Thursday, September 1, 2011

Burning Man 2010, Black Rock City, NV

Bliss Dance in a Sand Storm, Burning Man 2010.
Departure Dinner
Santa Clara, CA -  As I write this, other folks are busy getting their gear together for Burning Man, 2011.  It's taken me over a year to go through, process and label these pictures.  Not that I'm been working on them for that long... far from it.  It's just that Suwei and I have managed to keep very, very busy as always, and well, baby pictures have kind of trumped all else.  Anyway, I figured I better work on the BM 2010 photos before BM 2011 comes and goes, or I might never get them posted. 

First off, I have to thank my amazingly understanding wife for putting up with my Burning Man fetish. The last time I attended was in 2008, a month before our wedding.  In 2010 Suwei was 6 months pregnant and starting a new job when I skipped off to the desert.  I think I went well into a deficit points wise on that one.  I'm not sure if there will be a "next time" in my future.  2010 was my 6th year at Burning Man and probably my last one for a while.  We'll see.  Never say never.

2010 started off like all of my previous years, with the arrival of Gary from the old world.  We wandered around town gathering up his dusty gear from dusty corners of dusty garages. We went out to dinner with burner friends from the past who wouldn't be making it out to the playa.  We stuffed the truck to brim, stacked more stuff on top and finally set off towards Reno.

Setting up Camp the First Day on the Playa.
Stormy Monday on the Playa and a Spectacular Double Rainbow at Camp

Our camp this year was again a much slimmed down version of past years.  We never did really come up with a decent name for the camp as everyone seemed to like, "Gary's Tent Camp", except for Gary.  Camp not to be called Gary's Tent Camp was made up of Gary, myself, Matt, Dawn and Tom.  Hilda was also an essential part of camp, although she never stayed for too long, choosing to share her love with other well deserving camps.

Camp Not to be Named Gary's Tent Camp with Gary, Matt, Hilda, Dawn & Tom

As always, it's hard for me to write about Burning Man.  First off it's an event that's incredibly difficult to describe.  I've tried.  Yes, it's a music and arts festival, yes it an impromptu community of sorts, yes it's a drug fuel orgy of hedonistic pursuits, but.... and here's where it gets difficult.  It's more.  But that sounds lame.  So, I'm going to stop right there and say what I say to most people who ask me what Burning Man is like.  Go.  Check it out.  If you like it, go again.  Try to describe it in a blog post.


I have found that the best way to share my experiences at Burning Man is by taking photographs. And even that misses the mark by leaps and bounds.  The last couple of times I've attended the event I've gone for a full 8 days.  I figure if I'm going through all the trouble of getting out there, I might as well experience all of it. In those 8 days I spend very little time actually wielding a camera. I tend to make a few trips out of camp specifically to take pictures. The rest of the event I don't want to be burdened by trying to document what's going on. Because of that, my photos are mostly about the art. It's easy to point a camera at a piece of art. I also try to capture some of the emotions I've felt at other times during the event, but that is much, much harder. I'm not really that good of a photographer. So, you get mostly art.  Here are some of my favorite art shots:

The Honey Trap by ANIMUS with the Disorient Art Car behind it.
rePIANOproject by Dave Aiazzi, Dolores Aiazzi and Leah Chubb
Intersection by James Reagent, Charles Fields, and company
Dragon labyrinth by Sharon Strong.
Random art at Center Camp
Cultivated shoe tree by Merrilee Proffitt.
OINK by Laura Kimpton, Jeff Schomberg and Celtic Forest Crew
Wish by Rob Buchholz.
There are tons more photos in the slide show (164 to be exact). If you care to check it out, the link is at the bottom. In the mean time I'll share a few more of my favorites.  These next photos were all  taken at the Temple of Flux:

Tom at the Temple of Flux



Some shots from my Wednesday Night Photo Ride

So, it's been like 5 days since I've started this post.  I've been working on it here and there when I get a little time.  The results I think, are a rambling mess.  I really need to either write something intelligent or just hit publish before I end up posting all 164 photos up here.  Blame starvation!

T-Shirt Shelter / Bliss Dance by Marco Cochrane with Balloon Chain by Robert Bose / Feet up in Deep Playa / Flurry on the way to Megatropolis / Superman Gathering at the Man / The Honey Trap by ANIMUS / Dawn's Birthday Gathering

360 Degree Panorama of Center Camp
2010 like most years, blew me away.  I love it out there, and honestly, I think you savor it a bit more when you miss a year.  As always Saturday crept up on us way too quickly and before we knew it the Man was all set to burn.  That day we had a lot of dust storms and the wind was still blowing as the sun went down.  Everyone was waiting to see if the dust and wind would die down enough for a 100 ft. bonfire.  We hung back a bit from the madness, much like we did in 2008.

Well, sometime between twilight and dawn the fireworks started, the man was lit, and all hell broke loose.  We had a decent view at the beginning.  We saw a good deal of the fireworks.  But, just before the Man caught fire, the dust went mad!  Visibility went to zero as the sand and dust gave us the exfoliating of our lives.  I felt sorry for the poor camera, but each time the dust cleared enough to get a glimpse of the Man, I quickly took of the lens cap and snapped another shot.  Fire, wind, dust, repeat... What a rush!

After a while we lost sight of the Man completely.  Then the crowd began to appear from the glowing cloud in front of us.  Time to wander off into the night.
 
Burn Night
Sunrise after the burn
On Sunday night we all gather up for the burning of the temple.  This time we got there early and got in close.  The weather was much better and the mood (as always with the temple burn) much mellower.  It's my favorite way to end the week.
The Temple Burn
Matt, Gary & Hilda.  I'll miss you guys this year!
Well that turned out to be a major post. I love, love, love taking photos at Burning Man. If you liked these photos, please check out the slide show for tons more. Also, here is a link to my post for 2008 for some older photos: http://somehowlostagain.blogspot.com/2008/10/burning-man-2008-black-rock-city-nv.html
Burning Man 2010

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