07 August, 2010

Photo in Natura Made in Japan!

.Header for the article about Brazil at Sotokoto’s website
Photo: authorship not informed
(or maybe it is somewhere in the text...)

Issue # 135 (September 2010) of Sotokoto, Japanese outdoor lifestyle magazine, has just been released. This edition’s highlight is “Brazil, The Biodiversity Wonderland” and the cover shows a picture of a pair of Hyacinth Macaws. Pantanal and Bonito got 10 pages! Of these, two bring 17 pictures and an interview about my life as a photographer and guide in the Pantanal.

The cover of Sotokoto’s issue # 135

I hope that this publication brings more visitors from this very distant country who is one of the world’s leader in number of birdwatchers, and whose tourists always show fascination and excitement for our natural beauties.

The interview deserves a chapter of its own: my friend Hiroya Hatori, an excelent tour guide in Mato Grosso do Sul, had told me about a Japanese photographer - Uruma Takezawa - who was coming to Brazil and wanted to meet me, maybe negotiate some pictures for an article. Time went by, I was on a filed trip when Hiroya e-mailed me assigning a date for our meeting.

(click on the picture to enlarge)

It was a pleasant afternoon of July when both arrived at my house, and only then I understood that the visit would include an interview. I had loads of things to do in my computer (but was not feeling like doing), so I loved the chance of leaving the office aside for some time – and without feeling guilty, after all I was going to talk about work. The conversation went on swiftly for almost two hours, as evening came and Uruma enjoyed the passion fruit juice made with the pulp of fruits picked at our backyard. The result can be seen at the pages displayed on this post – as long as you can read in Japanese, of course!

( click on the picture to enlarge)

03 August, 2010

News in Six Acts

.Even though I have been out most of the time, this cute opossum came to say "hello" at my backyard on the first morning after I arrived from one of my field trips.
Photo: © Daniel De Granville, 2010

Staying on the road has been the rule for me during the past months. This means that I am keeping busy, which is great, but also makes it quite difficult to update my blogs. The Portuguese version does receive more constant posts, but doing the same in English has just not been possible. However, today I decided that I should try and change this. So, what I will do is tell in brief lines what I have been up to lately, and along the next weeks I will try to tell more stories. So here we go:

1) In May I started a freelance job for Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company. This was the first time that I really got an assignment because of my postgrad course in Science Journalism. They hired Canal Azul, a production company from São Paulo who specializes in nature programs, to produce a series of 36 videos about the socio-environmental projects that Petrobras funds across the country. I was in charge of part of the field production, directing the interviews, taking still photographs and writing the texts that will come as a supplement for each video. Our team traveled across 11 Brazilian States and covered a wide range of subjects. The trips ended last week and the results will be out soon.

A type of pipewort blossoms in the Brazilian savannas, one of the areas visited during this assignment.
Photo: © Daniel De Granville, 2010

2) Still in May, I led a trip of Brazilian students for Ambiental Expeditions to the region of Serra da Capivara, a beautiful area in the middle of the Caatinga (Brazil’s harshest shrubland environment) known as one of the world’s most important prehistoric rock art sites.

The sunset paints the rocks red at Serra da Capivara while hundreds of swifts dive into the canyon to spend the night.
Photo: © Daniel De Granville, 2010

3) During this period I was contacted by Geo Saison, Germany’s #1 travel magazine, who wanted to publish the first picture that I ever took of a jaguar in the wild, back in 2003. Then, some weeks later, Sotokoto – an outdoor lifestyle magazine from Japan – requested an interview and some pictures of the Pantanal, 17 of which will be published in their next issue, together with stories from my life in the wetlands.

The very first jaguar that I ever saw now makes it to Germany!
Photo: © Daniel De Granville, 2003

4) Early June, back home for a few days. Just in time to: (a) inaugurate a picture exhibition at a local Social and Environmental Fair; (b) help Tietta on setting up our gigantic "Gallery Forest" banner where kids had to find birds hidden in the trees; (c) participate in the launching of the book marker collection with some of my nature photos.

Book markers were given for free to the Fair's participants
Photos: © Daniel De Granville, 2003-2010
Artwork: © Liliane Lacerda, 2010

5) Late July, as the field trips for Petrobras reach their end, I am back to my office working on the publication of the documentary “Ecos de Aruanda” – produced together with a team of colleagues in 2007 – about Umbanda, an Afro-Brazilian religion that worships nature’s elements. The Portuguese version is already available on Youtube and the English subtitles are coming soon.

The front cover of our documentary's DVD
(English subtitles coming soon!)
Artwork and Photo: © Daniel De Granville, 2007

6) At the moment I am finalizing the production of my next adventure: a week from now I will be leading a team of four European underwater photographers and filmmakers specialized in aquatic images. Our task? To get the best underwater shots of Green Anacondas, Freshwater Stingrays and Pink River Dolphins. For that, we will cross parts of Brazil in three weeks searching for our subjects. Sounds fun!

The Green Anaconda is one of the trip's major objectives - as long as the pictures are taken underwater!
Photo: © Daniel De Granville, 2008