Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina – First day of Photography for REVO’s 2011 Ad Campaign

December 2, 2010 6:03am


The night was short. Between crossing five time zones since Los Angeles; the eighteen hours of summer daylight (at this latitude); a late dinner and early rise; it wasn’t hard to dose off during the hour ride to location. Nothing like the crisp glacial air firing into the lungs to shake sleepiness out of the crow’s feet!

A short boat ride gets us to the shoulder of the glacier, and it is now clear why the Perito Moreno was named world heritage site. There are views through the trees’ foliage framing the approach to the ice that feel like an artist’s rendering of a Tolkien-like fantasy world.  The mass of blue ice looks surreal against the ash colored bark of the trees and the green leaves. It is simply stunning.


I get my camera out to grab some shots but I am told to move on, as our time on the glacier—under the strict supervision of the National Parks attendees—is short. Two things sink in: there won’t be a night spent on the glacier (it’s not allowed); and I am here as talent—not photographer! I cannot help but see the irony in walking past extraordinary shots, which production time won’t allow me to take…because my life as a photographer is being chronicled for a portrait ad!

I have typically witnessed glaciers in the Polar regions, which are naturally void of trees—no such vegetations at those latitudes. But here, the proximity of foliage to the ice gives this familiar landscape a new dimension. As to being a model, I know the odd feeling I am experiencing will be redeemed with the interview portion of our affair, which will be done in a couple of days. For now, being told to look right, look left, walk on, walk back is met with a mix of amusement and some measure of clarity: in knowing where the camera is and what needs to be captured, a part of me can’t help but re-live the feeling I got while on the Napapijri shoot (the outerwear brand for whom I am also an ambassador): this is the only time that I can actually communicate directly by osmosis with talent on how and where to be! With a shooter’s point of view, I have effectively cut off the middleman!

I give Bill Zelman—the photographer—a lot of credit: it’s never easy telling an old photographer dog what to do! With that in mind, I am as compliant as I can be. In spite of our short time on the glacier under the watchful eye of the National Parks attendant, it’s nice to put on a pair of crampons and drive and axe into the ice. The setting, replete with cracks and crevasses, and various shades of deep blue is otherworldly.  In this context, it’s hard to take a bad photograph.

The Patagonia ice sheet is the third largest in the world, and the katabatic wind is vicious at this end of the glacier; and unrelenting. I am asked to build the tent twice today, once on the ice, and once on a beach where the venturi effect has accelerated the wind to 60+ mph! Today we hear sobering news that an expedition on the glacier suffered a fatality. The men ventured for a three-day jaunt on the ice—with a guide—and somehow lost their tent to the powerful winds. One of them died of hypothermia before they could dig themselves a hole in the ice. I re-visit the seven days I spent pinned down by an unrelenting windstorm in Greenland and my partner and I speculated whether the tent would hold up. We had dug an ice cave next to the tent, just in case, for precisely that reason… This type of news always leaves a chill—no pun intended.


One Response to “Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina – First day of Photography for REVO’s 2011 Ad Campaign”

  1. Rhoda says:

    I njoy reading an article that will make people think. Also, thank you for allowing for me
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