Experiencing a different side of Las Vegas

Experiencing a different side of Las Vegas

Good old Las Vegas - so much to shoot there, and such an interesting place!  Today's post is a collection of pics from Fremont Street, which is in old Vegas.  It's a cab ride away from The Strip, and a much different experience.  Enjoy!

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Prime time in Las Vegas

Prime time in Las Vegas

I went to Las Vegas a few weeks back, and one evening I put on the prime lens and fired away!  It's a small but powerful little piece of glass, allowing me to shoot at f/1.7.  So I fired away - handheld only - and came back with these 15 images that I am sharing today.  Take a look and enjoy!

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Getting busy in Las Vegas

Getting busy in Las Vegas

Ah, Las Vegas - you are a photographic wonderland!  There really is a lot to shoot there, if you can handle being there for more than 24 hours!  I spent 3 days there recently, and came home with 1500 photos.  So yeah, I guess I did ok.  :-)

Take a look at these highlights of the trip, and let me know what you think of Sin City!

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Blue hour at Paris Las Vegas

Vegas is crowded, but not at 6am!

I like Las Vegas.  I don't love it, but I like it.  It's an interesting town, and there is a lot to shoot there.  The biggest problem with it though is that it is crowded!  It's hard to get a clean shot of anything there...and I prefer my shots to be devoid of tourists.  They kinda ruin it for me.

So, how do you solve that problem?  Get up really early!

Blue hour on the Las Vegas Strip...so beautiful that time of day!

Theoretically, you could stay up really late and wait out the crowds, but since Las Vegas is pretty much a party town, you would likely be up all night.  I prefer to get up early and get out to shoot while everyone else is asleep.  It's hard, but doable.  Really hard, I might add.  But that's what caffeine is for.  That way you don't fall asleep in your afternoon meetings.  Or, maybe you do.  Either way, at least you got some shots!

I like their version of the Arc de Triomphe - pretty large too!

In addition to shooting when the streets are empty, I also absolutely love blue hour, especially in the morning.  It's so beautiful to see the sky turn such a brilliant shade of blue. 

Looking up at the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas...

In Las Vegas, where there is a neon sign at every turn, it's especially beautiful to me.  I love how the lights of the town contrast with the blue in the sky.  Just one of those things that I love about photography.

So next time you are in Las Vegas, find a morning when you can wander The Strip pretty early.  You'll be happy with all the shots you get.

A slightly different look at the Eiffel Tower.

Caesar reflected

A bit of a post and run today - I grabbed this HDR one morning in Las Vegas.  I am a sucker for blue hour and lights reflected in water...so getting both is always something I shoot for!

This is the pool in front of The Bellagio, and that is Caesar’s Palace that you see reflected there.

Venetian reflections

I really enjoy Las Vegas, but not for the obvious reasons.  I am sort of like the anti-tourist: I go to bed early, get up early, and wander the streets alone.  It’s a whole different Vegas that way...and frankly, a better one in my opinion.  

Just to be clear, I’m not a teetotaler.  I enjoy a nice glass of wine, or a fine cold beer.  I just don’t care to do the party scene in Vegas.  It’s not my thing.  I would rather get some rest so I can get up and shoot.  In other words, photography is a bigger passion.  That’s a good thing, right?  :-)

Oh yeah - I took this shot one morning while wandering there.  This is from the lagoon in front of The Venetian.  If you get to Las Vegas, be sure and see this place, camera or not.  It’s fabulous.

Shopping at The Venetian

Ahhh...The Venetian.  What an incredible hotel.  If you ever get to Las Vegas, be sure and stop by here and check this place out.  It is beautiful, and very accessible.  One cool part of the hotel complex is this section, where they have re-created an imagined Venetian scene, complete with stores, cobblestone paths, and this canal where you can catch a gondola ride.  It’s not Italy, but it’s a pretty good imitation of it!

I recently created a new list here, which is “Top Photo Spots in Las Vegas”.  You can click here to check it out - The Venetian is on it a couple of times!

iPhone fun at The Bellagio

It's Las Vegas!  You're so money, baby!

I spent the first few days of this week in Las Vegas on business, though I did find a little time to get out and shoot, both with the Nikon and of course with my trusty little sidekick, my iPhone.  It has been a couple of weeks since I shared some iPhone pics, so I thought I could give you a little tour of The Bellagio. 

If you want to see all my “iPhone fun” photo posts, you can find them all by clicking here:  http://www.nomadicpursuits.com/blog/category/iphone

The Bellagio is an incredible hotel/casino located right at the heart of The Strip in Las Vegas, NV.  If you ever make it to Las Vegas, be sure and stop into The Bellagio, even if you are staying elsewhere.  It’s just a beautiful property.  It's fun just to walk around and see it all (and take some pics, too!).

One of the most well-known parts of it is the big lagoon out front, which hosts a water fountain show ever day.  It’s pretty awesome, though I was shooting all these pics in the morning (my preferred shooting time, especially in Las Vegas when all the tourists are asleep), so it was relatively calm.

Here’s part of the hotel reflected in their big lagoon out front...


This view is sideways across the lagoon, and you can see just the left edge of The Bellagio, then Flamingo, Bally’s and a smidge of Paris on the far right.  I am always looking for still water to get some reflections.


As I was walking up to the Bellagio entrance, I looked back and just liked this view.  At this point the Bellagio is behind me, and I am looking out across the lagoon, where you can see the Paris Hotel and the bottom of their Eiffel Tower.  I stayed in Paris this time - pretty cool spot.  And the nutella/banana crepes were fabulous!


This is the covered drive-up entry to The Bellagio.  It’s a grand entrance, but being rather busy (even at an early hour) I opted to focus here just on the ceiling, which is beautiful.


Once you enter, one of the first things you will see in the lobby is this wonderfully colorful ceiling full of glass done by artist Dale Chihuly.  It’s impressive!


I walked through the lobby, and there was a huge display set up for the Chinese New Year which is right around the corner.  It’s the year of the snake...so they had this massive snake on display, along with a bunch of other stuff like flowers, a boat (!) and a Chinese money tree.


The shopping in The Bellagio is rather expensive extensive but thankfully the stores were all closed.  I just grabbed this shot of the hallway, as I found it pretty inviting.  So much attention to detail here!


Lastly, I walked back to the front of The Bellagio to head out, and stopped to shoot this fountain, with Paris in the background.


I edited all these shots with either ProHDR or Camera+, or maybe both.  You can find my mini-reviews of these products here:

ProHDR review: http://www.nomadicpursuits.com/prohdr-app-review/

Camera+ review: http://www.nomadicpursuits.com/camera-app-review/

Well, that’s a quick tour of The Bellagio in Las Vegas!  I will be sharing my Nikon pics of this place too, as I find time to process them.  Thanks for having a look!

Early morning in Las Vegas

Las Vegas…so much to shoot there!  I was in Las Vegas almost exactly 1 year ago (yes, I am pretty backlogged on photos!), and was up early one morning to get out and shoot that incredible town.  By the way, do you know how hard it is to get up early in Las Vegas?  It’s hard, and I wasn’t even out late.  It’s just not a morning town…but that is why I sacrificed my sleep.  I can shoot without all the tourists.  I like that idea.

I could spend weeks just shooting up and down the Strip…it’s just packed with interestingness.  And I am not even talking about all the people.  I tend to aim my camera at “things”, and shooting that sort of stuff is much better when people are not around.  Hence the early hour shooting for me.

On that morning – as you can see – there was a fabulous blue hour and when you combine it with interesting things like their Eiffel Tower and some neon lights and passing traffic…it’s hard not to like!

Bellagio reflected

After that last post, which was pretty long, I think my next few will be a bit shorter.

This is the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, just after sunrise one morning.  I love the light at sunrise, and being able to enjoy a scene in complete solitude - especially in Las Vegas - is pretty fabulous.  I will be in Las Vegas again soon, and will probably shoot this scene again since I have some other ideas for shots there.  Shooting the same scene twice - sound familiar?  Thanks for stopping by!

Well, I guess I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share a Before & After here.  I love HDR and when I compare the finished product with the straight-from-Photomatix result...there really is no comparison!