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Burning Man 2007 was a tumultuous and memorable year. It featured one of the best arrays of amazing art to be found in any year, a controversial theme and exhibit under the Man, and of course, the burning of the Man by arson on Monday night during a total lunar eclipse. Who could ask for more?
2007 featured many popular and memorable large art projects. Crude Awakenings was a 100 foot tall wooden oil rig which burned in a giant explosion on Friday night. The "Big Rig Jig" had two oil tankers reaching up into the sky, joined together improbably. The steampunk treehouse reached out of the ground. Homouroboros, a zoetrope featuring a swinging ape being offered an apple by a serpent was a popular deep playa destination (mistakenly called "The Monkeys" by almost all) and has moved to be displayed in many other locations off-playa.
For more information on Burning Man in general, check out my essays of prior years and my Panorama Intro Page and my 2007 Panorama page which features my newest shots that go beyond a gigapixel.
You can read a recent essay on thoughts on the nature of Burning Man.
If you're in one of these shots naked and don't want to be, let me know and I'll see if I can find an alternate or blur you. I wasn't always able to get permission on group shots.
The Green Man theme had two meanings -- environmentalism and the Celtic folk-god. There was very little of the latter, and while some art came well to the theme, the pavilion under the Man was controversial because it contained commercial displays of greentech companies in a sort of science fair, though with all product names removed.
In spite of what you might think, the Burning Man community talks like it is environmentalist, but it can't be. Gathering 50,000 people from around the world to a temporary city to take it down again a week later is inherently a non-green act. The energy consumed there is 1% of the energy used to bring the city to the desert. If you are an environmentalist, you just have to block that out of your mind.
I wrote more about this in an essay on the question of can we have a green man?
The event that had everybody talking was the arson of the Man by former burner Paul Addis. It was timed for the start of the total lunar eclipse when everybody was looking elsewhere. I was woken up by Kathryn saying "The man is on fire" and I was too groggy to believe it, then realized he doesn't have orange neon. I shot a few photos from camp and then headed there to capture one of my most iconic photos, with the burned man in the dark of night, with stars and an eclipsed moon behind him.
Some people hated it. Some loved it. The crew that built the man were justifiably angered that their work had been burned, but they rose to the task and built a new one to raise by Friday, with a small phoenix symbol inside. As a result, the green pavilion was only open Monday and Friday.
When new people arrived at 5am that night, I told them the event was over, we had burned the man. Ha-ha they said, and I told them to look where he should be. "See anything there?"
Photos again were taken mostly with the Canon 5d Mark II and Canon IX 870. Most panos shot with my 50mm prime and the 70-200 zoom.