cover image by Filipe Morgado and art by Marcelo Peres
Photowalk in Augusta, Paulista, and Bixiga with FCCB in São Paulo, Brazil
Hello, :)! Are you ready? Ready for what, Filipe? C’mon! Ready to enjoy life and have fun discovering São Paulo through photography. That is what I do here :) and it is not just in São Paulo. I like to do photowalks all over the world.
In today’s photowalk, organized by FCCB (Foto Cine Clube Bandeirante), we will walk through Augusta Street, Paulista Avenue and a neighborhood called Bixiga in São Paulo.
No. Wait, wait… Paulista again, Filipe? Hahaha. Yes, for sure! We will talk about going to the same place several times, keep reading ;).
Let’s do it!
Photowalk route and about FCCB
This was my first time in a photowalk organized by FCCB. The club exists since 1939 and they organize photowalks since 2000 (as I can see on their website). Usually, they have one event per month and they are free. The photowalks that require transportation (some of them are in nearby cities) are paid, but the payment is actually a way to share the transportation expenses.
Their photowalks typically starts at 9 AM. I like this starting time! Better lighting! Just seeing the city at this time is a different experience, and it is not that early, right? I think this happens because when we go to work during the morning, usually we are not paying attention to this kind of stuff, so we don’t even realize it. That’s when the photography way of seeing things makes the difference.
By the way, some friends that I’ve made in other photowalk groups were there too :). A new photowalk group, but with some already known friends :).
Below is the route of this photowalk. The meeting point was in FCCB headquarters.
In the schedule of that day, the photowalk would finish at 1 PM. We took 15 minutes in Augusta, 1h50 in Paulista and 50 minutes in Bixiga.
That day, I had a personal challenge, just use the wide angle lens.
Let’s see what happened!
Photowalking in Augusta Street, Paulista Avenue, and Bixiga
When I got there, it was just me and José Luiz, the FCCB photowalk organizer :). Hahaha, I was the first one to get there, usually, I’m on time for scheduled events :). But he also told me that he was getting worried because people usually get there on time. Anyway, just a few minutes after I’ve arrived, more people started to arrive too.
That day, a big part of the group came from Santos, from a photo club called Clube Foto Amigos de Santos. Very nice to see this interaction between photo clubs!
While we were waiting for the photowalk to start, we were chatting and meeting new and not so new people :). Thanks for our great conversation, Claudio!
But then, it was time! We started by Augusta Street. We saw some nice murals, but, as far as I could see, nothing really special happened there. But it was a good way to warm up.
Near the corner with Paulista, things started to get more interesting. Interesting buildings started to show up with interesting lighting.
We kept calmly walking through Paulista…
We saw a lot of very interesting bikes parked near MASP. They were like a motorcycle, very stylish :).
In our walk, we also saw the guys from Wadan Taiko Ensemble performing on the streets. Very nice!
Paulista has a lot of things. There were people with awesome costumes from movie characters taking pictures with anybody that wanted to. Many musicians and small bands preparing themselves to start to play. We even saw a ballet dancer performing for a photographer. Hahaha, do you think that she performed just for her photographer? No way, absolutely not. In Paulista nothing that is eye-catching got unnoticed. Even more when there is a group of photographers in a photowalk hahaha.
Do you want to feel the vibe of that day? Look at the picture below, I think it will help you understand.
During our walk through Bixiga, we noticed how different that place was from Paulista. Very near, but amazingly more calm and quiet. It should be an interesting place to live.
I would like to have explored more about Bixiga. I don’t think that what we have available to visit and photograph is just what we saw that day, but I may be wrong. Probably the photowalk ended because it was scheduled to end at 1 PM, and that was the time when we get at the “Escadaria do Bixiga”. It was a great and relaxing photowalk anyway, I just hope to visit more spots in Bixiga soon.
I think you may be asking yourself, Paulista again?
Paulista again, again and again?
Paulista again, no way!
Are you thinking like this?
Are you really a photographer? (or trying to become one :))
Photographers go to the same spot or region many times. That is your advantage, knowing that spot really well is what makes the difference.
When you have a lot of novelty in front of you, many things are calling your attention and you may want to shoot everything. However, not everything creates really interesting photographs.
When you come back to a place several times, you are much more prone to just get the essence of that place or, even better, the essence of a moment in that place. It is not supposed to be boring, you just need to use your knowledge of that place as an advantage.
Let’s try to think in a different environment. When photographing landscapes and mountains. What is the fun of photographing the same mountain with the same boring lighting that everybody that walked there once has also seen? None.
That is what everybody sees there. No fun seeing it again. It gets boring for you and also to somebody that look at your photograph. If you have been there multiple times, you know it.
When you go somewhere multiple times, you won’t feel the need or want to get this type of photo anymore. You want what makes the difference. For example, a very interesting lighting, something different happening… You will know when you have it in front of you, you have the knowledge. More than that, you will know where you need to be to get that special photograph.
If you want to remember just one thing from this post, remember this thought from Waldyr Neto (my translation from Portuguese):
“Be with the eternal and capture the ephemeral”
For mountain landscapes, the eternal is, well, easy, the mountains and its valleys :). The ephemeral is the light, the clouds, mist, shades…
In our case, the avenue and its buildings are the eternal. The ephemeral is the interaction of them with the lighting, with clouds, and so one. But also the people that are there, their emotions, the artist’s performances… In Paulista, there are plenty of those.
You can see what Waldyr thinks about his own phrase here.
We had great conversations that day :). Thanks, Eliane!
It was a very good photowalk. Very nice and friendly people, we enjoyed our lives and had fun photographing Paulista Avenue and its surroundings.
More than that, I’ve “connected the dots” of some locations that I’ve been in my city, but have no idea where they actually were. For example, interesting to see that Bixiga is very close to where I worked for 2 years and I had no idea about that.
Paulista on Sundays also gives you that sensation of freedom, happiness with all of those happy people having fun doing their exercises, just going for a walk, watching artist’s performances and listening to good music from many genres. A lot of diversity there.
I’m sure that I will be back many more times and in different times of the day to practice and enjoy photography.
That photowalk definitely made me come back home smiling, very calm, in a peaceful state and very satisfied with how I spent my morning that day \o/