More street photography in Recife Brazil

Street Shooting in Recife Brazil

It’s Monday morning back at home, 6AM to be exact, but here I am in Recife Brazil with the sound of the ocean roaring from my hotel window, and I am in bed watching news while I write this update. Outside the sun is blazing, the humidity is high and I think I am staying in my room all day to get caught up on e-mails, photo editing, and some good old R&R. I may venture down tio the lobby for lunch and a snack because I am already feeling my stomach growl as it begs me for some breakfast. Who knows, I may get adventurous today and venture up to the pool on the 15th floor and enjoy a coconut water..mmmmm, sounds good.

The day we arrived here in Recife I went out with Steve from the road crew, who also shoots an M9 with a 50 Lux Pre-ASPH lens, and we had a great time shooting, talking, discovering the sights, sounds, smells and people of this part of Brazil. The people of Recife are friendly, and LOVE having their photos taken! We felt a bit more at ease here than we did in Rio so we just wandered around for 3 hours taking shots. It was hot as hell outside and I came away with a sunburn but also managed to get some great shots.

These images may not be to everyones tastes, or the street shooting “purists” who feel that if you are not copying HCB then you are not doing real street shooting. What we went out to do was to just shoot what we saw, as we walked, with our main focus on the people of Racife. Here are my humble attempts…a mix of color and B&W. All shot with the Leica M9 and 50 Summicron. Enjoy 🙂

The next and last stop for me while on this tour will be Mexico City, Mexico which we travel to tomorrow. We will be there for a couple of days and I hope to get some shooting in there as well. Friday I will be flying back home to Phoenix, and as much as I am enjoying myself here I am happy to get back my own own house, and to be back with my loved ones.

I will be posting a couple more guest articles this week along with the last Seal tour reports from the South American tour. When I get back home I will be working on getting the Fuji X100 for review as well as organizing the next SteveHuffPhoto.Com Contest, with another GREAT prize 🙂 Stay Tuned!

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  1. Good afternoon,

    Very good compositions, the day you have the opportunity to come to Sao Paulo,
    I’m sure that will take beautifull pictures.

    Sao Paulo is the land of black and white!

  2. Nice shots Steve. It gives me a good impression of your experiences being there. Ad that’s what it’s all about, to me at least. Who cares what ‘street photography’ ought to be anyway?

    Btw I also enjoyed the GXR shots. Interesting style. And nice to hear so many people here are enjoying the K5. I love it too. It is with me always.

  3. Great to see the K-5 getting some love on here. I picked up the Silver with the 43 limited in silver and it’s certainly a beautiful camera that takes fantastic pictures. Now if I could just improve my “eye” a bit to match the capability of the camera, but that’s all part of the fun.

  4. Steve:

    I love, love, love the shot of the smoking girl and the guy holding up his hand. They show a lot of personality and an impeccably balanced composition!


  5. Seal:

    That’s a very cool point about the EVF working on the 45, I would have never thought of that! You’re very sneaky! You just gave me an idea, I think I will get a small optical prism from Edmund Scientific and glue it to the camera hole of my iPhone 4 case. This way I could snap candid shots on the phone while looking down like an old rolleiflex. I’m not joking, I’m really gonna try to work this out.

    Unless Nikon does something stunning next week with the new mirrorless, I will get a GXR with the M-mount when it is released.

    Right now I’m at the airport now coming home from a gig and in my pocket I have a GRD3 with the aforementioned GV-2 viewfinder and the full body Ricoh leather case: totally old school:


    • Good Morning Ashwin and Levent (cool name).

      Getting ready to head to Mexico city this morning and I thought I’d send an ooc jpeg from the Ricoh using the miniature filter.



      • Here’s another of the same subject taken with the 28 module. The first was with the 50.

        • …just a couple more Ricoh gxr 28mm shots…

        • Seal:

          Levent is my real first name and to be honest it was not a cool name to have when growing up in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York in the 1960s and 1970s. But when I became a professional magician 30 years ago, the name sounds like a stage name a magician might use, so today it is very cool!

          Regarding your shots with the new “miniature” filter, I could not help but think that IF that GXR filter could be used with the 5 second interval timer and if you locked the GXR on a tripod, you could possibly simulate the look of the tilt-shift movies that Keith Loutit has recently made famous. Such a movie might look amazing if Steve Huff mounted the Ricoh GXR and 28mm module on a high rafter with a GorrilaPod during your concert (don’t forget to gaffers tape the gorillapod to the pole as we can’t trust a $20 tripod to protect a $1000 camera)!

          Check out

          P.S. Still looking for the optical prism to modify my iphone 4 into a stealth cam 🙂

  6. Elaine:

    Yes, Vivian Maier was a brilliant street photographer. Her technique and touch with the camera was awesome. But what I admire the most about her is that she seemed to do it just for the love of the art. Suprisingly the fates would not have her muse go unrecognized and so posthumously we all know about her work. But somehow, I don’t think fame was that important to her. She is a case of the ultimate amateur: one who loves!


  7. Seal:

    If you don’t mind me asking: On the GXR are you using the EVF, the LCD or did you put an optical viewfinder in the hotshoe?

    On another note: the funny thing about being an entertainer is that no matter how beat up you feel, the moment the spotlight hits you and you are talking on the mike, all the pain goes away. Then next morning however is a different story 🙂


    • Levant,

      I have the old optical 28mm VF from the GRD which is GREAT for the 28 module obviously but I don’t use it due to the EVF being so good for every module. I used it today because the sunlight here in Recife was so blindingly bright today.
      The EVF also affords me the ability to frame at a 45 degree angle so it’s not so imposing when pointing at people, I use this feature a lot.


      P.s. I love this system so much that it may be the one system I take with me a week from now when we head to South Africa, it’s that good.

  8. Don’t know if you guys have any Ricoh’s with you in Brazil, but if so, you should know that the promised function enhancing firmware updates for the GXR & GRD3 went live on Ricohs site today.


    • Great images as always Steve.

      these aren’t going to change your world as I’m not really in the mood for taking photos today, in fact I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck due to going too hard over the last few days. Anyway, I posted some GXR snaps on my mobileme gallery using some of the new filters brought about by the firmware version 1.33 update. I LOVE THIS CAMERA and I’m so glad that I brought it with me for those moments where I don’t feel like wasting film due to my being uninspired.

      • `6, you just gave me a significat case of gear lust in a while with those shots, despite you considering them to be ordinary. Contrary to what you say, those are very cool, inspiring captures. It’s love to see how you see, and I am impressed….who needs an M9, right ?!?! hahah…

        By the way, I am curious what you are doing to process the images? It’s an impressive technique….

        Also, how do you see the GXR fitting into your kit? Does it sit alongside the M9, used only for happy snaps? Does it serve as a serious photographic tool if needed? I know that you and Steve both have this. I opted for the K5 (for AF and those lovely FA and DA primes), but now wonder if a GXR may be in my future?

        One last question: How do you find the GXR’s optional EVF? Is the resolution adequate? I have only so far been impressed with the EVF of the Panasonic GH2, which is built in, and am not sure how the GXR’s one fares…


        • Hi Ashwin,
          it’d be cool to meet you one of these days, you seem like a great guy. Thanks for liking my images but they really aren’t that good in my opinion, I really didn’t put a whole lot of effort into photographing today. I find I don’t really have much respect for my images if I don’t work hard for them and I most certainly didn’t for these.
          However it is interesting that you ask about my post processing technique as it made me chuckle. It reminded me of a point I was trying to make here a couple of months ago about disliking spending time peepeeing in front of an LCD screen. I still despise it as it takes away from my passion which is making photos. It’s not that I can’t do it, actually I’ve become a bit of a dab hand at it over time but I would just rather be doing something else. Anyway, I digress.

          The short answer to your first question is ‘sweet F.A’ (ask an Englishman for that translation if you’re imagination fails you). It was actually my reasoning for posting the images you saw. Someone asked about the new firmware that was posted by Ricoh today which I was really excited about because among a whole list of improvements came five new filter effects. Most of the images are with the ‘high-contrast b/w’ filter straight straight out of camera jpegs!

          It’s one of the reasons I love the GXR, because like the Leica’s I don’t feel the need to do anything to the file other than the very basics. Now that RIcoh have added these filters to the GXR it has become even more of a spectacular little camera and it’s why I chuckled when you asked what pp techniques I used. Another reason I love the M9 is because of the vintage filter which is just sublime. I would send people images from it all the time and they would ask the same question, ‘what pp did you use on this?’
          There used to be the school of thought that RAW should always be used because jpegs aren’t professional. Whilst that may have been true at one point it is hogwash now at least for me. I’d rather get it right in the camera which I guess comes from my film background.

          To answer another of your question, I generally bring the Ricoh with me when I take my M7Ti or MPTi with me as an additional digital option which is what I did on this trip. I have in the past and will in the near future take it as my only option on a trip because the 50 is superb and the 28 almost equally so in addition to being my favoured wide option over a 35. Given that the 50 is also a macro I have pretty much all I would ever need to get whatever I’d want to photograph.
          The EVF is great and certainly as good if not better than the one on the GH2 (I bought that camera and it didn’t even last half a day with me…I hated it). The best EVF I’ve ever used was on the Sony SLT a55. What a superb camera, one that my wife loves but she’s opted for the 7D and the 17~55 f/2.8. She doesn’t like complicating matters and takes excellent photographs.
          Another comparison would be the EVF on the Oly E-P2 which is excellent, the Ricoh is roughly about the same quality/pixel pitch as that. It has a huge diopter dial on the top which is cool.

          In short Ashwin, it TOTALLY serves as a legitimate photographic tool that I would not hesitate taking solely on a trip with the two modules worth talking about (leave the zooms alone).

          I have to say that I was also quite chuffed to see that you, like myself, am in love with the K5. To me it is the finest unsung hero of all DSLR’s period! So much so that I just ordered the limited silver edition and lenses to match. They should be waiting for me when I get home. I’ve had the black for a while which I bought after reading Steve’s review but I will sell that. The only reason people don’t talk about this camera more is that those who’ve never picked it up don’t realise just how compact and powerful it is. It has become my sole DSLR option and I will probably take it as a sole option when Steve and our crew visit SA in a couple of weeks. Since owning it I went back and bought the old film Pentax ME SE, they are tiny, smaller than an me with the FA limiteds attached and of course they resume their actual focal length. If you get the chance pick one up from, they’re about $100~150 for an excellent plus condition. What a steal with a big bright VF and a really interesting and effective aperture priority/shutter priority mode.

          I have recently become a Leica ambassador and one of the things I’ll be doing is an exhibition and a couple of coffee table books of my photographs. Lots of film and digital images over the years. I’ll feel much better about taking praise or indeed sh*t for those rather than the snaps made today solely for the purpose of illustrating how great the new filters are in the GXR update but thanks anyway.

          Lastly, if you’re wondering whether to add the GXR to your list of gear, from one gear addict to another….a resounding YES! There’s no such thing as too much gear.


          • Thanks, Seal! I feel entirely likewise. It would be great to meet you someday soon. Let me know what your schedule is, and we can figure it out (Steve has my email…hahah). .First off, congrats on being appointed a Leica Ambassador. What an honor, and you of all individuals are befitting of this award and designation.

            It would be fun to join Steve and you on your amazing photo excursions, and thank you very much for your detailed response. You are always welcome to my home here in Seattle if life and career bring you out here anytime soon. I’d happily show you some of the best eateries in town (being a foodie is another “hobby” of mine…not as kind on the waist as is photography, though…hahah). The joy that you bring to the lives of so many is clearly reflected in the images that Steve and you have shared, as well as the passion by which you pursue your career and support your friends and family. Count me as TOTALLY impressed. Hopefully one day, I can claim to have acheived this type of existence!

            Awesome that those images came straight out of the camera/in-camera filters. While I think I may enjoy the post-production/tinkering with photos process more than you, it’ll be a great day to discover in-camera filters that do what I want them to….so far, I haven’t found quite what I am looking for, but seeing your results with the GXR, I gotta say, “Sweet F.A.!!!” hahah…It’s funny that I have owned the M9 for over nearly a year and a half, and never yet have shot a single JPEG with it or used any of the filters. I will have to give the vintage filter a try for the moments when I don’t want to come home and work a ton on the photos!

            Great news to hear your experiences of the GXR. I am very excited that the EVF is high quality, and that the 28/50 combo (one of my favs) does so well. With the introduction of that M lens adapter module later this year, this may become a killer secondary system for the M (or even a stand alone system, as you described)….28 and 50 is all most people would need for the street and landscape work…

            I am a bit disappointed that your wife got the 7D…hahah, just kidding. Once she sees your silver K5, she may change her mind. I shot Canon (1DIII, 5DII) for nearly 4 years and just sold it all off, as the system was too bulky. Not only is the K5 smaller, better built (gives the 1DIII a run for its money, & puts the 5DII to shame), but those fantastic primes and the retro stylings are positively sweet F.A. as well ;). I am excited to see what you think of the silver once you get back home….I bet it will be awesome. I sort of wish that I had waited to get the silver model, but the black is doing well for me, and matches my M9’s color stylings…Thanks for the tip on the Pentax ME SE. I am going to head over to KEH after this to check those out and see if I can snag one…It’d be nice to have a film camera in that family again, as well as one that can show me what the FA limiteds can do on a full frame view.

            Congrats again on becoming a Leica Ambassador. That should have happened a long time ago, but it’s a just and timely award and reward. Once the coffee table books come out, I’ll be the first to buy them! You are truly a gentleman for taking the time to answer me so thoroughly….

            And you are right, that GXR itch has just gotten much itchier thanks to you…haha….No such things as too much gear! Right on!

            Thanks, again!

  9. Hi…I danced with Seal in São Paulo, could you send just one picture fo this amazing moment of my life, please????
    thank you.

    • Unfortunately I did not get a shot of that in Sao Paulo. I am guessing it was the last song or close to it because two songs before the end I was WIPED out! Plus, my battery was very low and there was no way for me to get back up front. I did get a shot of a girl dancing with Seal in Recife though…I’m sorry!

  10. Wow, cool. A different style for you, Steve. Reminds me a bit of your homeless series from a few years back. The focus and rendering is different that your concert shots, and there’s more of an earthiness here that I enjoy. I wanted to ask you how you are changing up your game? I like it!

  11. Hey Steve,

    how do you cope with the difference of temperature/humidity for the M9 and lenses, when getting out there? Isn’t the equipment cooled down by the A/C in the hotel and moist can ruin the electronics inside?

    Thanks, Frank

    PS: Big fan of your site, reviews, photos

  12. Hey, but i see you didnt go to Olinda “Alto da Sé”…
    Do not miss it!!
    Youll have fantastic shots there!
    And things better than coconut water! haha

    • We were supposed to go, and I wanted to, but it was a 30 min taxi ride and we ended up running out of time. If I would have remembered I would have went this morning but felt like more of a relaxing day in as I got too much sun the last two days. Hopefully I can come here again and see Olinda.

  13. Its funny i have discovered your blog and became a leica lover, and now you’re taking some excellent shots of my city with a M!!
    The woman (or man), on the road, i’ve already seen walking by the city.. =PP
    But im trying to know the other places you photographed..
    Ps.: i missed the show… familiar problems =/
    Ill keep the tickets to remember.

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