North America, Photography, Travel

Travel Photography – Night White Out at Burning Man

I have a few Burning Man pictures lined up for the next few weeks since they just look so awesome. Yes, I was dumb enough to pull out my camera during a fill blown white out at Burning Man. These types of things can be fixed on my camera, right? *cough* (Let’s not talk about that…)

Shaun and I got caught up in this beast at about midnight one night completely unprepared for it. While we thought it would quickly pass by, this white out made up for the lack of them that year. We sat it out waiting for 30 minutes before realizing it wasn’t going anywhere.

A couple of things you should know about White Outs at Burning Man:

1. Yes, they can happen at night, too (as seen by the picture).
2. Yes, you should really always carry your goggles and bandana with you. (We were stupid and didn’t have them.)
3. Yes, you really should stay put until it is over. People have been known to wander off and get lost.
4. Be patient, it will pass eventually.
5. Take this moment to meet the people around you. Make your own story.

Don’t take my word for it? Check out this gem from the Burning Man website:

Long, sustained rainfall–or white out conditions– are unlikely; however, you will want to come to the event mentally and physically prepared for such occurrences.

  • DO NOT DRIVE your vehicle
  • Relax and wait until conditions change
  • Bring a plastic 5-gallon utility bucket (with lid!) and heavy-duty black garbage bags (as an emergency porta potty). The bags go home with you, NOT in a porta potty
  • Bring a complete basic first aid kit
  • Bring a battery-powered radio and tune into BMIR (94.5 FM)

*Please note that the giant lights are actually the 6 story effigy that just disappeared into the desert sand.*

burning man

21 thoughts on “Travel Photography – Night White Out at Burning Man”

    1. @Jaime: Thank you! I had a small panic attack while we were out… we were stranded without masks on us. For some reason we believed a veteran burner than there rarely were white outs at night. ALWAYS take goggles and masks no matter where you go!

    1. @Joshy: I’m sure the footage looks AWESOME! I wish I would have take more but as it was my first burn I was more concerned about experiencing it.

  1. Burning Man sounds like such a crazy, fun experience! I’ve had so many friends attend and swear it was the best time of their lives. I just don’t know if I could survive such a festival. Your photos look amazing!

      1. I just want to add that “crazy” is the perfect word. It’s both good and bad, and often in heaping doses of both from moment-to-moment, but it is ALWAYS crazy. It really is worth “the world”!

        Love this shot. The 24-hour whiteout from Friday to Saturday was worth the week of calm weather that followed the rains and rainbows.

    1. @Giulia: A desert sand storm kicked up while we were about 1/2 a mile out of camp. This is at night and the big lights are actually to light up the effigy in the middle.

  2. Hey Erica, Nice effect in this shot, I like it. The Burning Man festival looks like it was a photographers dream. Answer me this one. How the hell did you keep all the dirt and dust out of your camera. It must have been tough…

    1. @Jason: Thanks – it just kinda came out that way! lol Burning Man was amazing but the thing is that I was so caught up in experiencing I missed out on a LOT of opportunities. As for the dirt and dust, I never removed my UV filter and never changed lenses. We wiped the camera down before even opening it up after getting home. Keep in mind that my UV filter is now mud-glued on and I have to figure out how to get it off my 50mm lens. 😛 Totally worth it.

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