BURNING MAN

I’ve been documenting Burning Man for the past ten years. It’s without doubt one of the world’s hippest and most mind-blowing gatherings. The event is a week-long celebration of free-form creativity and radical self-expression held each summer in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Burning Man is tough to describe. It’s not quite an art festival, not quite a desert rave, and not quite a social experiment — but something of all three. A good number of these images appear in a forthcoming book, slated for publication in June 2014 (with co-authors Jennifer Raiser and Sidney Erthal). The photos have also been widely exhibited and published in books, newspapers, and magazines.

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VANISHING OASIS

The Salton Sea is California’s largest inland body of water, a vast oasis that stretches between the Coachella Valley and the Mexican border. It’s a place of uncommon natural beauty, a quiet sanctuary surrounded by inhospitable desert. But things are not quite what they seem at the sea. The lake is shrinking. The fish are dying. The birds are sick. And the once-thriving communities and tourist resorts along the shore are mostly abandoned. The Salton Sea has become one of the most vexing and complicated ecological problems in the American West. These photographs attempt to capture the stark beauty of the place while also documenting a tragic saga of environmental devastation and decline.

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THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

The Nobel Peace Prize is widely regarded as the most prestigious award in the world. Each year a committee chosen by the Norwegian parliament awards the prize to an individual or organization that has championed the cause of peace and nonviolence in some extraordinary way.  The Nobel Peace Prize makes headlines around the world twice a year — in mid-October, when the award is announced, and again in mid-December, when it is awarded at an august ceremony in Oslo, Norway. These photos, captured over a ten-year period, document the award and some of its notable recipients in recent years.

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ON THE OSCAR TRAIL

Santa Barbara’s annual film festival, which runs from the end of January through the first week of February, has become one of the better-known festivals of its kind in America and a critical stop for actors on the Oscar trail. The event typically draws about 70,000 people and features some 200 screenings, along with an impressive line-up of tributes, award shows, and panels with industry insiders. But the big stories always revolve around the celebrities, the beautiful people who come to town and, for a few days, transform the place into the epicenter of the entertainment world.

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I MADONNARI

I Madonnari was the name given to street painters in 16th- and 17th-century Italy, itinerant artists who traveled from town to town and city to city rendering images of the Madonna on sidewalks and in public squares. The tradition of street painting lives on in cities across Europe and in a growing number of communities in North America. 2013 marked the 27th anniversary of the I Madonnari Festival in Santa Barbara, California. When it started in 1987, it was the only event of its kind in the United States. Today, it typically draws 25,000 visitors and renowned artists from across the country. (Parts of this photoessay were featured in the travel and lifestyle magazine Broughton Quarterly.)

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