Burning Man Art

More Burning Man

See other Burning Man photos here.

I have so many photos from Burning Man that I am excited to post!  A lot of them are using a special style that I experimented with while there, even though the one below is one of my standard HDR jobs.

Daily Photo – Burning Man Art

I keep thinking about how much fun I had at Burning Man!

Before I went, I was really wondering…  I’m usually good at imagining what a new experience might be like by comparing it to others and intuitively filling in the gaps.  But, since I am quite open to new experiences, everything flowed very easily there and it was a good artistic shock to my system.

People spend all year creating fabulous works of art that they display on the playa.  At night, everything amps up to a whole new level…  just wandering aimlessly for hours will be stimulating to dark corners of your right brain.

This statue below, by Marco Cochrane, is called “Bliss Dance”.  It’s a 40′ structure made out of an intricate mesh of steel.  The lights around it would cycle through various color mixes every few seconds.

Even though I took many photos of this great piece, this one is my favorite. I felt like to really show the scale and relevence of the piece that I needed to include regular sized humans and the expanse of the playa at the perfect time of the evening. Usually, as you know, I don’t talk about all the elements that go into the photo… I feel like talking too much about the artistic creation of the photo takes away from it a bit… But then again, I’m just not objective about it… what do you think?

Coming Soon...

A World Away at Burning Man

Assistant in Beijing?

I’ll be spending a bit of time in Beijing in the next few weeks. If we have any likely assistants that want to help me out there for a bit, contact us at business at stuckincustoms.com. You’ll have to carry a lot of stuff and do various mundane tasks. Being my assistant is not as much fun as it might seem… I assure you. I’m just setting low expectations.

Daily Photo(s) – A World Away at Burning Man

I asked my workshop class in London, “Who has heard of Burning Man?” Less than half the class raised their hands, so maybe it requires a bit of explanation!

Burning Man is a gathering in the desert of Nevada every year that attracts tens of thousands of artists, geeks, hippies, and everyone in between. People stay in costume all week, prepare fabulous art pieces, build extreme camps, drive outrageous art cars, and more.

I wore goggles most of the week to combat the frequent sand storms that come out of nowhere. They bathe the entire landscape in an orange scouring sand that exacerbates the post-apocalyptic scene. Because I became so used to seeing Burning Man through my goggles, I wanted to bring the experience to you as well. Below are a selection of photos with captions underneath.

Burning Man

My steampunk goggles that came in handy when the desert storms ripped through the landscape.

Burning Man

Putting on the goggles near The Thunderdome, one of the many camps and fighting arenas that spontaneously appear in the impromptu city.

Burning Man

The googles fully on... and now you can see what I see...

Burning Man

A traveler rests in front of a massive art structure. The art piece in the back has a hollow trunk that allows people to climb up to the spherical cage on top.

Coming Soon...

In the middle of the city is a vast expanse of desert where anyone can set up art pieces. Here, a small booth offering advice was erected. I sat down for a moment and they said I was beyond help.


Coming Soon...

Near my camp, a burner walks near the radio tower of Babel.


Coming Soon...

Every evening, a group of lamplighters walk through Black Rock City, hanging lanterns atop tall poles to keep the pathways lit for other travelers.


Burning Man

A ranger stands guard in front of the Burning Man tower during a sandstorm on the evening of the burn.

Steampunk at Burning Man

HDR on the iPhone 4 with Leo

Hey everyone. Leo Laporte asked me to be on his show today (Saturday) at 11:30 AM Pacific. We’ll be talking about, among other things, HDR on the iPhone. I’ve gotten a thousand questions on twitter and everything about this… just finishing my analysis and will share it all!

Tune in on live.twit.tv to see the live video feed. See you soon!

More Burning Man to Come!

I’ve processed many photos from Burning Man. It was an amazing time, and I took a different approach. I did the usual HDR style on a few, but I also experimented quite a bit. I’ll share some of this in an upcoming post — I’m aiming to get them up sometime this week if I can! So stay tuned…

Daily Photo – Steampunk at Burning Man

I’ve always been a fan of the Steampunk genre. Have you never heard of it? I’m not sure I can explain it perfectly, but it mostly involves a parallel universe in which electricity never was invented and harnessed. The technology of steam is what continued to evolve to produce amazing machines, more sophisticated zeppelins, and fabulous gear-cog mechanisms of every size, shape, and function. Some movies that use this theme are the City of Lost Children, Sherlock Holmes, Steamboy, and more. I just finished a good book recommended by my uncle called “Boneshaker” that is also set in the milieu.

Anyway, everyone at Burning Man is in costume all the time. That’s about 50,000 people at a week-long costume party that becomes pretty intense. On the night of the actual burn of the tower (which you can see in the background), there was a little gathering of steampunk players toward the inner ring. One of the girls saw me taking photos, and came over to compare goggles for a bit. I grabbed this one of her just before it was time to return to her party.

HDR Photo

The Royal Entrance

New Print Available – The Mysteries and Adventures of the New Year

Art collectors and fans rejoice! This great new Limited Edition Numbered Print is now available entitled “The Mysteries and Adventures of the New Year“. It’s so pretty and one of my favorites. I took it in Indonesia after patiently waiting through a heck of a bad storm at this ancient temple. Sometimes, if you wait through the storm just long enough, a perfect and dramatic sunset can appear. Even better, you’ll be able to enjoy it by yourself because most everyone else will be huddling inside, trying to avoid the storm.

Also, remember that every print is unique and has its own number. You can purchase now from our partners at Really Big Canvas. You can also shop more around that site — Mother’s Day is quick approaching!

Daily Photo – The Royal Entrance

It took me a long time to get this shot right. In fact, in the upcoming HDR DVD, I try to work on another version of this — a vertical one. No matter what I did, I could not get it quite sharp enough because of some camera shake. This one turned out okay.

This is one of the entry hallways into the amazing Venetian hotel in Las Vegas. Feel free, as with all the photos, to zoom into the maximum resolution version on SmugMug. And yes, I still think SmugMug is very cool and am still using it after three months. For more info, see my SmugMug Review.

The Consumer Tube

Previous Shot from Nearby

I did a post a few months ago called “Dale Chihuly is My Kinda Guy” (follow link for pic), which was shot only a few hundred meters from this place. That’s one of the many cool things about Vegas. Just a few more steps away and you are in a completely different place!

Daily Photo – The Consumer Tube

This is one of the new shopping areas in Las Vegas inside the City Center. At the time I shot this, the mall had just opened and many of the stores had not yet been completed… but the architecture was all in place and it was impressive from so many angles.

While I was there, I saw another dude with a tripod setup. I like seeing other photographers around with tripods… I always give them a brotherly nod of approval.

iPad not Charging and a Pretty Photo

Charging the iPad Problems

Having trouble charging your iPad? I’ve updated my HyperMac Review a bit with information on how I am using it to keep things charged on the road.  My Macbook Pro just ain’t cuttin’ it!

I also have much greater luck when plugging it directly into the wall with the plug that was included. In just a few hours, the iPad is full. The USB connection to my new MacBook Pro just charges it way too slow!   I think we have all gotten used to how fast the iPhone charges… and the iPad is just a different beast.  I will keep testing the this battery thing and let you know how many charges it can supply… I’ll update the HyperMac review here when I figure it out.  Anyway, there are two options for your charging the iPad problems – hope they help!

Daily Photo – Chihuly in Space

I know you guys don’t get tired of the Chihuly pieces, and neither do I! In fact, I like this one so much that I use it as my desktop wallpaper.

Just as much thought goes into lighting these as it does the creation. I always wonder if he has the “lighting scenario” in mind when forming the piece and its colors. Or maybe, it’s just so awesome and naturally formed that it looks good under any kind of light. Heck, it would probably even look good in a 7-11 at 1 AM when all the pasty-lonely people stumble in for a Big Gulp and a Snickers. I can say this because I am often one of those people.

By the way, you all are free to use my images as desktop wallpaper, for fun, on your blogs, etc. That is the beauty of the Creative Commons license. If you are going to use them for any commercial purposes whatsoever, contact licensing at stuckincustoms.com — the team there will take care of you.

Here is another Chihuly from just down the road… I’m sure some of you have been lucky enough to see this beautiful monstrosity in person!

Another Chihuly Masterpiece

SmugMug Contest Winner Announced!

Our SmugMug Portfolio contest has a winner! Congratulations to Hunter Luisi!

He has won the fabulous prizes of:

Daily Photo: Another Chihuly Masterpiece

Isn’t there some point when you can just stop saying “masterpiece”? I mean, isn’t everything he does considered a masterpiece? It’s like there should be a whole new elite lexicon – special words for descriptions, all of which mean “masterpiece” or better.

This gem is at his new gallery in Las Vegas. You just have to go see that place. The people inside were very nice and let me take my time to set up and properly get the light as it truly was. I’m not sure they could figure out what the heck I was doing with my camera and the process! But that’s okay. We kept up good conversation while I was going through my motions… and most of our conversation centered around how much we admire Dale!

Laser Vision in Las Vegas

Cali and Neal are doing amazing work…

If you subscribe to the free and fun-filled newsletter, you probably have heard me mention Geekbrief.TV several times and what Cali Lewis is up to over there. She uses my art in the background of her shows, and, well, I think they always look amazing. Believe it or not, I can be objective about such matters! Anyway, I was watching a recent Geekbrief.TV episode (see the hi-res too!) and I noticed that they added moving “snow” to one of my images from Whistler, up where they are preparing for the Olympics. The snow looks really great!

In other news, Jeff McCord from the Moxie Mo Show is also using my art in the backgrounds of his video podcasts as well. Fun!

GeekBrief.TV » Blog Archive » Video_ Nokia Booklet 3G Review, Tricaster TCXD300, Adesso Bluetooth Keyboard, CES Coverage

Daily Photo – Laser Vision in Las Vegas

The new Vegas City Center has opened. Isn’t “City Center” one of the most boring names ever for such an awesome place? This was surely a name that was decided upon by a committee. And, this is precisely why you never see a statue of a committee.

Thankfully, the architects that designed this 21st century piece of art where not part of the naming committee. It is clear they had leeway to design something unexpected and beautiful. Howard Roark would be proud.

Laser Vision in Las Vegas

The Way to the Penthouse

Thanks for coming to the Chicago Party

I really enjoyed meeting you guys and gals that came.  It was a great event and I want to thank you all!  We do have a fun photowalk that we will be doing Sunday at 10 AM – meeting in the lobby of the Hotel Sax.  Anyone is welcome!

Daily Photo – The Way to the Penthouse

This incredible spot is located at the bottom of the MGM Grand in Vegas.  It’s one of those places that you will walk by after a day of visual-overload in Vegas and not even notice!  It has taken me some practice, but I try to look at each new room anew, and do my best to bring it back to you!

The Way to the Penthouse

Morning in the High Nevada Desert

Frederick Van’s First HDR

I speak to groups all the time in all possible venues. I have about five different talks based on the audience, but one of the fundamental messages that runs throughout is the basic notion that I can teach anyone to do this stuff with my HDR Tutorial. More and more people are either just getting into photography or are seasoned pros that just want to learn new tricks. HDR has something for everybody, and I get really excited when I see people getting a kick out of it!

So Fred posted his first HDR on his blog, just one day after he announced a giveaway for my book! I think it’s great the way he did it too… really talked it out and linked back in the healthy Creative Commons way.

New Collectable Limited Edition Print Available

Every week we have a “New Print Event”, in which one of the best works from the portfolio becomes available for order. This week it is “The River Runs Through the Andes“. It was shot in Patagonia while I was trying to find a path through to a glacial lake. It turned out to be getting too late in the evening, and I couldn’t find an easy way to cross this river, so I turned around to sleep on it, and find a new path in the morning.

Want more info? See the “Prints” area.

The River Runs Through the Andes

Daily Photo – Morning in the High Nevada Desert

I did nearly freeze to death that morning! I woke up at a brisk 4:45 AM to get ready for this event, which is always a painful time, especially in Las Vegas. I was going out to shoot just as some various sorts were rolling back into the hotel! I bet my friend Cameron, who had a car heated and ready for us downstairs.

He had a secret spot just over an hour outside of the city. We switchbacked up a mountain until we began hitting the snow layer, nearing the peak. We jumped out, and I almost instantly froze into place like a cartoon caveman in a block of ice. What a time to forget my gloves! We set up for shots, took a few, then ran back to the car, screaming like little girls in the cold. It was actually great fun and I had a good time. As we were driving off, I asked Cameron to stop the car so I could jump out and take one last shot – this is it.

Morning in the High Nevada Desert

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