Eric Schwabel went to Burning Man last year. Taking place in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, the high desert is full of harsh conditions. Alkaline covering the ground powders when stepped on, and is highly corrosive. Weather changes quickly. There is no electricity, no cellular phone coverage, and Internet access only happens via satellite dish. It was under these conditions Schwabel decided to create portraits flash-lit against the desert’s breathtaking skies. Attendees of the iconic festival typically turn themselves into creatures lurking somewhere deep inside themselves. They wear bizarre costumes or nothing at all, and stroll the various encampments, all the while battling the never-ceasing dust in the air.
This summer Schwabel headed back, and he had a bigger rig.
This year I’m bringing some twin heads to mount on top of a 4-wheel bicycle to light some of the large scale art. I’m trying to recharge everything solar, and we have a lot more equipment. Each of my assistants will be setup with a light, and I’ll be able to move them as needed to get the best shot and angle. I’m also bringing a few twin heads that we can hoist up high to light some of the large-scale art during the day. I’ll be shooting during the day, then editing at night in the back of a rented cargo van on a laptop. My goal is to have enough work shot to do a book in six days, so it’s a big goal and I’m counting on the public to support it at Kickstarter.
Good news: Eric’s project has been officially funded by KickStarter. For this project Schwabel was packing a Profoto Pro-B2, among other Profoto gear. You can see more of Eric Schwabel’s work on his site and his blog.
In the slightly not safe for work video below, see some of the images and some behind-the-scenes footage of Schwabel in action.