Each Week, More Burning Man Photos

Hey it’s week #3, time for a new batch of cookies!

Tough Decompression after Burning Man

What is a “Decompression”? That’s challenging to describe to people that haven’t spent over a week in an environment like this. It’s not just the heat and survival-factor; it’s also a bit of a mind-shift. I think many people have experienced this in different ways, and it doesn’t need just Burning Man. It’s maybe similar to coming back for a week on an island getaway and getting back into the “real world.”

After you are at Burning Man for a few days, your mind kind of slips away into another state of being. I’m not sure how to describe it. And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the drugs or anything. It’s more about being around 70,000 other artists and creatives that, by default, accept you and are non-judgmental. (Maybe this is where it differs from an island vacation where bronzed pool-boys are serving you margaritas.)

Basically, Burning Man is very egalitarian, where all are equal and everyone is giving one another gifts all the time. Random people. And back too that non-judgmental thing. It’s perhaps one of most comforting places in the world, from that perspective. You don’t even notice yourself falling into this sort of peaceful state. Imagine, living in a world where no one cared what the heck you did, what your real-life job was, and everyone, even random people, always had a hug at the ready. I mean, who WOULDN’T want to live in a world like that?

And then, immediately after leaving, you get back into the other world… back at the Reno airport were people are upset, stressed, complaining. You post stuff on the internet and then people find something to complain about, something that doesn’t fit with their particular world-view, and they need to let you know about it. Blah blah blah I could give countless examples, you get it. So then, the challenge is how to take all this open-heartedness back with you to the real world and not be beaten down. It kind of reminds me of what we do to kids. They are so open, free, and creative, and society just kinda slowly beats it out of them over time. Children at least have 16+ years to decompress, all of us leaving the desert only have a few days!

It was especially hard for me because I had to fly to Florida (INTO THE HURRICANE) to make 48 hours worth of training videos with KelbyOne. Then creating a ton of Aurora HDR 2018 training videos for Windows and Mac before launch. I powered through it, on sheer will, but I never really had the chance to re-integrate. Wow I don’t even know if I did a decent job explaining anything there, but at least a few meandering thoughts for you. Oh, forget about all that, how about some photos?!?


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This is @mekithappen hanging out and having a happy walk. Even though it looks sunny now, not long after this a big rainstorm hit so I jumped on my bike to make it home before my wheels got all gummed up.


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One amazing sunset I went out to visit the tree and a naval vessel, the Monaco, sailed up to visit. They seem to have a good crew on there!


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Here’s one of my favorite artworks from this year’s event. She was a giant marionette, operated by a team that would dress her in different outfits every day after she woke up. She walked, talked, and visited her favorite artworks. Even commenting on them. I remember when she visited the Tree of Ténéré, talking about its energy with a light lilted British accent. This was during Burn night, at sun…


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Escaping the heat


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Taking a rest in the shade around 3:30 and C. I was looking for one of my friends; he and I love going out to take photos. It’s almost impossible to make meetings there because there is no mobile service. I asked this girl where he was. She didn’t know. But I asked if I could take her photo so the trip wasn’t a total bust, and she said, YES!


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A wicked fire… Burning Man, 2017 It was really quite the Joseph Campbell quest, and it was great! I took more photos than ever before. Here’s one of the temple burning behind the Tree of Tenere. It was one of my favorite art pieces this year…

More Burning Man Fun!

Maybe I’ll release a batch of these every week… I did one 7 days ago and here’s the next set for you 🙂


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Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com

Overnight in the Middle of Nowhere

Burning Man Photo Walk Photos

I posted a lot of my Burning Man Photo Walk Photos are inside the special FB event we made there. Feel free to go check it out. And, if you joined us, come post some of yours too! 🙂

Daily Photo – Overnight in the Middle of Nowhere

There in the distance, you can see a small camp. Even though it looks remote, this photo does not capture the absolute remoteness of it all! Wow I was really in the middle of the Sahara desert. After riding on a camel for hours and hours, I was exhausted. Riding on a camel is much harder than it sounds, by the way. I used muscles in my torso I didn't know existed. You might think it sounds like riding a horse, but it's not. It's kind of like riding one of those electric broncos in a honky-tonk bar. Even if you've never done that, you can imagine it.

Overnight in the Middle of Nowhere

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-03-08 06:44:10
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length120.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

XOXO Jump

New Portfolio Updates

Like me, my Photography Portfolio is a work in progress. But I made a lot of progress with both lately. So click on that link and check it out! 🙂

Daily Photo – XOXO Jump

I'm always impressed at how people climb and jump and do all sorts of athletic things around Burning Man. I'm a bit of a wussy, I guess. I'm always thinking that these are the sorts of things to do if you don't mind being hurt. And, you see, I mind that. Plus, I have a lot of people that depend on me, so I can't be doing silly things like jumping on an X.

XOXO Jump

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-08-29 14:28:35
  • CameraX-T2
  • Camera MakeFuji
  • Exposure Time1/6400
  • Aperture3.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Burning Man 2017

Wow what a great year! I got around 18,000 photos and had a very inspirational time. After eight years in a row now, I’m always surprised how every time is like the first time, in so many ways. Sometimes awesome, sometimes uncomfortable, it’s sort of like a microcosm of a whole year of life squeezed into one week because you are doing and seeing So Many Things.

Here’s a few photos for you to get the party started!

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This was many people’s favorite art pieces on the playa. In the day time, it was a pure green tree in the middle of the night desert. At night, the LEDs came on and flowed through the tree like the wind

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It was another great year out there… it was very exhausting out in the sun all afternoon, though. But still glad I got out there as much as possible to take photos. I still have tons more to process, but enjoying going through

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Birds of a feather…

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You may remember the photo of the embracing Israeli couple that was doing Acro-Yoga from a few days ago. Here’s the pre-acro-yoga stretching period. They say it’s good to stretch before exercising. I don’t know who this “they” is, but they are probably right about these things. The sun caught her jewels in a surprising way.

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Around 5:30 PM the sun begins to get low enough to cast great angles everywhere. It’s still a little warm, so many people still have their fans out to stay cool. I suppose a native American headdress also helps! 🙂

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I don’t know if this enormous statue got enough attention, but she certainly did for me. She glowed from the inside and outside. I made a small pilgrimage there every day; this time I came with my camera.

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By meandering-chance, I found a camp along the Esplanade that had a tremendous steel wool vortex spinning away. People would come stand in front and let the winds spray the burning metal around them. I’m not into being burned and stuff, so I sat down in the desert to take some photos. It was great fun to watch… I could have stayed here all night, but forced myself to get up and go see what else I could find.

Down the coast of Barcelona

Reminder on the Burning Man Photo Walk

I always do the Burning Man photo walk at sunset on Tuesday there in Black Rock City. As with all photo walks, it’s a free event! Well, everything is free at Burning Man… so it kind of goes without saying. See more about it at the BM Photo Walk Announcement Post. Bring a friend or three! 🙂

Daily Photo – Down the coast of Barcelona

What an awesome city! The first time I was here with my wife, I was sick as a dog. I still went out and took photos because I'm a real trooper, but it was very difficult to get into the flow-state. This time, since our #80stays Tour took us there, I was able to take more time. This is the view from the top floor of the Ritz-Carlton. This is where we had my little after-party art talk at the end of the photo walk. Pretty much everyone went out on the balcony to take a photo or three! 🙂

Down the coast of Barcelona

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-29 19:53:25
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture3.2
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length90.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Burning Man Photo Walk Announced!

Come join the event here at the Facebook Event!

Do you like taking photos or perhaps do you like people taking photos of you in all your fabuloso Burner gear? Well come on out and join this fun event – this is my 8th annual photo walk in Black Rock City and all are welcome! 🙂 It’s great for beginner photographers all the way to advanced – bring anything from a mobile phone to a DSLR! We’ll roam the streets of BRC and capture some of the magic of Burning Man together.

I’ll be giving lots of tips and tricks to help you on your own creative journey. We also talk a lot about the creative process and how it can be quite an active meditation bringing more consciousness, presence, and awesomeness into your life. So, come, bring a friend or three, and let’s have a ball. Word has it that we’ll get a bunch of Burner Girls (and guys!) too that just dance around and have thousands of photos taken of them.

And after, we’ll share all the photos here in the Facebook event. Check the comments in the event to make some new Instagram friends with fellow photo walkers too! 🙂

We’ll meet outside of Center Camp at TUESDAY at 6:30 PM and start the crawl from there!

Here’s a few of my favorite Burning Man photos from the past 7 years! 🙂 You can always see more in my Burning Man Album on Smugmug.


Embrace 2014

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.

Here’s my bestie Rene Smith up atop Lord Snort! He was spinning quite fast, so it was a fun photo to take. We had early entry this year, so we were able to visit a lot of the art before it was covered with too many people. This is actually the site of a small tragedy, as one guy lost all of his fingers while trying to jump onto the head as it was spinning around.

Trey Ratcliff

There in the gypsy’s creation.  It pulsed around us like a thick red vein; a timeless conduit that promised to hold a time machine between worlds.  And, I’d have it no other way, as every time machine should come appointed with the comforts of the sultans as they slowly wind throughout the edges of the Orient.  The colored lights cast new tones and shadows upon the rich, supple textures.  Small windows around the edges gave outward portal-glances to worlds and times that whizzed by, each one inviting a new pause to the story.  The light, I noticed, did something unexpected as it tumbled and flowed and rolled across the skin, drifting over small sinuous shapes as the crimson rays slid up and over the flowing curves of a dune in the middle of a faraway desert.  The lines would only stay a moment before the wind blew them into a new form.  The light tore time away from the shapes, and I could not figure out what was happening until much later in the story.

Four More Burning Man Photos

I’m dropping four new photos in every four days or so! 🙂

Trey Ratcliff

When the man burns, the heat must be extremely intense. I’ve never been in that close before, but next year I may ask permission.

Trey Ratcliff

On my last day, I decided to take a very long ride around the outside, along the trash fence. This is a view looking back towards the city.

Trey Ratcliff

I thought this gal was cute during the bunny march. She was there with her dad and it turned out he was a fan! 🙂

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This was one of the first nights after the temple was completed. I loved all the hanging lanterns… it really gave the whole temple that X-Factor.

More Fresh Cookies

Here’s four more goodies for you 🙂


Trey Ratcliff

Here’s Lord Snort enjoying his afternoon with the humans.

On the third day, the Da Vinci tank was completed and here’s what it looks like in all its glory.

Paris Sinclair, clothes designer extraordinaire.

Trey Ratcliff

A girl and her fire-breathing swan dragon!

The Last 7 Years of Burning Man, Some Highlights

Here’s a photo from above. I took this while flying in an experimental plane in which I should not have been experimenting.

And here’s a closeup of the same place.

Teastorm

This was taken during the worst year of sandstorms ever at Burning Man. I was in a rather severe one and completely lost, but I kept walking in a random direction, because it was as good as any. Out of the sand came this Japanese tea ceremony. Right after I took this photo, I sat down and was served tea with floating gold leaf. When I was done, he folded up a small piece of origami and gave it to me. Upon it, the message read, “You are a God.” Finally! The thing I’ve always wanted my wife to say was confirmed by this sand-swept Japanese gentleman.

Almost anywhere on the playa you can see all kinds of acroyoga. I don’t ever pose my shots by the way, I just look for organic happenings.

Everyone is in costume or fanciness all week long. And many of the women really take it to some impressive extremes.

Why is anything There?There are many things that happen here and there and everywhere and happen without reason or forethought.  Terrible things fall around us and into us, random events of trauma, and worse, doubt.  Not everything in this world is there for a useful purpose.  So why not have huge white flowers in a desert?  If you ask why about everything, then you're probably not always asking the right questions, I tell myself.

There are many things that happen here and there and everywhere and happen without reason or forethought. Terrible things fall around us and into us, random events of trauma, and worse, doubt. Not everything in this world is there for a useful purpose. So why not have huge white flowers in a desert? If you ask why about everything, then you’re probably not always asking the right questions, I tell myself.

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.

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.

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