So we’re going to burning man?

» Posted by on Sep 6, 2013 in Black Rock City, Burning Man, Featured, NV

“So we’re going to burning man?” was my wife question when I bought two tickets in May. I was sure I wanted to go, why is not to like at Burning Man? Great art display, cool vehicles, half-naked people and of course a gigantic bonfire at the end!
It’s in a middle of the Nevada desert at the end of August. There is no hotel, facilities, cell phone coverage and not even water, how hard can it be?

First, Burning Man is expensive! Tickets are $380 and give you the entrance right and access to  portable toilets. Now you have to bring every thing you need to survive (food, shade structure, water) and more importantly you have to collect and bring back with you all the water you are using (also called gray water). You cannot dump your water on the playa, it creates a mud pool that is very slippery, unsafe and not allowed.

Surviving at Burning Man is a well documented subject (see here and here and here) and I might do another post about this subject later.

I would rather focus on what you can see and photograph at Burning Man. As far as I’m concerned this is the equivalent of a huge mall full of candy stores for photographers and videographers. This year there was no shortage of photographers like Daniel Leu, Trey Ratcliff, Joe Azure or even Yann Arthus-Bertrand to name of few!

We had seven planned sessions from Thursday evening to Sunday night. After the first day it became clear that it was not enough. There are over 400 art pieces spread all over the city, not including unregistered art that people put out for you to discover.

And that’s just the art pieces, I’m not counting the mutant vehicles (piece of art that can move at 5mph). Think pirate ship 1/2 size, 60ft long shark, or tropical island complete with palm trees, complete audio system (yes still drivable), nor the camps themselves (including the re-creation of Bourbon St in New Orleans with Cafe du Monde), nor the bikes or the people costumes.

You get the idea, there is an infinite number of things to photograph (including weddings if that’s what you like).

What I learned is that everyone is going to Burning Man for different reasons and everyone has a different experience but it’s hard not to love the community, the people and the show. When the man burns  (on Saturday night) it’s a huge party, when the temple burns (on Sunday night), it’s quiet. Both events are emotionally powerful and visually stunning.

I have included below a larger gallery of images of the things you could see. It’s time to start thinking about the next Burning Man. The main warning I will give is protect your gear! The playa dust is not good for your camera and lenses.