Sugar Loaf Mountain
Watching the sunrise over the rounded incline of Sugar Loaf Mountain, it is impossible not to get swept up in the atmosphere of Rio de Janeiro.
Home to around 6,000,000 people, Rio is definitely not somewhere to get away from the crowd. Isolation is an impossible dream with so many people crammed into a single city. But there is something about the vibe of the city, which makes everyone your friend.
I had already been in the city for a few days when I captured this photograph. Someone had told me about a vantage point called Mirante Dona Marta high in the Rio mountains. Not only was this point meant to have a spectacular view of the city, but was sufficiently off the beaten track to have little or no crowds, even at peak times of the day.
To get the best light possible, I decided to set off early and reached the summit a good hour before the first light was due to break the horizon. But this was Rio de Janeiro, a city where you are never truly alone. And even at such an early hour, sat on top of a desolate mountain top, I was soon joined by the small group of people who were out for dawn hike.
Interested in what I was doing, all alone in the darkness, they came over to say hello. Sharing their coffee with me, we soon found ourselves in such an engaging conversation. So much so that I very nearly missed the shot I had been waiting for.
That spirit of connection between the people who make up this incredible city perfectly summed up my experience of Rio de Janeiro.