Burnmonkey.com contains images of the annual Burning Man festival captured by photographer Phil Steele (aka Philosopher). That's me. I took up photography directly as a result of attending Burning Man—actually as a result of a lucky shot I took in 2003, with my little 2-megapixel pocket camera, that ended up in an art gallery.

Out of that inspiring moment— and a rediscovery of a long-suppressed love of the visual arts, which I had set aside in favor of more "practical" career pursuits—a photographer was born.

Burning Man is a photographer's dream — a surreal landscape populated by outlandish beings and incredible machines, all throbbing to a techno beat under the blistering desert sun. After this, everything else seems boring.

The paradox of photographing Burning Man is that it simultaneously puts you in the middle of the action and sets you apart from it. The camera helps a shy person like me break the ice and interact with others, but it also puts a little glass wall between you and the world—and that wall sometimes becomes a psychic barrier. And of course it's all too easy to get caught up in looking for the perfect shot, and forget to stop and smell the propane.

You'll see a progression in the photos on this site, from those of a virgin photographer with cheap little camera, to a somewhat seasoned semi-pro who lugs around a pair of heavy cameras and a bunch of dust-tortured lenses in the sweltering heat. I honestly think it was more fun (it was certainly easier and lighter) in the early years, when my camera fit in my pocket. But I hope the photos get better over time.

You can listen to the full story of how I became a photographer at Burning Man in this 30-minute audio interivew in the "Great Inspirational Photographers" series.

And here's another Interview about my photography at Burning Man from Ignite.Me magazine.


A recent magazine cover
See the magazone

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More Good Stuff
SteeleVisions (my photography site)
My Photo Tutorials and Courses
My Photography Blog
Burning Man Regional Event Photos
Burning Man Stories - The Book
San Diego Photography Tours
Phil Steele Photography
My Interview at Ignite.Me
Meditation for Atheists


Photo by
Scott London

I'm currently putting together a coffee-table book called Burning Man Stories, an anthology of true-life Burner adventures, edited by yours truly, and illustrated with my photos. For more information, or if you'd like to submit a true playa story of your own, visit burningmanstories.com.

You can also check out my main photography website at SteeleVisions.com.

Finally, if you're a photographer you may want to visit my photography and photoshop tutorials at SteeleTraining.com.

See you in the dust,



My Online Photography Videos
Burning Man Photos Video
Flash Photography Tips (YouTube)
HDR Photography (YouTube)
Lightroom Tutorial (YouTube)
How to Make an Online Photo Gallery Website (YouTube)
Landscape Photography Tips (YouTube)
How to Set Your White Balance with a Gray Card (YouTube)
Photoshop Tutorial - Color Correction with the Eyedropper (YouTube)
Flash Portrait Photography (YouTube)
Choosing The Best Canon Flash (YouTube)
Off Camera Flash Photography Course
Using Lightroom on Two Computers (Youtube)
Wireless Flash Triggers Compared (YouTube)
Photoshop Red Eye Fix for People and Pets(YouTube)
Photoshop Content Aware FIll (YouTube)
Lightroom Presets - How to Install, Use, and Make Them (YouTube)
DSLR Camera Focus Tips (YouTube)
Lens Hoods (YouTube)
UV Filters (YouTube)
Godox XPro TTL Flash Trigger Review (YouTube)
Tripods - How to Use a Tripod (YouTube)
How to Open Lightroom Photos in Photoshop: Round Trip (YouTube)
How to Attach a Camera Strap (YouTube)
F-Stops Explained - Camera Lens Tutorial (YouTube)




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