Burning Man – Stuck in Customs

The Three Sisters in Fog

Burning Man Bike Stolen and Taken to New Zealand!

This is a great story about my friend (and camp-mate at Walter!) who had his bike stolen. Read the story here!

Daily Photo – The Three Sisters in Fog

Here’s a new photo I recently finished from Shanghai, China. I woke up early to get a sunrise photo, but it was too smoggy/foggy for any good light. I figured, well, as long as I am awake, I should try to be productive… I walked around for a while and the only interesting thing I could see was this… so I launched the quad to get a photo of three of the tallest buildings in China.

The Three Sisters in Fog

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-08-25 14:18:36
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Tsuruga-jō Castle in Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima

Behind the Shot

Steve Brazill (@SteveBrazill) asked me to join him on his Behind the Shot podcast (@BehindTheShotTV) to take a look at how I made this image from Burning Man. We also have a little contest to win a “How to Build Real Influence” class I did with @laurenepbath. Check it out here!

The Boshin War

I BET you don’t know much about this war… neither did I until researching this spot in Japan featured in today’s photo. Below is from Wikipedia:

The Boshin War (戊辰戦争 Boshin Sensō, “War of the Year of the Yang Earth Dragon”), also known as the Japanese Revolution, was a civil war fought in Japan between the ruling Tokugawa Shogunate and supporters of the Imperial Court from 27 January 1868 to 27 June 1869.

The Tokugawa Shogunate’s handling of foreigners following the Opening of Japan during the 1850s and decline from increasing Western influence in the economy disillusioned many kazoku nobles and young samurai warriors, who sought to return power to the Emperor’s Imperial Court in Kyoto after 683 years of Shogunate rule. An alliance of court officials and western samurai, particularly from the domains of Chōshū, Satsuma and Tosa, supported by the United Kingdom secured control of the Imperial Court. Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the sitting shōgun, abdicated political power to the young Emperor Meiji hoping that the House of Tokugawa could be preserved and participate in the future government. Military movements by Imperial forces, French support, partisan violence in Edo, and an imperial decree abolishing the Tokugawa promoted by Satsuma and Chōshū led Yoshinobu to launch a military campaign to seize the Emperor’s court in Kyoto. The conflict rapidly turned against the Shogunate, and Yoshinobu personally surrendered after a series of battles culminating in the surrender of Edo. Tokugawa loyalists retreated to northern Honshū where they joined the Northern Alliance against the Imperial faction, but were defeated several months later and fled to Hokkaidō. In January 1869, the Shogunate established the Republic of Ezo on Hokkaidō to continue their rule as a separate state and sued for peace. The Imperial faction invaded Hokkaidō and defeated the Shogunate at the Battle of Hakodate in June, ending the war.

The Boshin War made imperial rule supreme throughout the whole of Japan, completing the military phase of the Meiji Restoration and establishing the Empire of Japan. The victorious Imperial faction abandoned its objective to expel foreigners from Japan, and instead adopted a policy of continued modernization and industrialization to eventual renegotiation of the unequal treaties with the Western powers. Tokugawa loyalists were shown clemency due to the persistence of Saigō Takamori, a prominent leader of the Imperial faction, and many former Shogunate leaders and samurai were later given positions of responsibility under the new government. Around 120,000 men were mobilized during the conflict and of these about 3,500 were killed, and over time the war has been romanticized as a “bloodless revolution” because of the small number of casualties.

Daily Photo – Tsuruga-jō Castle in Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima

Believe it or not, I got really good at saying all these super-long Japanese names while I was there! I pretty much had to, since hardly anyone spoke English and I had to navigate the serpentine rail and bus system. I didn’t have much time in Aizuwakamatsu-shi, but I wanted to make sure this classic old castle was on the list… It took me down a whole interesting history lesson in one of the many Japanese civil wars.

Tsuruga-jō Castle in Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-08-25 14:18:37
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Way Back in Burning Man 2011

Burning Man Gallery

I am always updating my Burning Man Gallery up on SmugMug. You can go there to see the last 8 years of photos. I’m so stoked to go this year, year #9… and I’m bringing my friend Hugh Howey! He’s a virgin!

Daily Photo – Way Back in Burning Man 2011

Wow it’s hard to believe I’ve been going for so many years. This is the temple from that year, but this is a new photo I recently processed! I hope you enjoy this and some of the other photos from the gallery above.

Way Back in Burning Man 2011

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2011-08-31 21:37:21
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture4.8
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length19.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Haircut in Chengdu

The Headmaze!

I’m Sooooo excited about this art piece… I want to mention it to help raise money to make it happen. It’s created by some of my favorite artists at Burning Man, so I hope you can contribute!

Here’s the link!

Daily Photo – Haircut in Chengdu

It’s a pretty fun little photo idea to go to old barber shops in old parts of distant cities. There’s always a bunch of characters in there and no one seems to mind the photography even though nobody speaks English. I think they are just happy to be interesting enough to get some attention!

Haircut in Chengdu

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  • Date Taken2019-08-25 14:18:38
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The Light Show in Singapore

Opulent Temple

Here’s one of my favorite go-to Soundcloud artists, Opulent Temple. They are one of the many “sound” camps that go to Burning Man every year.

Daily Photo – The Light Show in Singapore

A few times every night, there is a big laser light show that seems to please people. I’ve seen it many times and finally decided to try to get a photo of it. I think this photo is not that good, to be honest. It seems a bit banal. That’s probably my fault, as I was probably feeling a bit nihilistic when I took this.

The Light Show in Singapore

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-26 02:15:08
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/5
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Shopping in Singapore

Burning Man Survival Guide

Have you read my Burning Man Survival Guide? I’m thinking of making a more blog-friendly version of it here… but I can tell that will take quite a bit of time.

Daily Photo – Shopping in Singapore

There may be something wrong with me in that I enjoy taking photos of places that people shop rather than shopping. I almost do zero shopping… I’ve turned into more and more of a minimalist. Mostly, I spend money to buy experiences and travel rather than physical goods. That’s one reason I enjoy going to Burning Man so much… it is a giant expense, but it’s always worth it… so far, I come away with great stories and a few decent photos!

Shopping in Singapore

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-26 00:34:14
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.3
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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The Temple

Nerd Time

I woke up thinking about oxygen and how our cells covert the O2 molecule into CO2. I don’t know why I was thinking so hard about it, but I had to go jump on the internet to do some research. Anyway, I found out the following interesting tidbits, which is generally what I expected (although a fair more nitrogen than expected), but it was good to see it was researched by an actual scientist:

  • What we breathe in is far from pure oxygen, but roughly by volume 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, 0.96 percent argon and 0.04 percent carbon dioxide
  • The permanent gases in air we exhale are roughly 78 percent nitrogen, 15 to 18 percent oxygen (we retain only a small amount), 4 to 5 percent carbon dioxide and 0.96 percent argon

This sent me on a deep dive of argon, but I won’t bore you with that.

Daily Photo – The Temple

This is a photo I recently edited from Burning Man. I think this was the temple 3 years ago, if I recall? I don’t know… it’s all a blur. Anyway, recently the Directed Group Sales go into effect… so I’m securing a few tickets. That’s always a good feeling because tickets can be so hard to get! If you want to see my full Burning Man portfolio on SmugMug, head over here.

The Temple

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-09-02 12:31:44
  • CameraX-Pro2
  • Camera MakeFuji
  • Exposure Time8.5
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length27.4 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

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The Temple at Burning Man

Tales from the Tour Bus

My latest recommendation is to watch this super funny show. Mike Judge had the brilliant idea to capture stories from musicians and then animate them in clever ways. Here’s the promo for it.

Daily Photo – The Temple at Burning Man

Here’s a photo I recently processed of The Temple at Burning Man. I think this was in 2016? I don’t remember. Too many drugs. Anyway, I did happen to capture this photo. I have strong opinions on the design of each temple, which varies from year to year (it’s always burned on the last day). For me, this one was definitely in the top three. I try not to look on the Internet about upcoming designs, but I heard the one for this year is another Asian-inspired theme.

The Temple at Burning Man

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-09-02 12:31:42
  • CameraX-Pro2
  • Camera MakeFuji
  • Exposure Time2.1
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length27.4 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
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Burning Embrace

Android Jones Video

Here’s another video from one of my favorite artists, Android Jones. We happened to be at the same place at the same time at Burning Man. I love his interpretation of the scene.

First, I can share my “Before” photo of Embrace, before yet another genius, Matthew Shultz and the Pier Group completed the work with its burning a few days later.

Embrace 2014

Daily Photo – Burning Embrace

Schedules are a little bit lax at Burning Man, to say the least. I think this was originally meant to burn right at sunrise, but it took a few extra hours to actually get going. No matter. It gave us all a chance to sit down and have some good conversations with whoever happened to be seated beside you.

Burning Embrace

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-08-30 03:32:53
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2500
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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XOXO Jump

Full Burning Man Portfolio

I’ve recently updated my entire Burning Man portfolio over at Smugmug, so be sure to go have a look. Now there are more than eight years of Burning Man photos in there for ya!

Daily Photo – XOXO Jump

I can’t believe there aren’t even more injuries at Burning Man every year. People get up and do the most athletic-looking maneuvers in the most sketchy situations. This is one of Laura Kimpton’s pieces. She puts new letters out there every year that say one thing or another… they’re always a magnet for this kind of jumpy action.

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

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