Persian Power Trip - Click to enlarge
I’ve had over 1 million page views this month on my Burning Man Festival photo gallery, largely thanks to viral interest in a single photo (shown at left). Don’t get me wrong, this is a popular site, and I typically get hundreds of visitors per day. But occasionally a photo will take off like a rocket in popularity and I’ll be deluged with traffic. As I write this I’m getting 8,000 visitors per day, largely because of one photo. This has happened before, to a lesser extent, with other photos, but this one seems to have captured the world’s imagination.
Can you do this, too? Maybe. And that’s what I’d like to write about today. (more…)
Sunset, the big travel magazine devoted to the American Southwest, contacted me today asking to buy this photo from the Burning Man festival. It will run in an article called “Amazing West” in their November issue. And they offered me the biggest fee I’ve ever received for a single image. Now that’s a nice way to start the day.
Just some of the gear I'm packing
Preparing for Burning Man is only slightly less daunting than packing for a polar expedition — or perhaps a mission to Mars is a better analogy.
Each year my packing list grows longer and more complex (it now spans 8 pages of closely-spaced typing), and each year I nevertheless forget several important items and end up cursing myself out there in the Nevada desert when I discover that I forgot to bring, say, the superglue that I need to re-attach the sole of my shoe so that I don’t have to walk 3 miles back to camp barefoot on the blistering, 120-degree surface of the alkaline lakebed. Or the charger for my camera battery. Or my can opener. Or, even worse, the beer. Or any one of the hundreds of other things that make life bearable in the extreme environment of Burning Man. (more…)
Tear sheets (that’s tear as in rip, not as in cry) is the name given to pages from a magazine or book sent to the photographer who took the photos. Sometimes they are literally sheets torn out of the publication, but I always request several copies of the entire magazine or book and usually get it. (more…)
Since I so often kick myself for doing things wrong, today I’m going to celebrate doing it right.
Today I turned a publisher’s request for a single photo—with no offer of payment—into a 5-photo sale for hundreds of dollars. It’s a lesson for me, and maybe for you, in what to do right.
I was contacted by a Japanese travel book publisher, who wanted to use the image at left from my Burning Man Festival photos (caution, some nudity) in their “Dream Trips” guidebook, which will include a chapter on Burning Man as a tourist destination. (Of course, the notion of busloads of Japanese tourists arriving at Burning Man is pretty damn funny. If you’re not familiar with Burning Man, it’s the annual festival of “radical self-expression” held in the Nevada desert — a photographer’s dreamland of fantastic characters, art, and spectacle — but definitely not for the faint of heart.)
Anyway, this publisher offered no payment, only credit. (more…)
The Hoop Unit performs in the lobby
In a previous post I wrote about shooting an indoor event in a dark warehouse with the Lumiquest 80/20 with on-camera flash. Today we’re going to look at another option for event photography: using an Off Camera Shoe Cord to get the flash off the camera.
If you want to view the photos before reading about them, see the gallery here.
Last night I attended the San Diego Burning Man Film Festival at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park. You can always count on the Burning Man community to turn out in fanciful costumes that make great photos.
Since I knew I’d be holding the camera in one hand and the flash in the other hand all night, I chose my gear based on weight: the super-light Rebel 350D and the 430EX flash (each considerably lighter than carrying my heavier DSLR and 580EXII flash). Unfortunately, my workhorse lens for indoor photography, the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, is a monster, so the camera is still quite a brick to hand-hold all night. Not to mention front-heavy as hell on the tiny Rebel body. But these are the trade-offs we make. (more…)