Don’t Want to Lose Your Camera on Playa?

Camera Van by Harrod Blank, 2001 (photo by Steve Schwartz)
Camera Van by Harrod Blank, 2001 (photo by Steve Schwartz)

Every year, plenty of lost cameras are handed into PlayaInfo, looking for their rightful owners.  And every year, we do our best to reunite them, through the efforts of our Lost and Found team, and by putting identifying pictures up on our website.  Ender writes in from Arizona, offering this brilliant idea to make sure that if your camera is lost, you’re sure to get it back.  Check it out:

“Write down your serial number, make and model for all important items (cameras, bicycles, etc) and have it in your manila folder (that would contain your health insurance information, health conditions/allergies, emergency contacts, serial numbers, etc.) in your vehicle.  Have pictures of your items too (for the thoroughly prepared).

Write your name, playa information (playa address & playa name with which you can be found in PlayaInfo) and default world mailing address/contact info (ie: email address or phone number) on a sheet of paper, in large font/marker. Kick down your camera’s megapixels to the smallest setting, and take the first picture on every clean memory card that you’re going to take to BM. This will become the first picture (depending on your camera setup) seen when someone checks out your found camera, to see who it belongs to – or when someone checks out that memory card they found laying on the playa.  Even better, snap a picture of yourself, with that information legibly visible next to your grinning face.

If your camera has internal memory, turn it on and do the same. Internal memory stays with your camera, even if your card is out playing somewhere.  You can also make a (usually much smaller) image and upload it to your card or camera if you’re technically sophisticated enough – in almost all cameras it will display the same size as a full-sized picture on the camera’s LCD screen.”

And to this, we’d like to add:

For cameras that take video, filling out your Personal Use Agreement for permission to shoot video in BRC has two advantages – not only will you get a tag for your camera and permission to shoot imagery and use it for sharing with friends and family, but if your camera is lost and turned in to Burning Man, we will do everything in our power to find your contact info by using the tag number to search for your PUA and reunite you with your camera. Yet another good reason to register! PUAs are available at the Greeters, Playa Info, and the Ranger Stations.  Or you can download a PDF of it.

About the author: Will Chase

Will Chase first attended Burning Man 2001. He volunteered as the Operations Manager for the ARTery (Black Rock City’s art headquarters) and was on the Burning Man Art Council from 2003-2008. He was Web Team Project Manager and Webmaster from 2004-2009, then transitioned to the Communications Department in 2009 to become Minister of Propaganda, working on global communications strategy. He's the editor-in-chief for the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter and the Voices of Burning Man blog, and content manager for Burning Man’s websites. He also manages the ePlaya BBS and Burning Man’s social networking efforts.

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