The clown of the Perito Moreno glacier

I wait until there is no one else on the viewing deck – one placed at a dead end, and not one of the main ones, I think, hopefully not too many people will venture out here – before I start to put on my clown make-up. Two eastern European guys take forever, waiting for the “right ligt” for the look-at-me-in-front-of-this-huge-great-glacier shot at “my” spot. Whenever the clouds seems to part and there’s some more light hitting the glacier the model hands the DSLR-camera to his friend and strikes a pose.

They never seem to get the shot he wants. The glacier is bright when it’s overcast and even brighter when the sun shines down on it, the white surface reflecting all the light, the viewing deck on the other hand is in the shadow. I assume that’s the problem. I’m itching to tell them not to take pictures when the sun is glaring in the background, or maybe try with the on-camera flash, but I don’t want to be the annoying, soon to be clown-painted, besserwizzer. For all I know he wants to be a phantom blot in the picture and is trying to figure out how to do just that perfectly.


Instead I eat some bread and make sure my gorillapod tripod is securely fastened to the railings. I have all the time in the world. I even get them to pose for me so I can get the focus right, so they’re not all bad, and then at some point they finally think about trying the flash, and then they’re off. I put on the clown makeup with the help of a mini sized, partly broken mirror on the backside of a travel brush, smiling gaily to whoever might pass by and wonder who this crazy person is.

I start taking pictures with a ten second self-timer, running back and forth between the scene and the camera. People come and go, sometimes many, sometimes few. Some people ask what I’m doing, most don’t. Sometimes I have to stop taking pictures for a while, and a lot of times I pose for others. I guess they don’t spot clowns at the Perito Moreno glacier every day.