Mystery Photo

Daily Photo – Mystery Photo

Okay, this time I’ll give you guys a nearly impossible mystery. Who is this girl?

Here’s a bit of context. So, I stayed at Camp Walter at Burning Man with a nice group of people. One night, we all lit torches and went out with about 50 people as an Angry Mob. We walked up and down the streets and were angry about things. It was ridiculous and fun. This girl joined us, but she was not part of Camp Walter. She rode a bike and waved the torch in the air. I grabbed then when she sped by me.

There was only one light, from her torch that she held while she rode by on a bike at full speed.  I remember that the flame made a sound.  It was the close sound of a small sail catching wind.  It would muffle itself, then catch wind again.  The gentle rumble of the flame reached a crescendo as she passed.  I thought it lit her face so nicely, and her mask was so mysterious.  I have no idea who she was, and she probably didn’t want anyone to know who she was.  That was very nice in a world without secrets, I thought.

Peter Hudson Charon

See you live on TWIT Photo today!

Tune in Live at 1:30 PM PT at Live.Twit.TV.

Your most challenging shot of 2011?

Post a link below to one of your most challenging shots… and feel free to talk about it too if you wish!

Daily Photo: Peter Hudson Charon

This was one of my most difficult photos of 2011.

This amazing sculpture from Burning Man is the brilliant work of Peter Hudson. You may remember this scene from your mythology, where Charon rows the dead across the river Styx.

The sculpture requires at least six spectators to pull a series of ropes in a certain manner. Once the wheel starts spinning fast enough, strobes start flashing, animating the skeletons. Each of them was animated by a Pixar artist and there was a magical effect. Capturing the motion and the strobe all at once was extremely difficult. I thought about it for four days before finally taking the shot. I’m sure my Burning-Man-Buds Tom Anderson and Cliff Baise tired of me speculating about the shot!

Charon crosses the river Styx, ferrying a lost soul into the beyond, forever.  This is where the souls go that have no hope, the endless void.  Travelers come and pull and twist and spin and see the strobes alight upon the skeleton bones.  The neck tilts and the head bows in a deathly pose, a skinless grimace pulls back a macabre grin of hate; the hate of a man who dies alone, between worlds of understanding.

HDR-Kurs auf Deutsch

HDR-Kurs auf Deutsch!

Yes, and now in German too! :) Chinese is next… should just be a few days away… Below are various international translations so far:

Live on The Grid today – 4 PM ET

Join me live today (Wednesday) on The Grid at 4 PM ET (1 PM PT). I’ll be on with Scott Kelby, RC Concepcion, and Matt Kloskowski.

New iPad App – Stuck On Earth

It’s officially out! You will LOVE it. Come grab it at this iTunes Link. See this new video below for a quick look at all the features.

Daily Photo – Sinking into the Future-Desert

Here is one of my favorite new photos from Burning Man. I took a photo of this full statue last year, and it was one of my favorites. This year, only the torso remained, and it looked like it sank into the desert a bit. People climbed all over it, day and night.

She was broken by time and the winds beat her into the dirt below.  She sank into it without control.  A gentle grace hungered in the vibrations that pulsed out from her previous life.  Some people saw this and they came to bask, to climb, to commune, to sit, to laugh, to cry, to hold hands, to find a hand to hold, to stroll, to watch the moon, to add to the vibrations, to clambor, to hold, to rest, to meditate, to feel something new as she sank ever deeper into the earth, leaving rhythms of new life behind.

Dragon in the Fire

Categories Reminder

Yes yes I know regulars know this trick on the site… but since new people visit all the time (Hi! Welcome!), sometimes I like to throw in these little reminders.

You can click on the Burning Man category to see more photos of this type. I tag every post, and you can see those categories at the bottom of each post.

Daily Photo – Dragon in the Fire

I don’t use my “big” camera too much out in the desert because of the sandstorms… So I’ve been using this little Olympus PEN camera from time to time, and I like the results. Of course, I do a bit more post-processing and this sort of thing… but I’m happy with the results generally from this new line of cameras.

At Burning Man, there are hundreds of unique vehicles that roll around the desert during all times of the day and night. It’s a feast for the eyes and the camera! :)

The mighty dragon flew strong against the sandstorm. It blew and ripped, and the sand scoured and blasted through the structure with it a long hollow whistle.  There was no sound but that deep sigh of the wind trying to pull apart the mighty beast.  The sound was of a long and empty death.

The Dock in the Desert – and New Packages!

November announcement: Updated package offerings!

We updated the package offerings for you for the HDR Video Tutorial. If you click that page, you can see a little intro video that shows what the whole thing is about. Enjoy! BTW, as always, there is 100% money-back guarantee and we have a 24-hour support team to help you out at support@stuckincustoms.com — thanks :)

Daily Photo – The Dock in the Desert

Here is a new photo from the most recent Burning Man.

The playa is covered with endless artistic creations — every year new and fresh. This was a strange but inspired idea to build a dock that slowly rises out of the desert. It attracted all sorts of strange characters and activity.

I didn’t take out my main camera too much because of the sand problem, but I did for this occasion. This was a standard 5-exposure HDR with some cleanup to fix the problem of movement between frames.

She stood in the light while in shadow.  The path led endlessly into the fog and she saw it for what it was.  The path was just one, and she had already chosen.  In the distance, it fell away into a blue haze.  Every few steps would reveal something impossible and unforeseen.  What would appear next was beyond reason and what would appear underfoot would be enough to make any mortal’s heart shudder.  She had a hundred paths within her, even though she only stood on one.

The Temple at Sunset

New 50mm Update

I’ve updated my Nikon 50mm review to now point to the new “G” model of the lens. It’s more expensive, but it’s also more flexible with various cameras as well as having better quality.

Daily Photo – The Temple at Sunset

Burning Man is the only place I can go and: a) Not have any idea what I am going to see and b) just know it is going to be awesome.

So, that’s kind of a unique situation, I think. For example, if I go to London, England, I know I’m going to see the Tower Bridge and it’s going to be incredible. But how often do you go in completely blind to a place, and just know you’re going to be amazed?

This is the main temple that lies on the 12 o’clock axis from the burning man himself. Every year it is different. It’s always non-denominational, but it has hints of all the major religions… So, that way, the 1 billion+ Buddhists are happy, the 1 billion+ Hindus are happy, the 1 billion+ Muslims are happy, and the 500 mil+ Christians are happy, and so are the other 2 billion various belief-systems floating around out there. I don’t know how you can make a temple for everyone, but, well, here it is… and everyone seems to like it!

Coming Soon...

Burning Man Fire Dancer

New Photos coming to Roku Channel

Good news! This week, we are adding a bunch of new photos to our Roku channel. Thanks again to everyone that put the channel on their Roku. We’ll keep adding more and more images… I want to keep everything fresh for y’all!

Daily Photo – Burning Man Fire Dancer

Burning Man this year was just fantastic. I don’t even know how to describe it… I think I will describe it the best way I can – through photos.

I was happy to spend a lot of time there with old and new friends. I ended up camping very close to Cliff Baise, who was nice enough to make me an awesome fur-covered bike for the event. I’ll get photos of that up soon… it’s so ridiculous and awesome.

One sunset, we walked over near the temple. Every year the temple has a totally new design, and this year it looked like this. It’s not a religious-thing, so I think the designers always go for something that has shades of religion but with nothing in particular in mind. This fire dancer was performing out front, so I got down low to take a photo.

The fire spun in a time the lasted forever in an instant.  The man inside obeyed and commanded it, weaving himself into a veil between what we saw and what he felt.  Inside, we saw each flame and it stayed with with us.  In another day, the tower behind would burn.I watched him dance.  There was a fine powder of sand above the hard-packed earth.  The powder was like a dust, a cloud, a fog, a mist that where his toes slipped around and through.  The mist would eddy and fall and rise in time for him to slide back through, the orange light from the flames above fell into and through the mist, dancing with his gentle feet.

Thunderdome – Blood on the Sand

Live Hangout – Sunday 5 PM ET (2 PM PT)

Come watch the live video hangout from my Google+ account or on Keithbarrett.tv on Sunday at 5 PM ET. We’ll have on Gordon Laing, Jeremy Cowart, Thomas Hawk, Lotus Carroll, and more!

Daily Photo – Thunderdome – Blood on the Sand

I was only partially injured while getting this photo from the wild sands of Burning Man.

A group tenderly called the “Death Guild” erected a Thunderdome in the desert city here at Burning Man. I was riding home on my customized Mad Max bike (thx for making it for me +Cliff Baise !), and I saw hundreds converging on the Thunderdome for a massive fight. Screaming hordes started climbing the super-structure to get a closer look. By the time I arrived, the observers were 10 deep on all sides, everyone crushing in to get a view of the big fight.

I jumped off my bike, grabbed my tripod, D3X, and 14-24 lens. I ducked down and crawled through legs clad in leather and spikes to get just inside.

There were latex-clad women with billy clubs and spiked cudgels roaming the perimeter, keeping people from coming inside. I gave one of more severe-looking gals the international nod of, “Hey, everything is cool, let me stay here – I’m here with purpose.” This is a hard look to communicate with words, but I have perfected it through hundreds of iterations. Anyway, I settled down low to the ground.

Heavy metal music started blaring and the master-of-ceremonies-in-leather came in to announce the combatants. The screams of the fans mixed with the music in an aggressive cacophony. People mashed harder into my backside as another climber used the legs of my tripod to launch himself up into the super-structure.

I was rained upon by bits of rock, sand, and occasional strange fluids while the combatants got locked into their flying harnesses. These were complex bungee-systems designed to let them jump and fly in any direction. It seemed the only inevitability was that they harnesses would get slung around one another in a death-spiral where the fighters would just wail away at one another until one gave out.

I finally got everything set up (+1 EV, f/4, 14mm, ISO 1600, with shutter at 1/20th of a second) and fired away as they backed up then flung themselves at one another. It was brutal and the crowd was going absolutely crazy. Even more debris rained down on me from above as the crowd jammed me more from behind and above. I gathered a series of shots, watched more of the amazing desert violence, then crawled out, barely keeping my wits about me.

The ground shook and the air crackled as the metal bent and strained around my body.  The screams went animal and blood fell folded back into the sand.

One Week Till Burning Man!

All Burning Man Photos

See all the Burning Man photos from this category by clicking that link… enjoy!

Another Batch

I’ve put together another set of photos… each of them is captioned below for you.

Coming Soon...

A few steampunk partiers get ready for the night of the burn.

 

Everyone on the playa is in costume. And, if you’re not in costume, then you’re the one that is standing out. This is one of the only Japanese people I saw there… but she certainly seemed really into the scene!

 

Coming Soon...

Every night as the sun is setting, these lamplighters come out with lanterns and hang them high along the main roads in the make-shift city.

 

Coming Soon...

One of the hundreds of art displays all over the playa. This one was in the very middle… alone and interesting.

 

Almost Burning Man Time

All Burning Man Shots

Just visit the Burning Man Photos here on the site, and you’ll be in good shape!

An Unexpected Camera

I love trying out new kinds of cameras! I was afraid to use my main Nikon equipment at Burning Man because of the bitter conditions, but I did end up using a special camera for most of the shots! A guy from Olympus sent me a PEN E-EPL1 and I ended up running that thing into the ground! I used it to take 95% of my Burning Man shots, including the first one below. It takes RAW photos, and I was able to convert these in HDR with no problem… anyway, I thought you would find that was interesting.

Daily Photo(s) – Almost Burning Man Time

I’m getting ready for another big year at Burning Man.  Thank you for all the camp invitations – I am still deciding!

I put captions below each photo to give you a bit of context…  enjoy!

On one of my first mornings, I walked away from my camp towards the middle of the playa. This gypsy was dancing around in the sun and having fun… I smiled and squatted down low to grab a photo.

 

Coming Soon...

Center camp is a mecca for all kinds of artistic activities. Artists set up canvases, jugglers toss knives, and dancers gyrate around the court. It’s really a feast for the eyes… and there was never a dull moment for my camera!

 

Nobody is really shy there, and that’s nice. Or, maybe if people are shy, they get over it pretty quick. After a few days, everyone is very relaxed and everything seems okay and natural.

 

Coming Soon...

Huge and fanciful cars trek back and forth across the playa. They always draw a crowd, and they add to the other-worldly nature of the scene…

 

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