An afternoon in Recoleta Cemetery


I’d been waiting for my partner-in-crazy-RTW-travels, Meg de Jong, to arrive before visiting Recoleta Cemetery. (Meg had put me under pain of death not to explore it without her.) So, a few days after Meg arrived, we ventured out into the sun-baked, garbage-strewn, post-New-Year’s-Eve streets of Buenos Aires.

Cunningly, I forgot both my cameras and brought along only an iPhone with a battery that was about to die. This is typical behaviour for me on an important shoot and may explain why I always considered myself the world’s most unlikely professional photographer.

Fortunately, Recoleta is so incredibly atmospheric and wonderfully spooky that you can wave any old camera at it any old how and still capture some great images. Shining granite tombs with polished brass, fresh ferns and snowy white coffin covers rub angels with crypts whose ceilings have collapsed, glass doors have shattered, wrought iron has rusted and whose locks look in danger of giving way to one good shove from a determined skeletal spirit. At one mausoleum, I could even have reached in and opened a coffin, had I dared…

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