World’s Largest Dome Structure – The Bigloo!

World's Largest Dome Structure - The Bigloo! © Michael Wiesman

A few weeks ago I get a call from my friend Ben who I have not heard from in a few weeks. After a short conversation of catching-up, he told me about this group of people that were building an igloo in their back yard and going for a new Guinness World Record™. My response, “That’s pretty cool.”

One week went by and the “Bigloo” was still under construction and my schedule was so that I wasn’t able to make it over to shoot, but I was more excited to shoot this thing in it’s final completion. Fast forward another week and a couple light snowfalls later, and the phone rings again.

Racing the sunlight, a race that we photographers always seem to be losing, I get over there and set up the tri-pod, throw on the  wide-angle and start locking in my exposure with the sun fading fast. These new high-iso digital cameras sure are amazing. I was able to pull-in a lot more of the sky, even after the sun was completely down.

World's Largest Dome Structure - The Bigloo! © Michael Wiesman

One of my first thoughts was, how the hell does one light an igloo!? I have lit my share of “subjects” in my photography career, but I have never lit an igloo. Standard light on the outside just was not going to cut it for my taste. With all that white snow and sun dropping fast there was no way that I had the time to control all the light bouncing around out there. I ended up sticking lights on the inside of the Bigloo and lighting from within, to get a glowing effect as if there were a temple on the inside, Raiders of the Lost Ark style when they remove the top of the Ark.

World's Largest Dome Structure - The Bigloo! © Michael Wiesman

The world’s largest igloo is now sitting in Green Bay after more than two months of difficult team work by a group of prospective record-setters.

“I think we were all really relieved,” says group leader Paul Steckart. “We broke out some champagne, had a couple drinks and kind of just sat there and stared at it.”

The current world record was set in Canada by a group of engineers in 2008. Their igloo came in at 25 ft 9 in across and 13 ft 8 in tall. The so called Bigloo that Steckart’s group has built in Green Bay registers in at approximately 27 feet across and 17 feet tall. “It’s been 9 weeks since we started on it.” Throughout that time they have received all the proper paperwork from Guinness and just need to get all their documented information in order. The next and final step – they will have the Bigloo officially measured Monday.
“We’re going to have it on camera through one of our local TV stations. We’ll have a notary and a witness.” explains Steckart.

“Once we have it all together for Guinness we’ll send it in and they’ll verify all the information and we’ll be on our way to the Guinness Book of World Records™.”

Source: 620 WTMJ.

World's Largest Dome Structure - The Bigloo! © Michael Wiesman

Big thanks to Ben for helping me and standing on the inside of the Bigloo tripping my flashes and helping with the set-up and tear-down, taking a few behind the scenes shots and tipping me off to the Bigloo!

More to come..


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