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.

  • Cool stuff! I really like this style. Very effective in conveying emotion and the scene.

  • casusan

    Awesome Trey – yes, I can see those googles came in handy! These shots are all really great – I am not sure why but I especially like the ‘lamplighters’one! Looks like fun and something totally differnet!

  • that fourth image of the resting traveler is iconic

  • I have always enjoyed looking at your HDR landscape images, but I am really enjoying this fresh look we have been given lately. A traveler rests and the advice counter are both fantastic. I hope to be able to travel as much as you soon.

  • I love the resting traveller. And, of course, you got a great sky in the lamplighters image. ๐Ÿ™‚ As always! Thanks for the goggles photo too, they got built up in the story so much, we needed to see them!

  • Awesome stuff here, love seeing a series of photos! style for this seems to be spot on! Just out of curiosity how did you protect your camera during those sandstorms? I would think it would be like putting your gear through a sandblaster! Thanks again for sharing Trey!

  • Very neat! I had read your short description of Burning Man before you went and had a discussion with one of my colleagues in work about steampunk after showing him the first photo of the (hot) girl in goggles you posted from it so I knew what happened at it I just didn’t think it was this cool. The ‘Thunderdome’ is awesome! I don’t know about you but I love post apocalyptic movies (‘Tank Girl’,’Mad Max’,’Omega Man’,’Escape From NY’) and these photos could be stills from any of them – the one of the goggles lying on the floor is very striking!

    Just on a similar vein to burning man i’ll be visiting the NY Village Halloween Parade in October when i’m in the big apple and your shots from ‘Burning Man’ have really got me excited about it – awesome!

  • Rolf

    Ah, that explains the “Let’s compare goggles”! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thanks everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚ hehe… Well – I used a cool Olympus 4/3 camera for these – working on a review… will have more info soon. So, I was worried about dust, but not SO worried about dust because it was not my main camera.

  • Great stuff, Trey! Really like the one of the ranger in front of Burning Man – gives me a feel of what it was like! How did the camera gear do in the dust?

  • my.

    Awesome photographs! Love the goggles perspective. Did you take a photo of the camera after? Would be interesting to see how dusty it got. I’m sure changing lenses was tricky.

  • Max

    Great pics, love em.

  • Take that,Renaissance Festival! Incredible shots… Where is Mad Max or Eli when they are needed?

  • Too much noise for me. But i liked it anyway!

  • Charles

    Love this set. It looks like something taken out of a syfy movie.
    Love the style and the mood you brought to the picture.

  • Gail in Montana

    I love all the photos, Trey. Especially the ones of your goggles, how did you do that, lol. I agree with all the above, each photo is great. What an experience you must have had. WTG!!!!

  • Super sweet goggles!

  • john chandler

    i’ve been to burningman 4 times from 2000-2004 and I love it. its truly a unique experience that everyone should get to do once in their lifetime. its a gift giving economy. I never made so many friends while out there. There is a true beauty in being in middle of the desert, lots of dangers yet at same time one feels at peace. Sandstorms, rains, floods, drought, all these present challenges to overcome especially when you travel many miles to be there but everyone comes together to help each other.
    Burning Man is the greatest show on earth. Once you enter, your money is no good (except for coffee and ice).

    its a photographers heaven, lots of things to take pictures of, many moments day and night. Hundreds of talented performers everywhere you see at night time. I want to go back i miss it so much.

  • hehe thanks Kimo —

    and no- really had no trouble with Dust because I did not use my main camera or change lenses. So it all worked out okay! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Very cool series. I like your take on this. Curious – how badly did you have to cull through your shots to keep out the NSFW images?

  • Nice images and the color in the area really made me “feel” the grit that must have been in the air and in the entire area. I especially liked the photo of the traveler standing barefoot with his Keen shoes on the walking pole. Was he someone you met there – or a friend?

  • Thanks! Eric… hehe – a few NSFW ones. I’ll be sure to post those soon! ๐Ÿ™‚ hehe… Rick – no – just another traveler in the desert… never talked to him

  • Hey Trey and everyone, just uploaded a few pics of the Golden Knights and the Thunderbirds. Any comments would be appreciated. Cheers!

  • bluefish

    hey did i spend some time complimenting you on those goggles? i think i did! where ever did you get them? must have!

  • Awesome! have been curious about burning man, now i know what it is. I especcialy like the waiting traveler!

  • this is amazing dude!

  • Obviously, I loved the photos. Especially the lamplighters. What I really want to know is where’d you get the goggles? Who made them?

  • Pingback: Moderne Hippie’s in de Nevada desert – Burning man – Trey Ratcliff « De Schietstoel()

  • Steve copen

    Too bad half you images here are in flash or something that won’t display on an IPad

  • Steve copen

    I was wrong. They were just big files and my connection was slow.

  • This page seems to recieve a great deal of visitors. How do you promote it? It gives a nice unique twist on things. I guess having something useful or substantial to give info on is the most important factor.

  • I attempted to post a statement earlier, but it hasnโ€™t shown up. I think the spam filter may be damaged

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