Since it’s been
six years a decade a long time since I went to Burning Man, I’ve expanded this page to include other festivals that involve fire. It’s a theme.
Incidentally: photographing firespinning is one of the most technically challenging photo tasks I can think of. There’s a very narrow range of acceptable shutter speeds — you want to show off some of the motion, but not so much that the subject blurs out — and aperture is tricky: a newly-lit wick is about two stops brighter than one halfway through a burn. Focus is the worst part. I’ve ruined an unbelievable number of otherwise good photos by not being able to focus properly in the dark (autofocus is unreliable, and doing it by hand is tricky especially since people tend to move around a lot when burning.)
Practice practice practice.
I burned a lot this year (and ate fire!) but never quite managed to get a picture of myself. Got some good ones of my friends, though, so I’m counting it as a win.
(I’ve removed all photos of the fire circle and its surroundings. The organizers of this event are (rightly) sensitive about photos interfering with the spirit of the event. I’m not sure if these crossed the line or not but just to be on the safe side, they’re gone.)