32 Nonexistent People at Burning Man – Stuck in Customs

32 Nonexistent People at Burning Man – Stuck in Customs

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Nov 2022 : Wednesday

Well, I’ve been going a little crazy with this unusual form of “photography” where I sit behind a computer without a lens rather than a computer with a lens. I’ve always thought about my high-end cameras as computers that just happen to have a lens attached. Most of the smarts are inside the camera, and most of the “visions” of the photo come from my mind. The only shortcoming to that is I actually have to get my body to a location in a time and place to make it happen. Please note I still love regular photography, and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. But I do quite like the idea of just visualizing very interesting images and communicating with an artificial intelligence to describe the kind of shot I’d like to see.

I went through a similar thought process when I started drone photography. I was basically holding a computer in my hands with a screen, and I would tell the drone where to go. The lens did not have to be a few inches from my head. That opened up a 180 degree hemisphere of 2-4km around me where I could take almost any photo I wanted. Now, with AI, it’s kind of the next-level, where the lens is actually inside the computer.

I’m a very visual person (in my head too), so I spent a long time doing a “dance” with an AI so that we could understand one another better. There have been many failures, but here are some of the successes. I recently did two other posts:

– 31 Burning Man art installations at Burning Man that do not exist
– 27 Tribes From Remote Villages In Papua New Guinea That No One Has Ever Seen

BTW, I started up a new AI Instagram @Trairatcliff account so I could keep my main Instagram more with traditional photography. Be one of the first to join! And tell your friends, but only the cool ones… not the energy vampire friends you are trying to get rid of. 🙂



After those initial mini-projects, mentioned in the post above, I am finally figuring out how to get realistic-looking people at Burning Man wearing rather amazing costumes.

I’m using Midjourney version 4 for these, although I play with all the AI tools. It’s a command-line interface via Discord to communicate with the AI. Here is a sample query for one of the photos. If you haven’t used Discord, this will look confusing. Even if you are an expert at Discord (like me!), well, it still takes a while to get the hang of it. I should make a tutorial or something. Anyway, here is the sample query:

And here are 32 of my favorite creations so far. Note that some of the costumes are a bit over the top, but I kinda like that. I did photos in all sorts of different weather situations, day, night, males, females, many moods and temperatures. It was great fun to experiment with. Enjoy!


































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