I’m back from Burning Man. While technically we left Black Rock City late Sunday night, between travel time and de-playa-ing it wasn’t until today that I was back in front of my laptop. I’m teetering on the edge of overwhelmed as I look at the backlog of work that’s piled up in my absence, yet still basking in a week spent almost totally unplugged. This was the first full week in four years that I haven’t opened my laptop once! Crazy, right? (Last time I went to Burning Man I edited photos a few times throughout the week, and biked to a wifi camp a few times to check emails on my phone.) It’s a bit strange to be back staring at a screen.
Returning to the playa was an amazing experience, so different in so many ways from my first burn and yet in others so similar. Having so thoroughly documented my first burn in 2013, I felt less pressure to do so this time around, and so spent a lot less time looking through my lens and a lot less time obsessively journaling (time will tell if I will come to regret that!)
I’m still absorbing and processing every bit of this surreal experience — and catching up on sleep and washing playa dust out of my hair — but of course I’ll have much more Burning Man action coming at you quite soon. In the meantime, you have a few more posts on the great New York state this week to look forward to!
See you in the comments…
Sunrise on the Playa
We were exactly where we needed to be
Beauty, nature and man-made
The magic hour in Black Rock City
Which photo is your favorite?
The LOVE pic! LOVE it!!! 😉
😀 You’re the best!
B! Because sometimes we forget that. Also D because it looks fun.
Indeed! To both 🙂
Photo B – gotta love a quote. We will never get to Burning Man unless I quit teaching! The damn ESTA (American visa waiver programme) restricted us going now (during the career break) and teaching resumes in August back home. Oh well – SXSW again next year though. Looking forward to the post.
I’ve actually heard teachers complain about the timing. Maybe something to look forward to in retirement 🙂
I love B! Love the quotation, the bikes, the sky..everything.. (ok maybe not the dust!). 🙂
Yeah… it was a super dusty year. A little too dusty for my liking! But we made it 🙂
I love A. I’m a sucker for a sunset photo and can’t imagine what they must be like there. I’m currently catching up on your 2013 Burning Man posts. There’s so much about it I didn’t know!
Thanks Kacy! Enjoy those archives — I had so much to say about that first burn. And actually, that’s a sunrise 🙂
Photo B! Love everything about it. Beautiful. Can’t wait to read more about your second go at Burning Man. I keep hearing reviews that it’s been getting more and more commercialized every year. Did you feel anything like that in comparison to your last visit?
Well, commercialized isn’t really the right word as there’s no sponsorships or branding or commodification allowed — and that’s stayed strictly enforced. But it is getting a bit more regulated with gifting bars checking IDs and bigger parties having to get permits for events. And I’m sure there a few more weekend warriors every year 🙂 But that’s kind of unavoidable when there’s a festival this amazing as everyone who goes is going to talk about it, and then everyone they talk to is going to want to go!
Ohhhhhh these are amazing! I LOVE A AND B! Can’t believe you got to go. What an amazing experience! 🙂
It really was! Can’t wait to share more about it.
I am loving everything about Photo B too, especially the dust and the bikers’ masks! That is a really good shot!! Also, congrats on successfully unplugging. It’s good for the soul 😉
It was just too dusty this year to risk taking my laptop out — a blessing in disguise!
Umm, all of them, but since that’s a cop out, I’ll choose A. I love the softness of the sunrise mixed with the contrast of the dark humans. It makes nature the focus over people, and I love that.
Burning Man is all about the clash between the two!
A & B go perfectly together! What else could you be thinking while staring at that view while hugging someone?! Magical!
Thanks Kristina! I actually love that in that photo their backs are to the sunrise… finally time to go sleep!
Oh I didn’t notice that Amazing pic! Can’t wait to read your coverage from this year
B! I like the symmetry of the diverging cyclists. Can’t wait to hear about this year’s Burn!!
Wish I could say that was spontaneous but I made them do quite a few laps. Luckily I have some cooperative models!
Photo B! But I really love those giant wooden structures like in D and I’m sure it looked even awesome-er at night 😉
Burning Man at night is like being on another planet, or in a video game, or it’s completely impossible to describe. Can’t be sure 🙂
I vote Photo C 🙂 I bet the view from the top was amazingg! Looks really difficult to get up there though? The holes don’t seem quite big enough for holds.
I admit I didn’t actually try it! I was impressed with those who did, though…
I’d love to go one day, but for now all I can do is revel in everyone’s pictures and stories. Your photos are gorgeous, and D is my favourite. When you start writing about Burning Man could you please also consider creating an article with what to pack when you go to Burning Man?
I’ve been thinking that’s one post I still need to write after last time! Will do Dominique — thanks 🙂
I really like Photo D. I can’t say that deserts do it for me but this sunset is beautiful
Thanks Katie! Deserts are an acquired taste. Desserts, on the other hand… 🙂
Photo B – because I feel like I need to be at Burning Man one day
The playa is waiting for you 🙂
I love D. Great to see something giant waiting to be burned, hah! Burning man is definitely on my to see list. Which one is your favorite?!
Actually, that’s not the man! It’s a woman 🙂 That artist creates a piece almost every year.
I vote for C! 🙂 It makes me feel a bit more optimistic.
btw I am planning to be at the Burning Man one day. 🙂
Make it happen! It will be amazing 🙂
Photo C! LOVE it! 🙂
One of my favorite pieces of art!
B or C. I LOVE WORDS.
I wonder why 🙂
I love both photo B & C, both in looks and in message. I think B wins for me, though. It’s just the kind of thing I think ALL people need to hear from time to time. I’m glad you managed to disconnect and enjoy the experience. 🙂
Didn’t have much of a choice! Ha. But it felt good! It felt like a nice progression to finally be able to take a week away from my site (I was only really able to now that I’ve hired help.)
I am SO bummed I bailed on this 🙁 next time, can’t wait to see more pics and read stories chica!
I know! I need to hear the story behind this… wish we’d met on the playa!
Hey Alex I read your post about your first time to prepare my self for this experience. Unfortunately i couldn’t go this year but i am already preparing for the next year. Thanks for sharing your experience and details about the BM. For me the pic B is the best. By the way I am from Brazil and I think that you must go to visit Brazil!
I hope I will someday, Joao! Best of luck getting to Burning Man.
I love Photo B!!
Burning Man is so high on my bucketlist but not sure I’ll make it there any year soon!
Hopefully it will be around for a long time to come!
Looks like an amazing time! I’m a huuuuuge festival fan and have been plotting for BM in 2016 for quite some time. Your pictures are keeping the dream alive, thanks for sharing.
Absolutely! That’s a dream that certainly needs stoking.
I have to admit, I have absolutely no interest in going to Burning Man. But it is fun to see your photos and I’ll look forward to reading your stories! It’s like reading a good book…feeling part of it from a comfortable distance 😉
Burning Man definitely isn’t for everyone! I’m glad I can give you a peek regardless 🙂
Photo B Photo B!!! can’t believe I’ve lived in SF for 3 years and have yet to make it to the playa. love these pics + your guide from last year (or the year before?). looks like such a blast and you capture/share it beautifully!
Yup, it was two years ago. How time flies… and thank you!
Love all of them!
But if I have to choose, it’s Photo E for showing life without really showing people
Thanks, Sarah! That photo does show a lot about life in Black Rock City…
Burning man has been on my Bucket list for ages! I wish one day I could go to! 🙂
If you dream it you can do it 😉 Burning Man is amazing!
Photo B without any doubt!
Btw, I’m so jealous you went there. It’s on my bucket list, but it’s exactly 10000 km far from where I live so I need to find a time and a way to do it!
I can definitely empathize with how tough Burning Man is to attend for international participants. It’s hard enough when you’re coming from across the country!
I am choosing photo A Alex. Sunrise is a special time of the day.
It’s the magic hour!
The description of the festival of Burning Man, and the antics in it really gave me a thrill. The rock city of US, Nevada is surely a hot and happening place to be. I was happy comparing it to the festivals world over.
It’s certainly an amazing festival. Thanks for reading!
So great that you have been to Burning Man! 😀 all photos are awesome, but I like A the best. The composition and the coloure are perfect!
I have, and I loved it! More posts about my second burn coming up at some point 🙂
These are all such amazing photos, but I have to go with B – I love that quote!
Definitely one of my favorite pieces this year — gorgeous all lit up at night too!
Photo C grabbed my attention, but Photo B is a great runner-up.
I saw some amazing pictures on Instagram of this event. It looked awesome.
It definitely is a visual treat. There’s nothing else like it… which makes it very difficult to write about, but easy to share pictures of!
i love the photo B excellent quote
Gorgeous, isn’t it?
In love with this blog! I do a bit of traveling myself and would love to join your team! What camera was used in these shots… absolutely stunning!
Hey Hannah! Check out my obsessions page… all my camera info can be found there! And thanks for the kudos <3