10 Portraits from Burning Man 2010 by photographer Eric Schwabel
With the help of these gorgeous souls, I created these photographs at Burning Man 2010. The concept came from some celebrity portraits I had done that were extreme closeups, lit primarily with two soft boxes just inches from the subject’s face. To shoot these at Burning Man and remain mobile, I used relatively the same gear I use in the studio — a Mamiya AFDII body with DM28 (aka LEAF Aptus II 7) digital back, and two profoto 7b kits, each illuminating a small-ish strip soft box. The only major differences were (a) I was wearing the lights, they were strapped to my body, attached to a military frame pack, and — in this case — the extra weight was supported by a modified bike trailer in front of me, which also served as a “mark” for the subjects so that my exposure stayed relatively consistent; and (b) no computer or tethered capture meant I really just had to assume that I knew what I was doing and they would come out properly.
Aside from a applying a desaturation process in bulk to all of these images in Adobe Lightroom, there is no individual post-processing.
The whole process was exhilarating for me. I had to publicly pre-announce that I was doing this, so that I could raise the funds to rent the necessary gear, which meant that even if I failed miserably and the photos turned out awful, I’d have to share them anyway. I’m a studio photographer who doesn’t normally seek out subjects on-the-fly, so on a personal level, it was a growth experience to wander the desert and see if people were even willing to let me interrupt what they were doing and capture a part of their soul.
For me, this was a personal and professional success, and I’m glad to be doing it again in 2012… (More on that to follow)
http://burningman.com http://humanlightsuit.com http://schwabelstudio.com