Ever feel like running away? Roughing it up somewhere in the middle of the jungle, making food over open fire and sleeping under the stars? It is a common, albeit unrealistic dream for many city dwellers.
Luckily, when your city is in the middle of the Atlantic Rainforest, the wild is never very far away.
Sure, this version of the wild involves roads, rent and running water, but with no people, noise or cellphone reception, it's close enough. I would never survive in real wilderness anyway.
Not many people know this but the Atlantic Rainforest, or Mata Atlântica as it's known locally, can rival the Amazon in its biodiversity, despite suffering from severe deforestation. Over 85% of the original area is gone now, but enough of it remains that one can still find parts of it virtually untouched (fortunately, conservation efforts in the area are underway).
Twice in the last month we have found ourselves out here, feeling inspired by a million different shades of green, fireflies dashing around in the dark, starry skies untouched by light pollution and above all, the soft warm light, streaming through the trees, the kind of light that I've never seen anywhere else.
Capturing this light was my main goal - there was no deep concept, no important message, just the atmosphere of the forest. Well, I also got to play with my full-frame camera that I haven't been using for that long.
Just look at that bokeh. I'm not particularly focused on the technical side of photography, and I rarely obsess over equipment, but the combination of a full-frame and a macro lens is just pure magic.
What I always find surprising is how much work can go into getting even simple, straightforward images such as these. The simpler the image, the more noticeable small details become - things like jagged shadows, stray hairs, wrinkles in the clothing, minute changes in posture or facial expression can easily ruin an otherwise perfect image, not to mention much less subtle issues.
At this point, it takes me several hundred of frames per session in order to get several good images in the end. Which is fine, I guess, as long as I'm happy with the overall result. In this case, I definitely am.
And after you're done with portraits, there's always more amazing stuff around to point your camera at.
If you want to learn more about the Atlantic Forest and support conservation efforts in the area, check out World Land Trust.