You can be going from here to there, just doing the things that you need to do, and you don’t even notice that the sky is changing and the colors are intensifying and the desert floor is beginning to glow. You’re just going about your business. And then you happen to stop and look up and you realize, wait … look at that. Just LOOK at that. The sky is all dark, the hills all glow-y, and the crusty playa surface all contrasty and textural.
And then you remember, yeah, it’s not really the very worst place you could be.
John Curley (that's me) has been Burning since the relatively late date of 2004, and in 2008 I spent the better part of a month on the playa, documenting the building and burning of Black Rock City in words and pictures. I loved it, and I've been doing it ever since.
I was a newspaper person in a previous life, and I spent many years at the San Francisco Chronicle. At the time I left, in 2007, I was the deputy managing editor in charge of Page One and the news sections of the paper. Since then, I've turned a passion for photography into a second career. I shoot for editorial, commercial and private clients. I've also taught a little bit, including two years at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and a year at San Francisco State University.
I live on the San Mateo coast, just south of San Francisco in California.