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the Human Light Suit No. 5: Burning Man 2014's video poster
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I'm bringing a wearable portable photo studio, complete with 4000 watts of light and medium format digital capture to Burning Man! Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on August 9, 2014.

I'm bringing a wearable portable photo studio, complete with 4000 watts of light and medium format digital capture to Burning Man!

About this project

A windy, dusty afternoon at the man, 2013.
A windy, dusty afternoon at the man, 2013.

In 2010, I constructed the first Human Light Suit as a means to photograph the citizens of Burning Man's Black Rock City in a way that seemed most appropriate.  In 2011 and 2012, I refined the suit with a more streamlined lighting concept. 2013 saw the addition of an LED suit, which will be coming back this year (with some reinforcements and battery improvements).

Nighttime shot with the LED suit, 2013
Nighttime shot with the LED suit, 2013
We're modifying this Graflex camera for digital capture (fingers crossed)
We're modifying this Graflex camera for digital capture (fingers crossed)

In 2014, the plan is to bring extra, off-the-suit lighting, retooling the LED suit for nighttime shots (it got relatively destroyed last year), and modifying an old Graflex press camera to work with a digital back (still working that one out).

The majority of expenses with this project are in the rental or purchase of gear, camera and lighting repairs post-burn, and transportation (renting a van to fit all this goodness into).

One of my favorite installations from 2013
One of my favorite installations from 2013

Check out the Human Light Suit on these blogs!:

The project has also been featured in various print media worldwide, including Rangefinder, FOTO HITS (Germany) and Vegas Rated.

The Human Light Suit on the cover of FOTO HITS Germany
The Human Light Suit on the cover of FOTO HITS Germany
Vegas Rated feature on the HLS, 2011.
Vegas Rated feature on the HLS, 2011.
's video poster
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2013 @ the Mustache Ride
2013 @ the Mustache Ride
O, Hai Halcyon!, 2010
O, Hai Halcyon!, 2010
Blow-up Girl and Friends, 2011
Blow-up Girl and Friends, 2011
Fantastic installation, superb human.  2013
Fantastic installation, superb human. 2013
portraits at dusk, 2013
portraits at dusk, 2013
Mr. Kita, 2010
Mr. Kita, 2010
Closeup day, 2010
Closeup day, 2010
O, Hai Simeon!
O, Hai Simeon!

Risks and challenges

Every year on the playa brings new challenges and risks. I've injured a camera or two since this project began. Last year saw a shift in lighting as the sky was filled with ash from nearby fires, which meant adjusting how I shot. The suit is relatively versatile, so changes can be made with some effort, but once I'm strapped in, who knows what will happen.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    4 backers

    Support this project at any reward level $10 and up and I'll send you a postcard from the project with a personal thank-you... Thank you!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    13 backers Limited (12 left of 25)

    I wasn't joking in the video. I'm asking people who I photograph to write a little note or doodle. You'll receive a photo (signed and numbered) from the project along with a handwritten note from the photo subject(s). EACH PHOTO AND NOTE WILL BE UNIQUE. And of course, a thank you card and sticker :-)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $45 or more

    4 backers

    A carryover from last year - a signed, indestructible, credit-card sized aluminum print from the playa. There are 2 or 3 print options, first come, first-served! Plus the $25 reward and a signed thank you card.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    Any 8x10 photo from my archives. If I've shot it, and (in the case of edition prints) it exists, it's yours. Signed and numbered (for edition prints). Plus a thank-you postcard and sticker ;-)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $99 or more

    2 backers

    Have your portrait done at $99 Faces days at Schwabel Studio in Venice, CA. We do it the 2nd Saturday of every month, usually 10am-4pm. Different theme each time. Our next theme? Why it's the Human Light Suit edition of course! 99.schwabelstudio.com for more info

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $350 or more

    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    Any 16x20 from my archives. Signed and numbered (for edition prints), plus a thank-you postcard, and heck, a sticker, too!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer Limited (6 left of 7)

    A bound portfolio of images from this year's project. Printed on photo paper, 8x10 landscape format. I only print 7 of these each year. Signed and numbered. Previous years still available as well. Plus the $25 reward :-)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    A personalized portrait shoot with Eric Schwabel at his Venice, CA studio or on location in the LA area.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    A full day photo shoot with Eric Schwabel, including wardrobe, hair and makeup, at Schwabel Studio in Venice, CA or on location.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (18 days)