Burning Man Festival
Photos per year: 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 1999, 1998.
Burning Man is yearly gathering of about 70,000 people, many from the San Francisco Bay Area, celebrating love, life, passion and art during one week in a desolated desert in Nevada.
The event takes place each last week of august in an immense dry lakebed called Black Rock Desert. A temporary city is built where about everything is permitted except violence, money and commerce.
The culmination of the event is the burning of a large human-shape figure in a giant bonfire, hence the name (Burning Man). The city disappears completely at the end of the week, leaving no trace.
If this sounds interesting, check out the official Burning Man website at www.burningman.org.
Burning Man 2009 photos by Tristan Savatier (email me!)
You can see the photos from other years at www.loupiote.com/burningman
For me, 2009 was a very good harvest for Burning Man Photography. I selected twice as many photos as last year in this series. I am a bit sad that I missed a few amazing art pieces and magical moments, but i managed to capture more excellent images than in previous years.
Like the previous years, I was part of the BM photo Team and I was assigned an area of the playa to document. But unfortunately I found the art in this area quite uninspiring (visually), and the Theme-Camps in my area where quite hard to capture with photography. The "Nectar Village Steam Bath" crew did not want people to take photos in their camp (even though they don't declare it a No-Camera zone) and they were extremely aggressive towards me when I did. This was the only bad experience I had for the entire week.
Because of the windy and dusty conditions this year, I very rarely changed lenses, and I had to clean my sensor once. This is why I took almost no photos with a telephoto this year. My night / fire photos are not stellar because of playa dust inside my fastest lens (between the glass elements). But overall, I think this is a great series, and people seem to like it.
Hi-resolutions photos with no watermark are available for editorial use (contact me).
For information on this festival and to see my photos from other years, click here.
Photos processed with HDR and "tone mapping", e.g. using Photomatix.
See also related series: TT-HDR - True Tone High Dynamic Range.
I sometimes do HDR processing from a single RAW exposure, since my camera has about 6-stop dynamic range in RAW mode. This is the only possible way when shooting a moving subject.
For those wondering about the technical part, here is some information about my workflow for producing tone-mapped HDR images from a single RAW exposure:
- The RAW image is used to generate 3 images using exposure compensation with Photoshop using Adobe Camera Raw: -2EV, 0EV and +2EV. This allows to capture about the entire dynamic range stored in the RAW file. You could also use Lightroom to do that too, or any software than can process those RAW files. In my case, I need to first convert the RAW files into DNG format (using the standalone Adobe CameraRaw Converter) because the version of Camera Raw that I can use with my Photoshop is not compatible with the RAW format of my (recent) camera. But you don't need to go through the DNG step if you have the latest Adobe software.
- The 3 images (-2EV, 0EV and +2EV) are then merged into one HDR image using Photomatix (you could also use Photoshop to do that). This is basically an automatic process with no parameters to adjust.
- The HDR image is then processed with Tone Mapping to obtain a displayable image. I use Photomatix for the tone mapping. There are many knobs that can be adjusted, but in general I use the default setting and I increase the color saturation value in the Tone Mapping dialog. I then save the resulting tone-mapped image in TIFF format.
- I then correct Chromatic Aberrations using the free and automatic Photoshop plugin from Photoacute, which works very well most of the times.
- I then use standard photoshop layers to do the usual final adjustments (Level, Curve, Saturation, Color Balance).
If you like these photos, don't hesitate to leave a comment or email me.