camino a El Chalten

Interview with Bernardo Galmarini, Landscape Photographer

In this interview we will get to know a member of the Argentina Photo Workshops Team: Bernardo Galmarini, a Buenos Aires-based Editorial and Landscape Photographer with extensive experience as an Instructor and Tour Leader.

How and when was your passion for Travel and Landscape Photography born?

My passion for Travel and Landscape Photography emerged even before I began to travel.
Prior to becoming a photographer, when I traveled I enjoyed the places, but maybe I didn’t pay as much attention to the surroundings. It was like a “backdrop” to my experiences. When I discovered my love for photography, I realized that the very fact of going anywhere thinking about taking pictures, generated a different attitude towards my surroundings.

It is as if my mind were gradually silenced, and the apparent chaos of the environment was gradually being brought into order. And the images slowly begin to appear in my head. The disorder slowly turns into order and harmony, and the experience of beauty emerges, both in what I see and in the images I capture with my camera.

So, it is no longer just a matter of capturing shapes and colors, but of evoking that same silence that allowed me, in the first place, to see what I could not see at first glance.

atardecer en Roma
View of the St. Peter's Basilica Dome at sunset, Rome, Italy - © Bernardo Galmarini

Since I discovered that magical quality of photography, any place I go (as long as I have the time and the mental disposition to do so) is transformed into an opportunity to create (or at least evoke) the silence, the calm, the beauty that is anywhere when we know, or want, to see it.

What does travel mean to you?

Traveling is always an adventure. A way to discover new aspects of the world, and of myself. It is like a constant search, a desire to confirm what one thinks one knows about humanity and nature; or to realize how little we know about so many things. In any case, it is a very enriching experience, and one always becomes a little wiser from each journey.

What gives you the most satisfaction in what you do as a photographer?

When my photos manage to evoke silence, harmony and beauty, it is the greatest satisfaction that photography can give me. I don’t know how this process works, and I think it’s mostly something unconscious. But I know it exists. That’s why every photographer who dedicates years to photography, with a lot of dedication, sooner or later acquires a distinct personal style. In his photos, you can see something of his inner world, and something of the outer world that we cannot decipher.

This is the wonderful thing about art, when this is achieved.

bailarines de tango en la boca
A couple of Tango Dancers in La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina - © Bernardo Galmarini

Tell us about a particular episode that has marked your career

I believe that an episode that strongly determined my dedication to Landscape Photography was when, back in 2007, I was selling my photos on Florida Street, and I could live off of that moderately, until the economic crisis of 2008. At that time there was not so much tourism, and I had almost no money left to pay the rent, since winter was beginning and tourism was starting to be very low. I didn’t know what to do, until one day a Dutch researcher called me, saying that he wanted to make a life-size holographic version of the Shroud of Turin.

  • In 2002 I had developed my own method of converting 2d photos to 3d photos, and I was working on this with companies in the USA. However, it was not a stable job, nor was it very massive either.

I had made an “artistic” version of the shroud for him in 2005, through the Holographic Institute of Holland, who had obtained this work. This doctor, upon learning that I had done the work two years later, offered me to make an improved version, in change of a substantial sum of money, which would solve my financial problems for a few months. That job, which fell from the sky, allowed me to buy my first Canon 5d Reflex camera and allowed me to do something I had in mind since every time I passed by the newsstands in Florida and saw postcards of Buenos Aires with pictures. At that moment I thought: if others can take good pictures of landscapes and sell them, why not me?

That’s when my profession as a Travel/Landscape Photographer began, and I created a small editorial company for Postcards. If it weren’t for that strange job, I wouldn’t have been able to work as a photographer for a long time, and maybe I would have become a TV cameraman like I used to, or something else.

3 photographers who inspired you along the way

Surely Bob Krist (National Geographic), with whom I had direct work experience, Henri Cartier Bresson and Sebastião Salgado, among many others.

What is the most beautiful landscape you photographed?

laguna capri en El Chalten
View of the Fitz Roy mountain from Laguna Capri, El Chalten, Argentina - © Bernardo Galmarini

Perhaps the most beautiful landscape I was lucky enough to photograph was the Capri Lagoon (with Mount Fitz Roy in the background) at sunrise. It was during a workshop for an American company with which I work regularly. We walked for two hours at night from El Challen, until we reached the lagoon. We placed the tripods on the shore, and waited for the sunrise. Suddenly, the first rays of the sun began to dye the top of the Fitz Roy orange, which in contrast to the darkness of the rest of the scene, seemed to be lit with a very intense and warm orange. The full moon was just about to hide behind the summit of the Fitz Roy, surrounded by some clouds. There were only 2 or 3 more people in the lagoon, and everyone was watching in silence. It was a great experience, and the picture I got was very nice.

bernardo galmarini photographer

Bernardo Galmarini

Editorial and Landscape Photographer

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