Explore a 4,500 hectare Brazilian Coffee Farm With Photographer Nelson Kon

Explore a 4,500 hectare Brazilian Coffee Farm With Photographer Nelson Kon

Project of the Week

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it another one hundred times; Brazil’s architectural photographers and the wide gamut of projects that they photograph are incredible. Today, Brazilian architectural photographer Nelson Kon is sharing his photographs of Fazenda Rio Verde — a massive coffee farm outside Saõ Palo — with us.

Fazenda Rio Verde is where Ipanema Coffee is grown. The design and modernization of the farm was performed by Brasil Arquitetura. The farm was originally founded in 1887 and stretches across 4,500 hectares of the Mantiqueira Mountains. About 70% of the farm is allotted for coffee bean growth, but there are 900 hectares of preservation land throughout the farm. In addition to the myriad of farming, production, and traditional buildings Nelson shows us on the property, Fazenda Rio Verde also sports rivers, waterfalls, rainforest, complex terraces, and canopy walkways. It’s an amazing property, and Nelson gives us a beautiful look into it!

First of all. Holy Wow. These first two images are just off the hook. The fog mixed with the sun beaming down into the deep shadows of the landscape puts us into this magical location!

Nelson’s images are exceptional to me because of his timing and the dynamic quality of light that he takes advantage of to turn farm infrastructure into gorgeous and shapely works of art.

The sun raking across the crops, the dark shadows, and the radiant highlights all craft a wonderful scene.

Nelson frames his photographs in a way that creates a rhythm in the lines and carries our eyes through the frames while taking advantage of the disparity in exposure between the light and dark areas in each scene. This creates a playful and three-dimensional feeling in his photographs.

Inside the greenhouses, Nelson’s images have a softer quality, but he doesn’t lose the deep shadows that I love in his work.

The human element here is perfect. It gives context to the working farm and adds an organic quality to the hard, specular, metallic scene and helps us make sense of what’s going on!

If you’ve ever been to South or Central America, you know there is an inexplicable deep and extreme contrast the sun makes throughout the landscape at certain times of day. Nelson lets this occur in his photographs, and you feel as if you stepped outside into the heat, looking out across the farm.

As we explore more of the buildings, we see more of Nelson’s masterful compositions. This one is particularly pleasing because we see straight down the hallway, but he is angled just enough to allow us to see the view beyond.

Again, he lets the scene fall dark, showing the important details like the windows and the sliding barn door. The figures he includes draw our attention to the windows, they add movement to the scene, and reiterate the work that is done here.

There is great color theory going on here. The greens and yellows in the coffee crop contrast the red containers and the blues in the sky. More harsh highlights zip across the metal building. This is SUCH a contrasty project and I love it.

As the sun begins to set, a beautiful sky and more fun shadow-play begins to happen on the farm. I enjoy the warmth that rakes across the metal building, and the lines created by the fence in the distance. The guy on the dirtbike is an extra fun bonus that makes me feel like I’m playing a game of I Spy with this photo.

We’ll say goodbye to this epic project with more of the farm buildings at twilight. There is such a great mix of warm and cold colors. I dig the starbursts of the lights. There is such a magical feel to this series, and Nelson was the perfect photographer to capture it!

Many thanks to Nelson Kon for allowing us to share his photographs of Fazenda Rio Verde on APA. Nelson’s work can be found on his website nelsonkon.com.br

If you have a project you’d like to be considered for Project of the Week, you can submit it here.

About Lexi Taciak
Howdy! I'm Lexi, a photographer, graphic designer, and writer.