Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 3, 2011.

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Photographer Eric Schwabel is strapping 2400w/s of lighting gear to his body to become a one-man portable photo studio.

UPDATE: Help us go solar!  We've met our goal! This goal covers all the rental equipment we need. However, all of this gear needs to be recharged.  Our only option right now is a small gas generator or my car.  Not the best options considering recharging times.  We've found a system that is small and should handle our needs for this year, and it is expandable.  Keep the support coming -- and we'll see you on the playa!

In 2010 I tried to come up with a way to photograph the citizens of Burning Man's Black Rock City in a way that hadn't been done before. I'm amazed at how such a desolate landscape becomes the most energetic and creative place on the planet every year, and I wanted to not only show that energy and creativity, but be a part of it.

I rented Profoto studio lights and brought my medium format digital camera.  I strapped the lights, with 3-foot softboxes on them, to my shoulders, and hooked each up to a 1200 w/s power pack and created the images you see in the video above and on this page. In a way, this project is 1/2 photography and 1/2 performance.  But the visual/performance aspect of it is, to my mind, what makes it work.

The project received a lot of press, from mainstream photography magazines to indie burner culture blogs, and Burning Man HQ became more interested in it this year after seeing the work. While I'm still considered "media," they are helping me approach this work as an artistic endeavor.  I will have access to people and things that I didn't easily have last year.

Our project goal for this year was originally much bigger and included 3 new "light suits" for 3 assistants, as well as some wheels to help us get around and a full-on solar-powered makeshift production van to edit nightly.  However, the economic state of the world right now seems to be dictating for us to scale back.  So I'm going back with a similar rig, but with a few new tricks up my sleeve to outdo last year's project.  I'll definitely be implementing new lighting styles and more creativity.

Your support of this project is greatly appreciated! 

  • 70%  or more of the funds will go toward renting newer/lighter lighting equipment and medium format capture for 10 days.
  • 15% will go toward reward fulfillment -- postcards, prints, etc.
  • 5% will go toward cleaning expenses to restore the gear to working order when complete.
  • Approx 10% goes to fees associated with kickstarter and amazon payments.

The money we are asking for here does not cover all of the expenses associated with this project, but it is the best compromise we can make.  If we can surpass this goal, it will lessen the burden and allow us to experiment a bit more.

Thank you for your support!

Backer Rewards

Postcard Pack!  A package of beautifully-printed 5x7 postcards featuring images from the 2010 Human Light Suit project mailed to your door!

Mad Mickey Shirts!  Available in many colors and styles for men, women and even kids - my favorite is the maternity shirt!  T-shirts are organic cotton, manufactured by American Apparel.  Mad Mickey is a photograph created by Eric Schwabel and makeup artist Trefor Proud, and he was our mascot for 2010's project!

Shooting Male Limited Edition - Available in one of three covers of your choice! Each cover is limited to 150 copies, signed, and includes a limited edition 8x10 print featuring the cover model!

Set of Two Bound Portfolios - Two bound portfolios of photographs (printed on traditional, silver-halide photo paper) assembled by hand, limited to as many as are requested through kickstarter. #1 is from the 2010 project and will arrive early September, #2 will be from this year's project and will be delivered to your door as soon as it's shot, edited and assembled!  2010 portfolio shown below!

Eric Schwabel strapped in to the Human Light Suit (or is the Human Light Suit strapped in to Eric Schwabel?) in 2011.  Photo by Sidney Erthal (who was also one of the subjects!  Thanks Sidney!)

FAQ

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    3 backers

    A Human Light Suit postcard mailed to your door with a personal thank you from Eric Schwabel - plus an invite to a pre-Burning Man, sponsor-only party at Eric Schwabel's studio in Venice, CA!

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    11 backers

    The $5 reward plus download any one image from the project at full resolution (28 megapixels minimum) - you can make your own big beautiful print!

  • Pledge $15 or more
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    10 backers

    A super cool mini-photograph infused into aluminum and coated with acrylic. Add a chain and it's wearable! Plus the $5 and $8 rewards!

  • Pledge $25 or more
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    5 backers

    A collection of Human Light Suit postcards mailed to you in a lovely package - plus the $5 and $8 rewards!

  • Pledge $30 or more
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    7 backers

    A signed 5x7 photograph from the project or any of Eric's previous work - your choice! Plus the $5 and $8 rewards!

  • Pledge $45 or more
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    6 backers

    A "Classic" Mad Mickey t-shirt mailed to your door, plus the $5 and $25 reward!

  • Pledge $60 or more
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    4 backers

    A signed 8x10 photograph from the project or any of Eric Schwabel's work - your choice! Plus the $5 and $8 rewards!

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    7 backers Limited (93 left of 100)

    A signed copy of Eric Schwabel's book, "Shooting Male: Limited Edition" each copy is signed and numbered, with a choice of 3 different covers, and includes an 8x10 signed edition print from the book. Only 150 copies of 3 versions are available!

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    4 backers

    A signed 11x14 photograph from the project or any of Eric Schwabel's work - your choice! Plus the $5 and $8 rewards!

  • Pledge $200 or more
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    2 backers

    A 24x30 signed print from this project or any of Eric's archives, plus the $8 and $25 rewards!

  • Pledge $500 or more
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    4 backers

    A collection of two portfolios: the 2010 project "Metropolis" and the 2011 project. The 2010 portfolio will be mailed to you immediately, and the 2011 portfolio will mail when the project is complete! EXTREMELY LIMITED we will only print as many as are requested through this fundraising project. These are actual photographs printed on silver-halide photo paper, each one is assembled by hand. Includes some of the previous rewards as well!

  • Pledge $600 or more
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    0 backers

    Your picture taken by Eric Schwabel in his closeup "faces" style at his studio in Venice Beach, CA - this is priced below normal rates! Plus a bunch of the goodies from the previous rewards!

  • Pledge $800 or more
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    A 30x40 signed aluminum print -- the image is infused into aluminum and acrylic-coated. These prints are AMAZING art pieces and this is well below the typical price. Plus some goodies from the previous rewards!

  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    A half-day portrait sitting with Eric Schwabel at his Venice, California Studio, and a bag o' goodies and prints from some of the previous rewards! This portrait sitting is priced well below the typical rate!

  • Pledge $1,200 or more
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    A 40x60 signed aluminum print -- the image is infused into aluminum and acrylic-coated. These prints are amazing art pieces, and this is offered below the typical price for this work. Also includes a free full-rez download and some goodies from the previous rewards.

  • Pledge $2,500 or more
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    0 backers

    A full day photo shoot complete with hair and makeup at Eric's studio in Venice or on location, and we'll throw in a bunch of goodies from the previous rewards! This portrait sitting / photo shoot is priced well below Eric's normal rates for this type of shoot!

Funding period

- (14 days)