Last week I caught a bit of a procession. Catholics paraded through downtown Rio de Janeiro in honor of Sao Sebastiao, the martyr who was killed by the Romans in the 3rd century. He is the patron saint of Rio de Janeiro.
Sao Sebastiao celebration, Rio de Janeiro, Br - Images by Lianne Milton
This assignment was back in September and the portrait was a bit of a fail in terms of the light and execution...Hot, bright light all day and although I tried to set the pictures up much later in the day, the sun was a-blazing. But I brought my film camera with me and managed to photograph a nice portrait of Chilean vineyard owner, Bernie Luchsinger.
If you get a chance to look this wine up, its well worth the effort to find it. Its delicious. Winemakers, Duncan Arnot Meyers and Nathan Lee Roberts also make a very tasty rose. I really wish I had a few bottles with me now in Brazil, since this country is lacking in reasonably priced delicious wine. Read the article here: One Grape to Reimagine California Wine.
Parklets have become incredibly popular in San Francisco over the past two years, and there is one design company called Rebar Art & Design Studio that has taken the lead. Read all about John Bela in an interview, called Free Parking.
Back in October I was called to photograph a civil rights activist right here in my own city of San Francisco. It was a great honor to spend a day with him. Rev. Amos Brown studied under Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and was just only one of very few students to do so. Read story here: Civil Rights Crusader takes on Election by Jen Christensen.
Last month I photographed Michael Lanz, who was such a fabulous person to photograph and really brought his personality out in the shoot, at San Francisco's Google location. Here's a web clip of the magazine.
I'll admit that Brazil wasn't on my top list of countries to begin new work in...in fact, I was pretty much set to return to Guatemala. I felt that there was more to do with my project on the affects of violence in the country and the past civil war. I still do believe that I need to go back to continue working. Yet, sometimes life just throws these amazing curveballs and somehow it was decided that Brazil is where I'll dedicate the next year or so of my life to working on personal projects and assignments. AND many, many thanks to my colleagues for expediting my journo visa!!! Ive left my comfortable life and friends, my guy George and our dog Reese, in Ocean Beach, San Francisco, put my things in storage and packed two suitcases, my surfboards, camera gear and a computer for a Cidade Maravilhosa, Rio de Janeiro.
Someone help me out with a title for this crazy move.
Ive travelled all of my life since I was a kid. Running to the gate with my family (we were always late) and flying stand-by (since my father worked for an airline), we had the luxury to do a lot of flying and hoteling. Its become second nature (although since 911 its not so fun anymore with obnoxious TSA restrictions). Ive spent many, many months in Mexico, Guatemala, Cambodia and Indonesia. Yet its quite strange to arrive in a foreign country for the first time with no immediate return date. But the motions are the same: find accommodation, find good places to eat, find transportation, get a sim card. I signed up for a language school, although at this point in my life, learning a new language is like learning how to do biophysics. My dear 23-year-old American roommate speaks nearly fluent and fast as if she was born with it in the four months she's been here. One day this year I hope to achieve that but at the very least soon discover when I'm suppose to say "sh" with every word that has "s".
Everyone asks me why. Why Brazil. Honestly, the main reason why is because I've never done it. I've never lived abroad. I should have done it in my 20s but didn't. And now I'm doing it and its incredibly surreal.
Meanwhile, I'll eventually get use to the fast beach breaks, this Miami beach lifestyle, the shhhes, and finding my way through Rio from all the stories that I can't wait to explore and then some. Stay tuned.
In the approaching weeks of Carnaval samba schools (and some neighborhoods) bring their performance to the streets for rehearsal. In the North Zone of Rio de Janeiro, a neighborhood called Madureira, I followed the samba school of Portela, one of the oldest schools (with several name changes) in Rio. It once was one of the very best schools, winning 21 times, an all-time record, however the school is trying to reclaim its glory self. We'll see at this year's Carnaval.