Sunday, September 27, 2009

Las Vegas Highlight Reel

I've spent the last week in Las Vegas.  While I spent most of my time playing poker, I did take my camera along and did some shooting when I wasn't in a tournament.

112.365 Bellagio Fountain

I started with the easiest subject, the fountains at the Bellagio.  I think the experience of photographing those ballerinas a few weeks ago came in really handy, as I was able to play with the timing and try to catch the movement of the water in a predictable manner.  I'll have more Bellagio shots to come shortly.

I stayed at a center strip hotel (the reasonably priced Bally's) and had great access to the big name casinos.  I didn't get particularly creative or unique with my shots. 

113.365 Venetian Canals

In a sense, it's hard to do anything but staged shots in Vegas, as there is so much going on.  Power lines are everywhere, and ads cover almost every bit of open space.  You can see several in this shot, although I did my best to exclude them.  I couldn't really go any wider here, or else the street lights and construction cones and such would start to get in the way.

Down at the south end of the strip, I did my best to get an interesting shot of the MGM.  You can see the construction cones and standing traffic (this signal took 120 seconds to cycle through) but all in all I think it turned out pretty good.

114.365 MGM Light Trails

There's a huge construction project going on on this end of the strip, Project Cityscape (I took a few photos you'll see later) so it really felt isolated.  To get back to the center of the strip, I had to walk about a half mile, maybe a mile, through a narrow construction walkway, often covered, with people who are much slower than I.

I'm so glad I didn't stay down at this end like I have in the past.

On Thursday and Friday, I really focused on playing poker, and my photography took sort of a back seat.  I had a couple of hours between tournaments on Thursday evening and decided to do a few daytime shots.

116.365 Paris Daytime

Here we see the "Eiffel Tower" at the Paris casino.  Again, there are basically only two shots of this that work.  This one, and another you may see later, taken from the south.  Otherwise, you'll have a streetlight in the way, or a rail or a big garbage bin or billboard or some such BS.

It had been a long week, and on my final night as I returned to Bally's, I decided I would make a real effort to get this cool long exposure shot of myself.  It took a lot of tries, most of them embarassing as I knelt down like an idiot on the moving walkway and spent a minute or so repeatedly trying to stay still for two seconds.

117.365 Goodbye Vegas

It wasn't easy.  But I think I did all right with this one.  Although I look terrible!  In my defense, it's one in the morning... although I'm not sure that excuses those bags under my eyes.  Ugh!

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