A visually impaired Brazilian photographer has been praised for his ability to take beautiful shots of athletes while covering the Rio Paralympics, in spite of his disability.
Joao Maia, 41, a former postman from Sao Paulo, lost his sight at the age of 28 due to an infection and was left unable to see anything more than vague shapes and colours.
He developed a keen interest in photography while learning to use his cane, and now takes photos of a similar standard to those captured by a sighted professional
Last week, Mr Maia joined sports photographers on the tribune at the Engenhao Olympic stadium to cover Paralympics events, having practiced his craft during warm-up events over the past year.
The photographer quickly found track races too difficult to photograph, due to the “noicse and distances” associated with the events.
“When I am close enough I feel the runners’ heartbeats, their steps, then I’m ready to take the picture,” Mr Maia told AFP.
“Photography is about sensitivity. I think it’s marvellous to be able to show how I perceive the world, how I see it, sense it.
“You don’t need to see to take photographs. My eyes are in my heart.”