Sunrise at the Temple, Burning Man 2009

Picture by holden

  • 5287
  • 6
  • 3
  • June 09, 2010
  • Nikon D80
  • Tokina 12-24 f4
  • Shooting Style Tripod
  • Shoots Number Multiple Exposure
  • Exposures Number -1, 0, +1
  • Editing Software Photomatix Pro / Photoshop / Others
  • File Format RAW
  • Notes This photo was featured in's article titled "45 stunning HDR images for architecture" -- check it out here:
hdr burning man sunrise desert temple


09 Jun 18:01

Sunrise at The Temple, Burning Man 2009 - The Temple at Burning Man 2009, aka "Fire of Fires" built by the CommunityArtMaker kids from Austin. This is an HDR image comprised of three exposures taken at 1/20, 1/40 and 1/80 at f13. It was shot around the same time as that other shot of the temple y'all liked so much. I've got a bunch that I haven't published and will try to release new ones as time permits. This part is for the photo geeks and HDR dweebs...Last weekend I did some experiments designed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of various color spaces and workflow techniques in regards to HDR image processing. The variables were "raw or tif" versus "auto or manual white balance" versus "HDR merged in Photoshop or Photomatix" versus "AdobeRGB or sRGB or ProPhoto". A full test matrix would have been a real pain in the ass to work through, but I found that I had the best results with creating the 32-bit hdr files in Photomatix using RAW files in the ProPhoto color space with WB set manually. This might seem obvious (if you happen to be "that kind of geek") but I wanted to see if I could open up some new territory, hone the workflow and clearly mark other techniques as being not so much amazing. If I had to sum it up, I'd say don't be lulled into complacency by sRGB. It *might* look better on your screen at first but it goes straight to hell when you start crushing and torturing your pixels. ProPhoto and AdobeRGB both have a lot more space in the low end, which is crucial in....well, my HDRs. After some very straightforward tone mapping I sucked the image into Photoshop, busted out the sky from the rest of the image, mellowed out some jangly crunk with the soft light/opacity trick, tweaked some levels so it looked more "natural" (yeah, I'm LOL, too, shaddup!) and then pulled it into Lightroom for final cropping and a couple other things. Exported as tif, de-noised in Noise Ninja, re-imported into Lightroom and uploaded. If you're a "real" photographer, this workflow probably sounds an awful lot like super-gluing a kitten to the ceiling for kicks. And you'd be right about that. :) More pics on my site at

09 Jun 18:11

Super-gluing kittens to the ceiling is what we "HD-aRtists" do. Great comp!

09 Jun 18:15


09 Jun 18:44

Perfect GHDR

09 Jun 19:05

Looks like a super rad party! I've been to some raves back in the day but nothin as cool as that. Did they burn the stucture? That sky is realy something! Nice.

09 Jun 23:52

Thanks for your nice comments, folks! They did indeed burn the's really an amazing event. And the best place to shoot I've ever come across. HDR is a great technique to use out there because of the stark contrast in the landscape and the large

10 Jun 00:02

Hey, @romano -- what do you mean by GHDR?

10 Jun 01:29

Is it only my browser showing some strange man-made parabolic dots on the sky, or is this a GHDR?!

10 Jun 07:45

What a superb photo..Love the colors

10 Jun 22:37

@gonny -- those dots in the sky are actually from a 500-meter string of helium balloons that have LED blinkies attached to them. They're attached at both ends to bikes that ride around, so at night it looks like a very improbably arc of blinky stuff in th

11 Jun 17:20


11 Jun 17:21


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