I talk like a normal person, not a gear head. I prefer to show lots of sample photos and talk about how practical a camera is. If you really want to read all about the optics and other nerdy hardcore stuff, best to visit another in-depth site, such as F-Stop Lounge which is contributed to by my FUJI buddy Leigh Diprose.
My Photos are strange
That’s part of the allure, maybe? It’s also a reason a lot of photographers don’t like me, but that doesn’t bother me. If you ENJOY the looks of these photos I got with the FUJI, might I suggest you either:
Get the HDR program I made with Macphun called Aurora HDR
These are all very fun filters and techniques that anyone can do. I have a strange teaching method that helps you discover your own style of photography. It’s easy, and anyone can do it!
Perfect for Inclement Conditions, like Burning Man
The FUJI products have always served me so well in crazy weather conditions. Well, in ANY condition, really. But there’s something about going out into the wild weather to take photos. You just end up getting very unique stuff.
This was my eighth year at Burning Man, and my 2nd to take FUJI equipment. It certainly didn’t disappoint. I’ll let the amazing images the FUJI made speak for themselves.
Look at that amazing RAW file. All those shadows are right there at the ready.
Specifically, the FUJI X-T2
I was excited to get this new camera, the upgraded one of the camera I used last year. I loved the one last year, so I was very excited to test out it’s upgraded version. (See Previous review of Fuji XPro 2) I wasn’t disappointed.
Burning Man can be a Very Harsh environment with not just high temperatures, but frequent sandstorms. Those were always a major worry with my other cameras, but not this one. I didn’t have one single problem. It shot flawlessly.
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 Ténéré. It was one of my favorite art pieces this year…
My favourite features
I love the new fold-out screen. The previous version didn’t have that. I find it very handy when shooting down low to get a good perspective, like perhaps you can see in some of the shots below.
The FPS of 8.0! I love being able to fire off a ton of photos very quickly. I don’t set up any of the Burning Man shots – all organic. It reminds me a little of shooting animals in Africa, where you can’t exactly tell a lion what to do! So it is good to take a bunch of photos and pick the best. There’s no shame in that, my friends!
The manual dials. These were great fun to use. They took a while to get used to, but then things flowed very easily. They also have a nice little push button on top to lock it into place so you don’t accidentally move it around.
What I should have gotten
I should have gotten the X-T2 Vertical Power Boost Grip . At first, I thought it just let you put two batteries in, but I didn’t realise it also gives you a speed boost with the electronic shutter! The boost goes from 8.0 FPS to 11.0 FPS.
What’s with the “Look” of the photos below
I unashamedly post-process my photos. Not only is it fun, but I think it makes them look even better. Some may disagree, and that’s cool. The two primary things I use are:
Onward we go! Note you can click into any photo to go to SmugMug and see the EXIF info. There is a little “i” on there that will give you more info, if you are interested in that sort of thing.
The Tree of Ténéré. 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 250,000 LEDs came on and flowed through the tree like the wind.
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.
Camp Walter in all it’s glory on burn night!
There are over 1,000 children that come to Burning Man every year. They usually stay in Kid’s Camp, which is a really fun place I stayed one year when I brought my son. In the middle of this week, I was randomly wandering around taking photos and found this fun family also in the playa. This little girl was running around and I asked if I could chase her and take a photo. Her dad said, “For sure!”
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.
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!
A wonderful Israeli couple had just finished an acro-yoga performance for me. They were amazing and I got some great photos that I still haven’t processed. After they finished, they embraced. This was somewhere around 8:30 and E (that’s how addresses work in Black Rock City… time + letter).
An immense gramophone (I think that’s what they’re called) at sunrise. It was about a mile or so to bike out to this piece, but always worth it. Thomas Edison would be proud. Did he invent this? I guess I could have Googled it but I think so.
The Monaco, Land Frigate of Burning Man
A sandstorm ran through the middle of camp while my friend Cliff and I were taking photos. Note that Cliff is not in this photo, but he’ll be in a future one.
Entering the gates of Burning Man
Mona Lisa (Da Vinci’s Battle Tank). One of the 6 art cars at Camp Walter!
A woman chases death across the desert with a smile on her face and sandals.
Believe it or not these two are sisters
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.
A Phoenix rises… I was sorry not to get to see this one burn. That would have been a cool photo!
A plane crash in the desert? No… just more fun random scatterings of art around the white sands. I WAS almost in a plane crash here one year in an experimental hand-made plane. Right after we landed, a huge gust of wind came and blew us off the runway. Whoa that was exciting… seeing this brought back those heart-stopping memories!
This is Kristyna Chladkove in the middle of a brutally hot day. Right after this, a massive sandstorm blew in, as you’ll see in the next photo. She asked me if I wanted some coconut water after this. I said, “You know, thank you for the offer, and I will have some coconut water, but I feel like all you drink is coconut water. I mean, that’s great, I heard it’s super healthy and stuff.”
Back there you can see my friend Cliff Baise in full-Cliff position. Look at him with his Canon. What’s that on there, Cliff? A 24-70? Yeah, or something like that. Wow you can tell Cliff is serious when he’s in that position.
Here’s the man burning on Saturday night. It was quite a wild scene for sure… this is taken from the top of Kalliope, one of our camp’s six art cars. After this, the party really went crazy and Paris Hilton even came over to join in the fun. I was SO TIRED after being awake for like 36 hours, about midnight I crawled inside the middle of that big VW bus there (Walter) and curled up with my tripod and fell asleep. My friend Ruvi drove Walter back to the camp with me asleep in the cab there… I woke up like at 3 AM trying to figure out what the heck was going on!
In the middle of the day, I rode off into the deep desert and saw someone else trying to be alone.
I can attest that this camera is just as rugged and weather-proof as people say. I never had a single problem with it!
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…
Carla and Kristyna, BFF. This is basically just like me and Rene, but we don’t hug like this in camp. Well, guys kinda hug when they first see one another, and then a 2nd hug a week later when they part. So, well, it’s not like us at all. It’s like us if we were girls, I guess. Okay, the more I talk about it, it’s actually a really bad analogy. Anyway, this is Carla and Kristyna. They’re super-friendly.