I’m just putting together a stock submission of images from Buenos Aires for a European magazine client when I came across the above pic of the Capitolio dome in Buenos Aires. It’s the seat of the government and notice how it’s nicely etched with light.
There’s a story behind that, and it’s another tale of who you know, not necessarily what you know.
My excellent friend and fixer, Bernardo Galmarini, knew the building manager of the Palacio Barolo building, an unbelievably beautiful art deco masterpiece from which we shot this view. It’s a work of art, and topped with a real working lighthouse complete with giant bulb and fresnel lens. That’s Bernando, below, checking his settings by the glow of the lighthouse.
For the story of how we lit the dome of the Argentinian parliament without bringing the country’s Air Force or the Secret Service down on our heads, hit the jump.
Both the building manager and the architect were avid photographers and huge fans of….wait for it….Joe McNally (so am I…hell, who isn’t?).
Well, it turns out that my appearance with Joe in the Nikon Lighting DVD was enough reflected glory that they warmed up to me as well (although they both kept citing the part of the outtake reel where I’m sitting in a wedding dress, posing for Joe, and laughing, but that’s another blog post).
As dusk fell, it was obvious that the capitol dome was not going to be lighted, so Bernardo and I asked our hosts if we could swing the lighthouse fresnel around, and throw some light on it. They looked at each other for a moment, and said let’s do it, and voila! The dome was lit.
We could only do it for a minute or two, as nothing was pre-arranged with the government and we could all end up in jail for targeting the capitol, even with a spotlight. But that was all it took. Below is a view of the unlit capitol, as well as the beautiful lighthouse atop the Barolo building.
Which all goes to show you that it’s good to have famous friends when you’re in high places!