I’m caked in fine, white desert dust and rivers of sweat travel down my sunburned, bikini-clad back. The temperature exceeds 100 degrees; the sun is stark against the cerulean sky and its light bounces off the desert floor, blinding my eyes. “How did I get here?” I wonder. “What has brought me, and all of these people, to this exact moment?”
Every September, nearly 50,000 people from all over the world make the pilgrimage to the remote Nevada Black Rock desert to participate in Burning Man, a weeklong arts and culture festival. A unique social experiment in intentional community-building and en masse collective-camping, Burning Man attracts metallurgists, curiosity seekers from America’s heartland, fire artists, corporate lawyers eager to shed their suits, belly dancers, and Silicon Valley execs–in short, anybody willing to approach the distinctive experience with an open heart and mind.
A gritty, money-free event, Burning Man’s celebratory atmosphere, stark landscape, and eclectic attendees are a photographer’s field day. While there last year, I snapped thousands of pictures to document the wildness and beauty of a white-sand desert landscape teeming with art, culture, and freedom of expression.
If you haven’t yet secured tickets to Burning Man, perhaps the opportunity to check out my metal-print photography installation at “Electric Ladyland” theme camp will give you incentive to join me at America’s most influential, alternative arts festival. I will debut large-scale, metal-print images culled from my 2009 Burning Man Album, which Wedding and Portrait Photographers International recently honored with a second-place award in its Album Category.
Metal art is a focal point at Burning Man, and I am proud that this year Catherine Hall Studios’ innovative metal prints will contribute to aesthetic conversation among the thousands of world-class art installations that comprise the festival. Bay Photo Lab, California’s premier metal-prints specialist, is sponsoring the production of the installation. Metal-printing is an innovative process in which coated metal sheets are infused with dye, creating a durable (and desert-resistant!) product.
I still haven’t made the final decision about which photographs to transfer to metal: Can you help? Below are three options. Pick your favorite and post a comment letting me know which image should be chosen!
Is it Mad-Hatters, No-Judgment, or Desert-Cowboy? Your top pick will be featured at Burning Man! I can’t wait to hear from you.