my Burning Man 2009 photos are here

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my Burning Man 2009 photos are here

Postby Tristan » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:58 pm

Hi, this is photographer Tristan Savatier, aka Loupiote.

I have finalized my series of photos of Burning Man 2009. Here are the guest-passes allowing you the see all the photos including nudity (uncensored, maybe not safe for work depending where you work):

Album: http://flickr.com/gp/loupiote/29YW8C

Slideshow: http://flickr.com/gp/loupiote/29YW8C/show

If you were at burning man in previous years, please check my previous series at http://www.flickr.com/photos/loupiote/c ... 763078981/

To see the uncensored series i.e. including photos with nudity and body-painting, the best is to go to my website http://www.loupiote.com/burningman/ .

MOD NOTE: Although your work is awesome, I had to remove the ad. I normally delete posts with ads, but simply removed it this time and left the rest of the links to some awesome photography. MDMF
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Postby somekind » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:48 pm

I looked at your photos and they inspired me to return to Burning Man next year. I'm sorry I missed this one.

I'm interested in the specs of your camera setup.
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Postby Tristan » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:53 pm

on each photo-page on flickr, you can click on the "More Properties" (toward the bottom of the right column) to get all the details about the camera, the lens and the parameters used.

I was mostly shooting with a Sony (Minolta) A700 DSLR and a 17-50mm F2.8 lens (35mm equiv 28-75mm), and a Sigma 10-20mm.

Some photos (like the Man's fire and the temple fire) were shot with a Sony F828.
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Postby 303jewels » Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:05 am

Just had to log in and say how fantastic your photographs are.

Will most definately check out the rest of your site

Thankyou - brings it all back.
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Postby Elderberry » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:09 pm

Your photos are great...something different about them...they are so...clean? crisp? not sure the exact adjective, but they make burning man look almost pristine.

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Re: my Burning Man 2009 photos are here

Postby Tristan » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:06 pm

Tristan wrote:MOD NOTE: Although your work is awesome, I had to remove the ad. I normally delete posts with ads, but simply removed it this time and left the rest of the links to some awesome photography. MDMF


thanks.

it was not an "ad". many people asked me how they could get prints of my photos. that's why i started offering them on-line, because i do not have time to process all those print requests "by hand".

this has now been put "on hold" upon request of the Burning Man organization.

hopefully we will be able to come to a solution that will allow me to continue making affordable prints and posters of my Burning Man photos available online, with permission of the Burning Man organization.

this is quite frustrating given that MANY burning man photos are being sold online by photographers as prints and posters (i found more that 3000 just on flickr in a few minutes, but there are certainly many more).

many people have already told me they were not happy with Burning Man "shutting me down", but i do have a contract with BM ORG, and i do understand the problem they have and the fact that they want to prevent abuse (like selling photos of nude people without having their model releases).

in many cases, they cannot enforce their rules because they have no contact with the people selling bootlegged photos or video taken at the event. but in cases of photographers that have a relation with them and have signed a contract, it is normal that they make sure all is done within their rules. i totally understand that.
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Tristan's Photos

Postby magicmarty » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:49 pm

Wow!!!

Fantastic photos. Thank you for sharing them. I was there and missed so much!

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Postby mdmf007 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:22 am

Alot of the sites do ask for forgiveness - you asked for permission to sell.

Forgiveness makes more money quicker and permission comes with caveats upfront.
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Postby eyeruh » Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:48 am

Tristan, did they have a problem with simply selling prints online thru a service or was it because you didn't have model releases for the people/art in your photographs? I ask because I was considering doing the same thing with the photos I took this year (I was the Temple crew's photographer). In my case, I *do* have permission from the people in most of my shots so at least that part won't be a problem.

Regardless, great shots--thanks for posting them! I know the Temple crew loves that night-time long exposure you shot. :-)
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Postby AntiM » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:36 am

You need to read through the guidelines on the main site:

http://www.burningman.com/press/pressRandR.html#pressRR

Pertinent parts (as I see it, read the whole thing and ask the BMORG what is acceptable):

Photographer/Videographer/Audiographer Rights and Responsibilities (Personal Use)

* You have the right to express yourself and create art as a photographer, videographer and/or audio artist.
* If you are filming or videotaping for personal use, you have the responsibility to check in at Playa Info, sign a personal use agreement, and get your camera tagged. This will let others know that you have obtained permission to use your camera. Unless you sign a personal use agreement and obtain a camera tag, you do not have any right to record images at the event.
* You have the responsibility to be respectful to people you wish to record and to seek permission from them before recording their likeness or voice.
* You may use any images that you obtained at the event only for personal use. No commercial use whatsoever may be made of any such images.
* Those who cannot enjoy their rights without acting responsibly may be escorted out of the event.
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Postby zcassidy » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:53 pm

Thank you! The pictures are top shelf. Its amazing what one can NOT see while on the playa
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Awesome as usual

Postby lonestoner916 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:06 am

Tristan your BM photos are always the best, you capture the night like no one else can.
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Postby cutmeoffandcallmeshorty » Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:47 am

Very Cool photos. Thank you for sharing....
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Postby Homiesinheaven » Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:56 am

how many have you sold already? do you have to give BMORG a cut of the profit?
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Postby toxic07 » Fri Oct 16, 2009 9:34 am

thanks for the post! Great pictures!!!
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Postby winebuff » Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:07 pm

WOW! Those are gorgeous! I am going for tthe first time next year and plan on also photographing it. Very excited. Did you use your flash out of curiosty or do long exposures? THey are amazing, excellent work.
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Postby Tristan » Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:56 am

eyeruh wrote:Tristan, did they have a problem with simply selling prints online thru a service or was it because you didn't have model releases for the people/art in your photographs? I ask because I was considering doing the same thing with the photos I took this year (I was the Temple crew's photographer). In my case, I *do* have permission from the people in most of my shots so at least that part won't be a problem.

Regardless, great shots--thanks for posting them! I know the Temple crew loves that night-time long exposure you shot. :-)


they have problem because they say that selling prints (whether for profit or not) is a "commercial use" of the photos taken at the event.

they also told me that in any case i needed a model release for selling any print of a photo with nudity. i have asked all models for permission to take photos, and i also happen to have signed model releases for most of my BM photos with nudity, so that point is not a problem for me.

i am aware of the issue that a few artists have with someone selling photos of their art. but in most cases. artists benefit from it, since i gave them the high res files from my photos with their art (if they want it), and i authorize them to sell my photos in their fund-raisers (e.g. the flaming lotus girls). i only heard about one artist that didn't want me to benefit by selling photos containing one of their piece (the bike arch by Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector). so that one does not seem to be a major issue with BM.

but they still have not given me permission for selling my prints. unlike artists that are allowed to sell the art they have created at burning man, photographers are not allowed to sell the photographic work they created at the event - i.e. BM consider that photography is not an art. that's a bit disturbing to me.

the BM organization told me that there are people that do not like the idea that photos taken at the event should be sold - or even that no photos should be taken at BM - even when the models have agreed to be photographed. i tend to hear the opposite - i.e. people keep telling me how great my photos are, and many burners ask me if they could get a print from my iconic photos like the temple under the full moon.

apparently the BM organization seems to have less problems with photographers that sell $200 or $300, framed and signed as "fine art gallery prints" that only a few rich people can afford. in that case, they consider it's "art" and they find it acceptable. some photographers (e.g. scott london) have been allowed to do that.

but if i want to sell the very same professional-quality prints for only $30 or $40 (taking advantage of on-line labs and web ordering with online payment), so that people could actually afford them, then BM considers that this is not "art", but rather "commercial exploitation or something from BM", and they do not want to allow it.

i told them that don't want to sell my photos for $300 as "fine art prints", i prefer to sell them with a much smaller markup (with internet orders) so that anyone can afford them, and so that it does not takes too much time and effort on my part to make them available.

but at that point that's not acceptable to them - even if i payback the necessary 10% royalties on all my (small) profits to the BM org. i really think this has to do with the idea that "art" must be expensive (therefore rare), so a few $300 fine art frames photo prints are ok, but a $40 posters or $20 prints bought with paypal is not ok.

BM told me that they want to discuss this issue with all parties interested and people that have various opinion on this subject. no discussion has been scheduled yet, but they told me one would come sometimes next year.

in the mean time, several thousands of "bootlegged BM prints" (i.e. unauthorized by BM) are being sold on the web (you can buy many with snapfish on flickr). but good photographers cannot sell their BM prints for cheap - or even at cost. not very encouraging, is it?
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Postby gaminwench » Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:34 am

have you considered gifting a print upon receipt of a 'donation' to defray your expenses??
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Postby Homiesinheaven » Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:08 am

i bought a print from someone for $40 that has been taking pictures at BM for years. sucks if BMORG has a double standard cause i'm sure they are aware of that person making sales. Tristan, even though your flickr page used to wreak of buy! buy! buy! i give you props for selling your pictures for cheap so people can afford them.
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Postby actiongrl » Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:42 pm

The difference between fine art and prints-on-demand would not really be the price point and who can afford it/only wanting the rich to be able to afford prints -- that would be silly. The difference is mass distribution and profit.
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Postby actiongrl » Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:58 pm

Also, prints should not be allowed to be sold on Flickr, so indeed if you see someone doing so, please let us know at press@burningman.com. If you're seeing them there for sale, it's not because we've approved it, it's because of the difficulty of enforcing it, but no, we don't permit individuals to sell prints of their Burning Man images whether releases on file or not -- it's a very high level of permission to sell prints, and is not generally granted.

We simply aren't interested in seeing photographers come to the event with the intent to take and sell photos at a profit. There are many photographers who contribute to the event in so many ways & are a part of our community, and we work hard to include them & make it possible for them to sell their work editorially and in certain other contexts - but we also seek to make sure our participants' experience is not negatively affected by photography, and that their permission is a part of the process more than it is in the outside world.

In the general sense, though, we've worked to protect Burning Man from becoming a commercial photography where any photographer can show up, take pictures of individuals, and sell them back to participants like so many prom photos.

For years, photographers have given this type of imagery away to their fellow Burners & nobody's had the capacity to ask for permission to sell prints online in this manner before, so it's a new area (at least at this volume/level of ease). The evolving face of photography online and printing services, etc. means we're having to constantly reanalyze our approach and that's where we are now - looking at this in a more global way before we move forward on any more individual approvals.

So, it's not that we don't want Tristan, specifically, to get to do what he wants to do with his photos, but we do need to reexamine our approach overall before further giving any individual approvals of this nature. That's where this is at -- it's nothing against Tristan's beautiful and top notch work!
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Postby Tristan » Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:51 pm

actiongrl wrote:The difference is mass distribution and profit.


mass distribution is already there, with the web. there are tens of thousands of BM photos on the web, that are viewed and downloaded millions times every week. people can even get then on their wall if they have those nifty "electronic frames" with WiFi that can display slideshows on framed flat screens.

so mass distribution already exists, it is not a new issue there. and i am not totally sure why mass distribution of printed images is so different from mass distribution of images on a screen.

"profit", i wish that was a problem. but for me, i would be happy if i could just pay for the equipment that i trash each year at BM, and the time that i spend processing the BM photos, not to mention web hosting, storage etc. this year only i trashed a $450 lens that i had to replace and I put a lot of dust in my DSLR. but the biggest expense is work: i spent about one month (each year) working full-time on my BM photos. that's a bill of at least $2000 just to cover my basic expenses, before i would make any "profit" from my BM photos.

so i don't think "profit" is the right word - profit exists only once you have recovered the costs and expenses. at least that's how my accountant understand the word "profit".

people have no idea of the actual costs of making good photos, especially at BM. it's not cheap. just ask other good BM photographers, they will tell you the same.

of course i understand the point made about photographers going to BM just to make photos and sell them and get rich. but i don't think that really happens. one reason is that photographers know that they will trash a lot of equipment at BM, and if they don't know that, they will figure out fast. so it will cost them. so just getting back enough money to pay for the equipment (and time) would really require selling a lot of prints. i don't think that's happening. another reason is that it is actually very difficult to take good photos at BM. even if you have a good eye, a decent camera, and pretty models. i know only a dozen or so photographers that take good photos at BM.

> Also, prints should not be allowed to be sold on Flickr, so indeed if you see someone doing so, please let us know at

i'm not gonna do that. it would be like a "wack a mole" game, given that technology allows that. the only way to prevent that is to make a rule that un-licensed cameras and camera-phones should deposited at the BM gate. if found on the playa, they should be immediately confiscated by playa rangers, and their users should be expelled from the event. that's not gonna happen. so there will be lots of photos around, and services like flickr that allow on-line order prints will provide prints. with some profit from print sale that goes to companies like hp-snapfish or flickr.

but BM should support the photographers that do quality work that benefit them (e.g. their "doc team"), as a lot of people go to BM after seeing the amazing images from those photographers (that's what i hear a lot).

it's good PR from BM, and they should support those photographers and allow them to provide their images without forcing them to pay for their good work. unlike people working in the BM office, photographers that sign-up to be in the BM documentation team don't get paid by BM (they get *one* BM ticket, that's all). unlike some other artists on the playa, we don't get any sponsorship or grant for our photographic art, even if we spend as much time and effort as those other artists.

> There are many photographers who contribute to the event in so many ways & are a part of our community, and we work hard to include them & make it possible for them to sell their work editorially and in certain other contexts

it's good to hear that we are "part of the community".

but let me tell how much editorial revenues i made with BM photos in the last 12 month. $0. right. last year i think i made $200. good to hear that you worked hard for allowing us to get that. - at least, you get paid when you work hard. we don't.

> but we also seek to make sure our participants' experience is not negatively affected by photography,

i know that a few people are negatively affected by photography at BM, but i think that's a small minority. most people don't care if asked for permission before being shots. some people actually seem offended when i don't take their photos. ah... and most people (including, i bet, some that claim to be negatively affected) actually love to see great photos of the event.
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Postby geospyder » Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:56 pm

Just a quick thanks for posting them.
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Postby actiongrl » Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:12 pm

Tristan, you seem to work hard to impute bad motives on our part and to sling arrows at me because you choose to bring expensive photographic equipment to a private event and take photos of it.

Pretty models? Is this about pretty models?
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Postby actiongrl » Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:18 pm

Seriously, Flickr photos - i cannot find any Flickr photos where I can go in and buy copies of another person's work. I can buy Snapfish prints of my own work, but not yours -- unless you purposefully, proactively set it so others can buy a print of your image, which amounts to commercial distribution, which is forbidden by the terms of entry into Burning Man, unless one obtains permission.

So the argument I hear is that because some other amateur photographers (whom I cannot seem to find) have chosen to ignore this and set their image sets so others can buy copies, in spite of that being a violation of a policy, then that means that means we should just give up and start allowing all photographers to sell prints of their work as widely as they want, without review, because photographers deserve to make a living on their work, and Burning Man's rules are an impediment to that now.

That makes no sense to me.
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Postby Tristan » Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:22 am

> Tristan, you seem to work hard to impute bad motives on our part and to sling arrows at me because you choose to bring expensive photographic equipment to a private event and take photos of it.

i can't believe what i'm reading there.

i'm sorry to say but you got it wrong. i'm one of the doc-team photographers (together with neil girling) that brings (and trash) the LEAST expensive DSLR equipment at BM - we both use sony/minolta DSLR which are some of the cheapest pro-quality cameras. most other doc-team photographers shoot with Canon 5d or the like, which cost $3000+, i.e. about twice as much as the camera i use.

after BM, those canon 5d cameras need at least a professional clean-up, and sometimes, they trash canon stabilized lenses that costs way more than $1000. so please, be serious for one minute. you have no idea of how much all the good photographers pay for making those nice photos. this year i ONLY trashed a $450 lens and paid for a $60 cleanup. ask the bill that the other photographers had, and you will understand better.

i could certainly use disposable cameras or point-and-shoot, but the technical quality of the photos you can do with those are not that great. no DoF, bad low-light photos, etc. are you suggesting that the doc-team should use less-than-$500 point-and-shoot? wow.

but as i said, equipment cost is not even the largest part of the real cost we incur. one month work to process 300 photos (on a total of 3000+ exposures) costs much more than the equipment we trash. each processed photo requires about 30min work in average including the total workflow operations, the art identification, the description, the keywording, etc. and on top of that, selecting the good photos among all the raw shots is also very time consuming. do the math, that's a lot of hours of work. if you think my numbers are crazy, ask anyone else, or try doing that yourself.

> Pretty models? Is this about pretty models?

i never said it was about pretty models. you took this word out of context, and apparently i did not express my point clearly. i said exactly "it is actually very difficult to take good photos at BM. even if you have a good eye, a decent camera, and pretty models."

do you disagree with that? do you think that anyone with a camera (and EVEN a pretty model in front of it) can make good photos at BM? really? sorry, i don't think so.

> Seriously, Flickr photos - i cannot find any Flickr photos where I can go in and buy copies of another person's work.

well, that's because exactly one month ago, flickr changed their print provider, and when this happened they have suspended that feature they had allowing people to let all other people buy prints of their photos. before this very recent change at flickr, there were literally thousands of BM photos that could be bought in hi-res prints (from 10 mega-pixel files). i don't know if flickr will re-enable that feature they had. but on other services like smugmug, you can find many more.

e.g. http://www.smugmug.com/search/index.mg? ... al&x=0&y=0

all the hundreds of photos that i found with a search for "burning man" can be purchased as prints - and there are thousands more that are not found by the search because they don't have the "burning man" keyword.

i bet if you do the same search on zenfolio, you will get the same results. and you could do that on many more photo hosting sites that offer prints services.

> So the argument I hear is that because some other amateur photographers (whom I cannot seem to find)

you really did not look very hard. i can give a lot more of those amateur BM photos available in prints that you say you cannot find - i could do that but it would be a contracting job, we can discuss this off-line.

> then that means we should just give up and start allowing all photographers to sell prints of their work as widely as they want,
> without review, because photographers deserve to make a living on their work, and Burning Man's rules are an impediment to that now.

i never said that you should give up "all control". for example, i agree that selling prints of photos with nudity should probably require a model release. or at least the permission of the model (as i said earlier, i have no problem with that - only 5% of my BM photos have nudity, and i have model release for most of those photos).

BM should definitely go after people who do "candid" (creepy) photos taken from very far away with telephotos to capture nude people without their knowledge. this something most people would want BM to control and prevent, i think.

but i do feel that BM is way too controling and i don't like at all the fact that they do actually prevent photographers, including their "doc team" (who provide all their photos for BM own's promotions, for free), from just getting back the expenses their incur in work time and equipment use. i'm not talking about making an actual profit.

yes, i think photographers deserve to make a living on their work (especially those who provide all their work to BM with a free perpetual license allowing BM - and many other artists - to use their work for their promotion), and Burning Man's rules are indeed an impediment to that now.

> That makes no sense to me.

well, that makes sense to a lot of the other photographers that feel the same as i do.

apparently a lot of people would not object to have the opportunity to buy inexpensive high-quality prints or posters of the best BM photos. a 8x12 or 16x24 hi-resolution print looks really much better than a 500-pixel resolution photo on a screen. people ask to buy prints of my photos, but BM does not allow me to sell them. i really don't see how selling prints of my photos would be harming the BM ORG. i have yet to hear convincing arguments about that.

as i said, if i was selling my prints for $300 as "fine art gallery archival prints" signed and framed, BM would probably be more inclined to letting me do it, but really that makes little sense to me. this idea that photography can be called "fine art" ONLY if the prints are very expensive is something i don't understand.
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Postby lbdavid98 » Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:07 am

Can I say it? ... Served. *lol*

On the flipside Tristan, as a 2010 incoming burner I need to thank you. Watching your slideshow yesterday inspired me to go out and buy the camping gear I made a list of when I "said" I was gonna go. Now I'm invested almost $700 and waiting for tickets to go onsale. I don't understand how BM can think your photos do them anything but good, they certainly helped me a great deal.

I think its entirely reasonable that you should be able to recoup your cost. Further, making those prints available to everyone at affordable prices, especially if other artists can sell their post-BM work, seems more like a public service than exploitation. I know I'll never be able to take a picture that good, I don't have the eye or equipment, but if you capture something next year that sparks a great memory, I'd love to be able to order a great print of it and make burning man a part of my home.
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Postby Tristan » Wed Dec 16, 2009 7:02 am

lbdavid98 wrote:Can I say it? ... Served. *lol*

On the flipside Tristan, as a 2010 incoming burner I need to thank you. Watching your slideshow yesterday inspired me to go out and buy the camping gear I made a list of when I "said" I was gonna go. Now I'm invested almost $700 and waiting for tickets to go onsale. I don't understand how BM can think your photos do them anything but good, they certainly helped me a great deal.

I think its entirely reasonable that you should be able to recoup your cost. Further, making those prints available to everyone at affordable prices, especially if other artists can sell their post-BM work, seems more like a public service than exploitation. I know I'll never be able to take a picture that good, I don't have the eye or equipment, but if you capture something next year that sparks a great memory, I'd love to be able to order a great print of it and make burning man a part of my home.

thanks, lbdavid98!

i'm glad my photos helped and inspired you.

every week, i receive testimonials just like yours, either posted as public comments under my photos, or sent to me privately, so i know that many people feel like you.

and as i said, BM has yet to explain how the fact of allowing photographers to sell their BM prints would harm them or be considered objectionable by BM participant, provided that this is done in the respect of a few basic rules. the basic rules that i suggest would be, as i said above:

- no selling photos with nudity unless you have a model release or permission of the model - which naturally implies no selling candid / creepy nude photos taken with long lenses without knowledge of the models (one exception could be the case of non-recognizable people in the background of a photos, since that's often unavoidable when taken photos on the playa or in crowded public places like center camp)

- giving free license of all the photos to BM for promotion of the event (which members of the BM doc team already do)

- giving 10% of all sales markup revenues back to BM (since BM ORG also want that, in addition to the free license - it is part of the contract that anyone sign with BM for any "commercial use" of any media captured at the event)

- giving free license of all the playa art / burners photos to the artists or model(s) for their self-promotion (which i already do)

- being a photographer "approved" by the BM ORG, i.e. that the BM ORG knows well and trust will respect all those clauses, since it would be technically difficult for BM ORG to actually verify that we respect each of those terms for each photo we sell as print.
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Postby Risky » Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:32 am

How do other burners recoup costs for gifting pancakes, or pendants or rides on an mutant vehicle?
How about the use of a chill tent, DJ's compilations or producing laser/light shows?

I think the issue is that no one is guaranteed any recoup of any cost.

Thank you for posting your pics - I enjoyed your gift.
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Postby lbdavid98 » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:08 am

I think a distinction needs to be made between the gift of his time and artistic vision, which we're all benefiting from for free all year, and the damage to equipment that provides him with his very livelihood. He's already gifting free license of the images to burning man and the artists whose work is represented in his photography, tremendous gifts in my estimation.

This boils down to equity. If the other artists are allowed to sell their work after burning man, photographers (working within accepted guidelines) should have the same opportunity--most especially because it will help them continue to provide this invaluable gift to the community.

There's no fee associated with viewing these images. If you want a professionally produced print to hang on your wall though, Tristan is giving this community an very thoughtful gift by making that accessible. If Tristan is able to resume distribution I may do my whole house up in burning man photography and help maintain my inspiration year round.

-David

As an aside, this entire discussion has me rehashing some of my favorite reading as an undergraduate. Anyone interested in how digital reproduction has changed the way we view art, might enjoy reading Walter Benjamin's essay, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" (1936). I found a free copy here. (and nothing at that website has ever tried to sell me anything, so I hope I'm allowed to link it)
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