Getting busy in Las Vegas

Las Vegas - what a great city for photographers!

I spent most of the week before last in Las Vegas for work, which is my second trip there this year.  The first one was in January for a company kickoff, but I didn’t even bring my gear.  It’s always a very busy week, and I knew there wouldn’t be any free time.  It’s ok, because I got a lot of work things accomplished, which was great – and I knew I was coming back in February.

it's a fabulous town!

the architecture at the shops at crystals is just amazing!

So for 3 days and nights recently, I was there for a partner event, which is exhausting in it’s own right, but at least it affords me some free time.  So what did I do in that free time?  Well, I shot like crazy of course, and I came home with about 1500 new images.  Now I just need to find the time to work on them - so today's post is a bit of a teaser.  I found a little time to process these shots (because I wanted to update my list of best spots to shoot there...and yes today's pics are now on that list), but have many more to get to.  I guess this is a preview of coming attractions.

the fountains at bellagio - really a great show to watch!

I really do find Las Vegas to be a photographic wonderland – there’s just so much stuff to point the camera at.  And it seems to be somewhat different each time I go there.  New stuff gets built, and different things catch my eye.  You’re basically walking around on high alert every minute of the day, because at every turn it seems like there’s something to shoot.  It’s awesome, actually.  

But honestly, I don’t think I would choose it as a vacation spot, ever.  It’s not my idea of a vacation.  Just too busy.  There's not any way to relax, or so it seems to me.  The city is built around the idea of going fast all day.

the fountain at caesar's palace

Anyways, here’s roughly what I was able to shoot while there:

  • The Fremont Street Experience – this was my first time there, and it’s awesome.  There is so much neon and general Vegas weirdness that I definitely recommend a visit.  It’s about a 15 minute cab ride from The Strip, but well worth it. 
  • The Strip – I shot up and down here, in hotels and outside of hotels, some bars and restaurants, and even a few shops.  This place is a veritable gold mine for photographers.  A few highlights were catching the volcano go off at The Mirage, shooting Paris Las Vegas (which is also where I stayed), shooting the fountains at The Bellagio, and then all around The Cosmopolitan, Aria, Crystals/The Shops at Aria, and on down to New York New York.
  • And one afternoon, I walked over to that well-known “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign and shot it, finally.  I’ve wanted to get that shot for years!  Done!

So yes, I walked a lot and covered a lot of ground.  That’s a good week in my opinion.  And I came home with a lot of new photos, which also makes it a good week.

the lobby bar at the cosmopolitan

the golden nugget casino at the fremont street experience - very cool area and very old school here!

The other thing I noticed last week is that I continued to evolve my style of photography.  In the “old days” I was pretty much shooting the wide angle lens ALL DAY, and firing 7 frame brackets each time.  I was always looking for “big scenes”, which is basically what caused me to have the wide angle lens on non-stop.

But last week I didn’t even use my wide angle.  Shooting with the Olympus mirrorless system really has changed my style, as I have said here before (in case you missed that article).

I spent most of the time shooting with my 12-40mm (when not firing away with the iPhone LOL), which has a great range and is an incredible lens too.  The other thing I did on my last evening there was put on the little prime lens that I previously wrote about (and just published a review of) to fire away after it got dark.

It worked out great.  Man I love that thing!! (though I will share the shots from that lens at another time)

sunset in front of the monte carlo casino, facing NYNY

This little lens (yes, it’s very little) is so small and light, and it’s a 15mm prime.  It stops down to f/1.7 and that’s exactly where I set it.  I walked and shot, walked and shot.  It performed incredibly well.  I never even used my tripod.  This little guy, when set wide open at f/1.7, just fires quick and accurately.  I love it, and will be shooting a lot more with it in my future travels.  There is definitely a place for that little guy in the arsenal.  In fact, I can see that I will shoot with the 12-40 and the prime almost exclusively.  They are both just that good.

walking and shooting at sunset in front of nyny

Anyways, I will be back with more on all of that soon, and need to get to work processing some more of the 1500 images that are sitting in my library now.  Ah, good times!  It's always great to have new files to look at, right?  (or old ones, LOL)

So, thanks for clicking by, have a great day, and have fun out there!

the waterfalls at the mirage

sunrise in front of paris las vegas