From above

Last night I had the opportunity to take photographs from atop one of the many skyscrapers on Paulista Avenue, thanks to Andrew Dickinson, who needed roof access for his motoboy story.

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Being high above the streets was the first chance I had to truly grasp how huge this city is. It doesn’t matter which direction you look toward, there are too many skyscrapers to count.

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There was a light rain while Andrew and I were up on the building, so I figured finding some sort of rain feature photo was necessary. I messed around with probably a dozen different shots before taking this frame. It’s rare to go a day in Sao Paulo without rain, and when it didn’t rain for nearly two days this week, we all started to miss the rain.

Thanks for looking,

Matt

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Rainy city

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Yesterday, while the blizzard was raging in Nebraska, it was pouring rain in São Paulo.

Downpours were so bad that 29 people died in floods and mudslides in the Rio de Janeiro metro area. The rain was coming down in São Paulo, too, but not to the extent that it was up the road in the Carnival capital of Brazil.

So, naturally, I headed out to shoot. There was no translator available, but Brian came along and we took the metro downtown.

My story while in São Paulo is on motoboys. These men (and, sometimes, women. I’m working on finding a female rider) are essentially couriers who zip in and out of traffic carrying documents or packages to their destination. The short explanation of the story is that they are paid little for a very high risk job.

According to a few news reports, one motoboy dies per day in São Paulo. There are thousands of them here, and they are necessary to the way business has adapted to incredibly congested traffic in this huge city. If you want to get a document or package across town in a reasonable amount of time, you need a motoboy.

As one contact told me at dinner two nights ago, no business can survive without a motoboy.

So I tried to make some pictures of them in the rain, and made some pictures of pedestrians as they dealt with the rain, too. Without a translator I was unable to talk with anyone (not that they wanted to stop and stand and chat in the pouring rain, anyways), but here’s what I came away with.

My pants are still hanging out the window drying.

As always, thanks for looking.

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