Analog in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
July 4th, 2017BrazilTravel Writing Award
Analog in Rio De Janiero, Brazil
When I chose to travel only using analog cameras, I chose the insecurity of independence, the waiting and the unexpected over the immediate certainty a digital one would bring. Independence for there was no contract between us that would guarantee I shall always get at least one good picture out of the bunch for the mere reason I could repeat the process to my liking. Using only analog cameras required me to think about what I wanted to capture, my attention to detail had suddenly to be perfected because I couldn’t just waste twenty shots to get a good one. I was on a budget and films were expensive.
I tried really hard to get only good shots, yet I still failed more than succeed. When my first picture came out with an error, for it was exposed, I was disappointed I didn’t spend those extra dollars on films. Such a rookie mistake to open a camera in a broad daylight, all product of my generational anxiety. I don’t remember when it happened, but it was probably in between Rio de Janeiro and Ilha Grande. I used one film per city, usually.
I continued my trip free from the facilities of digital world. Sure, I would occasionally text my family and friends to let them know I was alive but the whole point of this experiment was to disconnect digitally to connect personally. And so I did. I woke up and chose what to do with my day without curating it through social media, I asked locals and enjoyed my time just being, not showing.
Chosing film over digital resulted in independence as I lived those moments for myself and not to feed my instagram account. When I look at this picture now, I realize that I have not ruined the still memories captured in film, but enlighted them in my mind. The explosion of light may present it self as an error at first but, in actuality, it is what enables me to revisit that place with my senses. When I look at this picture, I see the movement of the waves, the deep blue ocean and the mountains that sit in the background. I recall the people swimming, the wind whispering melodies gently at the corner of my ear, the independence of my mind.
“There is a light that never goes out…” echoed Morrisey’s voice when he was still part of the Smiths. Before his own independence. That was my soundtrack walking the streets of Rio most of the time. I also wanted to see people and life, a song about love took me to places of myself I’ve never been. I no longer rushed to the water in fear of others seeing my imperfect body. I felt the cold water touch my feet and let the wave explode in my body until I had no choice but to dive in. After a few minutes, my body temperature adjusted and stopped shivering. I belonged there.
From the water, I could see some people I met at the beach sitting together, smiling as they talked but I dind’t want to participate. Not yet. For now, I just wanted to dive in salty water and feel it move against my skin. I just wanted to be.
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Born in Brazil, Renata nurtures love for traveling since the first time she left her small town in Brazil to go to the northeast with her late great-grandfather. She was 13 then. Ever since, she can not recall a life without photography and writing. Through traveling the world, she learned to navigate within herself.