Menina na Favela

Vila Cruzeiro is one of the many "favelas" that belong to the Complexo do Alemão, one of the most socially stigmatized areas of Rio de Janeiro.
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Vila Cruzeiro is one of the many "favelas" that belong to the Complexo do Alemão, one of the most socially stigmatized areas of Rio de Janeiro.
In spite of the violence and extreme poverty, children play in the streets, unaware and happy. People are simple and mostly kind. They know that drug trafficking dominates the area, so they play along, trying to survive and living a normal life.

This little girl captivated me. Her deep look and innocence while playing with her doll made me spent more than an hour around her, taking photos and trying to communicate with her.

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Hero Award
Winner in Story behind people Photo Challenge
Peer Award
Egoryan ninayakar julesdesmet livioferrari rafalmieczkowski
Top Choice
nataliasitkina tricky_b
All Star
juliewells_8964 mayiframes
Outstanding Creativity

Top ClassTM

Once Upon A Time Photo ContestTop 30 class
Once Upon A Time Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
My Best Shot Photo Contest Vol 2Top 30 class week 1
Patterns And People Photo ContestTop 20 class
Patterns And People Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
Patterns And People Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Disrupting Depth Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
The Battle Of Professionals Photo ContestTop 30 class week 1

Behind The Lens

This photo was taken in a place called Vila Cruzeiro. This place is part of a huge complex of "favelas" called Complexo do Alemão, in the north area of Rio de Janeiro. I was working as a videographer for a Film Festival happening there, but recently I acquired the good habit to bring my photo camera as well to the filming set.
Around 5pm, if I recall it right.
The sunlight was illuminating the subject perfectly, across the fence and right over my left shoulder. I used the pop-up flash just to get that "eye glint" on her look, and illuminate her face a lit bit more. I think it was a pretty simple, but effective setting. It was the end of the afternoon, a great time of the day as we all well know, but there was a lot bad illuminated areas around there... she was just on a perfect spot!
This was shot with a Canon 550D/T2i and a Canon 50mm f/1.8. As I stated before, I used the pop-up flash. No other equipment was involved.
This little girl was wondering around in a football field, alone, playing with her doll. She couldn´t be more than 3 years old. When I saw her near the fence, I tried to talk to her, but she didn´t talk much... I took a series of photos, because the way the fence shadows were projected on her body was so symbolic, even poetic, If I may say, in terms of the context she was in and the harshness of that place... I don´t know how to explain what I felt exactly, but this image does that perfectly!
Just a simple black and processing with the Silver Efex Pro tool from Google Nik Collection, and a bit of Luma curve tweaking.
In my camera bag
Nowadays I carry my brand new Sony a6300, a Metabones Speedbooster Adaptor for Canon lenses, a Canon 24-70mm f/2,8 for all purposes and a Canon 50mm f/1.8 for portraits. Each lens as its own Hoya CPL filter. I also carry a Manfrotto Compact Light Aluminum Tripod with ball head. In my opinion, less is more, and I like to travel light.
I believe that with very young children and pets, you have to be very patient and prepared. In I was talking to her and taking photos, and she was very relaxed (and curious)... I only used the flash twice, when I thought the composition was perfect and I didn´t want to loose a great photo because of lack of light. If you go to a slum like Vila Cruzeiro, go with someone that knows the place and don´t be shy, talk to people! It´s fantastic what interaction with your subject can do to your photography!

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