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).
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).
Check out the Human Light Suit on these blogs!:
- Rangefinder Magazine Editor's Pick July 2014: Eric Schwabel
The Visual News: A ONE MAN MOBILE STUDIO AT BURNING MAN
- fStoppers: How To Build A Full Studio At A Music Festival
- Showcase: Eric Schwabel - Burning Man Legend
- Popular Photography: Photographer Becomes a Walking Studio for Burning Man
- CNET: Photographer Becomes a Human Light Suit
The project has also been featured in various print media worldwide, including Rangefinder, FOTO HITS (Germany) and Vegas Rated.
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (18 days)