I recently visited the beautiful city of Ouro Preto to take photos. I can confirm that Ouro Preto is one of the most photogenic places i have ever visited. Ouro Preto is a former colonial mining town situated in the Serra do Espinhaço mountains which are in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. It was and designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Ouro Preto means black gold, it was the main location of the 18th century gold rush and Brazil’s golden age under Portuguese rule.
It really is a special place, which picture postcard photo locations in every direction. The city is full of stunning baroque churches set amongst beautiful rolling hills. The streets are cobbled and you get a real sense of history here. Yes it is a little touristy, but not overly so. There are plenty of interesting character floating around the city, which make great photo subjects. The landscape itself is very photogenic too. All in all this wonderful place for photography. Ouro Preto is also close to other small cities like Mariana (a smaller version of Ouro Preto), all within driving distance.
A word of warning though, be prepared to do some serious walking in Ouro Preto. There are quite a few rather steep cobbled hills and after a day running up and down them to get photos I was worn out. Both sunset and sunrise are fantastic. At sunset there is a fantastic ambiance and glow in the city, and at sunrise you will have the city almost to yourself.
My photo tips for Ouro Preto are:
- Take a light tripod as you will be worn out otherwise from lugging a heavy one up and down the hills.
- Take your portrait lens – there will be lots of opportunities to shoot the interesting faces around the city.
- Try and see as much as you can on the first day and get a feel of where would be best for sunrise and sunset photos on the subsequent days. You wont be able to cover more than one or max two locations at sunrise/sunset, as the sun rises very fast in Brazil, and Ouro Preto doesnt lend itself to running around to location due to the hills and cobbles.
- Make sure you visit Mariana which is 20mins drive away.
Posted by Alex Saberi