It was a brutal one at Burning Man in 2014. There were several very hardcore dust storms throughout the week. While most people seek shelter, I seek dramatic photos. I thought that with this having been my 4th year, I was a real pro. I didn’t use my dust mask as much as I should have and paid the price for a couple of months later with a cough that would not end.
I was in Houston for the weekend excitedly taking Renee Robyn’s beauty lighting and conceptual portraiture class. One morning I snuck on top of the building hosting the workshop. It’s all under construction so I was able to just walk right up to the roof. Oddly, once I arrived, there was a glass dinette table just sitting there. Well you know how much of a sucker I am for reflection shots, so I used it to set this one up.
Remember, if you would ever like to purchase a print, you can easily do so by just clicking on the photo. It will take you to my SmugMug site where you will be presented with many size and medium choices. My favorite is to get things printed on high gloss aluminum, but all of their methods look great!
I’m really excited about a workshop I’m attending this weekend. I get to spend 2 days with Renee Robyn going over her beauty lighting setup and then on to post production the next day. I’ve been in a little funk as far as processing new photos lately, so I’m hoping to spur the muse this weekend.
Laura Kimpton’s 2012 Burning Man EGO collaboration with Michael Garlington was simply amazing. It was made up of all kinds of little statues and trophies… buddah’s and crucifixes, skulls, dolls and more… all painted gold. It was an incredible sculpture to enjoy all week. And then we burned it down.
Wow, it seems like just yesterday was my first Burning Man. It’s weird to think that my next will be my 5th time to go. It is kind of surprising how many pieces of art make return appearances every year, yet there will always be something new and amazing. Getting great photos out there is almost too easy. You can just about point your camera in any direction and capture something interesting. There in lies the challenge for me. I’m looking for mega interesting shots that not everyone would think of trying. I like to get creative with my lens choices and play with depth of field as well as long exposures. Unfortunately, changing lenses out there can be brutal on your gear. For the first time this year, I had a lens seize up due to playa dust. I had to send my 14-24 f2.8 into Nikon to have it repaired at a hefty fee of $740. Yikes! I think this year I’ll definitely take more precautions in protecting my gear.
This past Summer, my family and I took the RV to Yosemite National Park. We got into the park just as the sun was setting and had no place to hook up for the night. I knew there was a big parking lot at Tunnel View, so that’s where we headed. The lot was mostly empty, and by the time it got close to midnight, we had the whole place to ourselves. My wife and son decided to turn in for the night, but I stayed up as late as I could capturing a cool timelapse. I figured as long as someone was awake, the rangers would let us stay. Eventually I got tired and passed out, too. No one told us to move or leave, so we would up with a most awesome campsite that night and woke up to this incredible view.
I really enjoyed having my portable beauty dish with me during Dallas Comic Con 2014. Everyone that I asked were happy to get their photo taken with the unusual contraption. The beauty dish is mounted on a carbon fiber monopod which makes it easy and light to carry around. It also extends to the perfect length for using my 24-70 lens. Even though I’ve had the Nikon D800 for a few years now, I’m still blown away by the level of detail it produces.
I wonder if there has ever been a more dangerous sculpture at Burning Man. Every time I would hear about Bryan Tedrick’s Coyote sculpture, it was about someone falling off of or somehow getting injured by it. But it sure was awesome to view. Call me lame, but I go pretty low risk at Burning Man. I don’t climb much and like to view the art from the ground. Some people out there are crazy or brave or both and I’ve seen some really risky climbing moves. There is medical at Burning Man, but if you get seriously injured, the helicopter flight to Reno is $25K or something like that.
It was the final night of Burning Man 2013 and Trey and I were making one last walk around the temple before it burned. We had parked the RV’s at 2 and Esplanade and had planned on making it back to them for the burn. On our walk we came across the Neverwas Haul crew and took a few photos of Andy P with his flamethrower.
This witch was intensely shopping for a new wand when I stopped and asked to get her photo. She happily agreed so I rearranged her a little to get this type of shot. When the sun is low in the sky, you position your subject right in front of it. Then you simply reposition yourself to make the sun barely peek around the corner of your subject and fire away. The sunlight spills through for this wonderfully dreamy effect.
Happy New Year, everyone! I’m going to kick it off by sharing this crazy landscape I came across on my trip to New Zealand last year. My friends Trey and Curtis were bouncing around on this super spongy, bright-yellow ground and I was expecting Tinky-Winky and Po skip out from behind one of the bushes to join them. New Zealand was certainly full of surprises and I can’t wait to head back!