could feed a poor family in a year shooting in a place that gave you creeps about beeing robbed. That feeling influenced the quality of your pictures, that`s evident. You could do much better with couple of disposals bought for a dime.

    • Disagree. The M9 was made for street shooting. You need a camera that just works, that is an extension of your hand and yet relatively discreet. The M9 does not look like an expensive camera. If Steve were carrying an EOS 1. Yes, but I don’t think many people realize that an m9 is even a digital camera.

      • Yes! Funny but I often get that question (“Is that a film camera?”) even AFTER I show them the picture on M9’s screen! I then put a concerned look on my face, light the screen again and show the picture again without saying a word. Then I watch as, gradually coming out of disbelief, the person’s face lights up with a tinge of realization: “What? A digital… Really?..”


      • Here`s my street shooter hero nr.ONE and his fave camera. If you can beat it let me know

          • I get your point Stani. Guys with 10k plus cameras photographing the poor and destitute and worrying if they’ll make it home to the Marriott in on epiece that night, with their prized possession. Makes you wonder.

          • Some of this thinking is just pathetic.

            I’ve been to Rio. There is a dearth of street images of Rio anywhere because of the inherent dangers of a tourist pulling out even a point&shoot in that environment. That’s a terrible reality that the government and people of Brazil are I’m sure doing their best to address before the pending world cup and 1016 Olympics. But it’s been such a long standing situation that cripples this amazing city’s ability to properly present itself to people who want to visit there and prevents the Brazilians from capitalizing on tourism in a way that would benefit the people all the way up to the favelas. I think it’s very brave of Steve and whomever else is pulling out an M9 and Leica glass on the streets of Rio to bring 18 megapixel Leica images out of that incredible city.

            Keep it up, Steve. You’ve got balls, gear, and opportunity. Continue to take advantage of it all. And when you get back, weed the membership ranks here to eliminate the dark entities.

          • All I remember is how enticing Rio sounded when the Doobie Brothers sang their Rio song back in the 1970’s. Okay. I’m showing my age now. LOL!

    • LOL! Such a contrast shooting with expensive cameras in a impoverished area, but a valid point. One thing I did notice, a lot of glares. It must have been intense photographing people there. Having to duck into a store due to possible M9 grabbing would definitely ruin the street-shooting mood. But I’m sure they get a lot of tourists and are used to people taking pictures.

  11. Great shots Steve and I really like the title shot in B&W of the waiter. Rio is an amazing city. Relatively safe is Copacabana crowd at night with artists and their beautiful paintings; could offer nice photo opportunities for M9 + Noctilux

  12. Hi Steven! I’m following your travel to Latin America and I loved the pictures! I’m the one from São Paulo that bought a M9 and Lens thanks to you ;] I’m glad that you liked Rio, it is just a wonderful city, besides the security problem. I really expect to see the photos of my city, São Paulo. There is not the natural wonders like Rio, but I think you will be surprise, it is big metropole and such a great city to live… Go around Paulista Avenue, Ibirapuera Park, Liberdade (it is a chinese neighbourhood) The place that I live, called Jardins, is near Paulista Avenue and it is a pleasant place. A very old bridge called ‘”Viaduto do Chá” is in downtown (be careful there, because is just commercial). Go to google and check the pictures of it. São Paulo is more secure than Rio, but you must take care, as always.
    Your pictures are amazing… I liked to see Rio throughout your eyes. By the way, regarding the statue of one of the pictures, here it is a brief of the person represented by it. He used to sit at that place and observe the life…
    I don’t known if you like poems, but I find some in english.
    Good luck, Salete


    An archivist at the Ministry of Education in Rio de Janeiro, Carlos Drummond de Andrad has provoked more passionate discussion and a wider range of differing interpretations than any other modern poet in Brazil. Certainly the most important voice in the second phase of the Modernist Movement in Brazil. He was grateful for little things, wants to live and love “without mystification”. After a generation of constant literary growth, Drummond has achieved in his poetry a perfect fusion of sensibility and reason: that is the history of this genius.

    In a corner of the drawing room was an album
    of unbearable photographs,
    Many meters high and infinite minutes old,
    Over which everyone leaned
    To make fun and to laugh at the dead in frock coats.

    A worm began to eat the indifferent frock coats,
    And he ate the pages, the dedications, and even
    the dust on the pictures.

    The only thing he did not eat was the inmortal
    sob of life
    Which broke from those pages.

    You cannot communicate poetry.
    Keep still in your corner.
    Do not love.

    I hear that there is shooting
    Within reach of our body.
    Is it a revolution? is it love?
    Say nothing.

    Everything is possible, only I am impossible.
    The sea overflows with fish.
    There are men who walk on the sea
    As though they walked in the street.
    Do not tell.

    Suppose that an angel of fire
    Swept the face of the earth
    And the sacrificed men
    Asked for mercy.
    Beg nothing.

    Come on, don´t cry…
    Childhood is lost.
    Youth is lost.
    But life is not lost.

    The first love is over.
    The second love is over.
    The third love is over.
    But the hurt goes on.

    You have lost your best friend.
    You haven´t tried any traveling.
    You won no house, ship, or land.
    But you look at the sea.

    You haven´t written the perfect book.
    You haven´t read the best books
    Nor have you love music enough.
    But you own a dog.

    A few harsh words,
    In a low voice, have hurt you,.
    Never, never have they healed.
    But what about humor?

    There is no resolution for injustice.
    In the shadow of this wrong world
    You have whispered a timid protest.
    But others will come.

    All summed up, you should
    Throw yourself — once and for all — into the waters.
    You are naked on the sand, in the wind…
    Sleep, my son.

    Compiled by Antonio Miranda.

  13. Nice shots of Rio…
    Steve, you saw a lot of action in the last week…makes me think of Jack Bauer in 24!!!


  14. I love visiting Brazil, Rio especially. Here are some of my walk abouts during one of my recent trips with my M9, most of the images taken with my Summicrron 90mm.
    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Brazil 01.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Brazil 02.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Brazil 03.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Brazil 04.jpg[/img]

  15. Steve, interesting photos! Also, glad to learn you’re safe. I would have thought that one needn’t be shy about street photography in a tourist destination. Photography in public is not a crime. Maybe it’s a cultural thing? Say if you were in Japan snapping photos would you feel any different?

  16. Steve

    Great shots of Rio.

    Try the Noctilux with Steve’s M9 to see if there is any difference in how it renders an image.


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