Las Vegas HDR, Macro and Fine Art Phoography

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The forum shops at Caesars Palace Thanksgiving 2014

The forum shops at Caesars Palace Thanksgiving 2014

This is the view of got as I took a walk through the newer wing of the forum shops at Caesars Palace. I often wonder if I should spell it “shoppes” however I will let my autocorrect win this argument and go with the modern spelling. 

One caveat of using a mobile phone exclusively as opposed to my old Canon DSLR is the field of view, but an intelligent panoramic stitch mode offsets this, additionally the grain created to me, creates a unique look are 

Please do share. 

Caesars Palace forum shops hdr photo

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The Venetian Las Vegas Lobby – HDR Photo

The Venetian Las Vegas Lobby – HDR Photo

venetian las vegas lobby HDRSpeaking of forgotten photographs (was anyone speaking of a forgotten photo?) we have one that I found on my dropbox, taken in December of 2012, this is The Venetian Las Vegas Lobby – HDR Photo that I took with a Samsung Galaxy S3 and put through some processing in an app on the phone.

I wish that I had an idea of what application I had used, however that has been lost to the ages, and I have moved on to a better phone with a nicer camera.

This was taken as I was dropping some paperwork off to a guest, and I stopped to admire the reflections on the floor. Shiny to the max. Ironically enough, the National Geographic Magazine cover display was happening just a few feet from me, as I took this photo.

Please like and share the photo, I appreciate your reading!


Town Square las Vegas Christmas 2014

Town Square las Vegas Christmas 2014

It’s been many years since I’ve posted. Suddenly people are finding my blog. Thanks.

Anyhow, town square had a Christmas tree. And so here are a few photos.

Town Square is an interesting place. People come here to get off the strip. Ironically it is actually still on las Vegas Boulevard however you couldn’t tell.

The shopping center exists because las Vegas lacks any real outdoor shopping. Consider the heat and relatively young city itself and you can see why.

Hope you enjoy.

Please comment and share. 20141122_154203_Richtone(HDR)_1 20141122_154113_1

As an added bonus, this isn’t Christmas related but why not? It is a Camaro for those wondering, but I love carbon fiber and thought this angle was nice. 20141122_154951_Richtone(HDR)_1


Don’t Shoot, I’m Only a Photographer!

“Hey buddy, what’s going on?”

In top secret casino security talk this is code word for “Hey you, what sinister act are you up to!?” and if you try and take photographs in Las Vegas without being surrounded by dozens of other people, and heaven forbid actually use a tripod, you should expect to hear it, or a variation of it.

Welcome to Vegas, just gamble and go away

I admire the strip. Las Vegas boulevard is a beautiful place, full of overlooked hidden secrets that most never see due to the ADD (attention deficit disorder) inducing nature of the town. Get here, get drinking, blow some money on a slot machine or table, see cirque, go home.”

Such chaos is carefully maintained, secretly watched by numerous cameras (both hidden and in plain view), security guards (both undercover and also in plain view), and metro police officers (they are the ones in yellow and black, usually on a bicycle).

It is only when you stop and take a moment to look deeper that you can see Vegas for what it really is. A city with a brilliant flare for the surreal.

 

A place where you can stop and watch as France meets Italy and where Egypt meets medieval England.

It’s this place that I attempt to document. To capture and preserve.

It should be noted that this is not the first time that I was stopped while taking photographs.

The first time came downtown on old Fremont street as Binions Gambling Hall decided that it was a (exact quote) “Homeland Security threat” to allow photography of other hotels from their parking structure.

 

Binions literally followed me out of their parking garage by driving behind me until I was a block away from the casino.

Planet Hollywood on the other hand offered to contact their senior officer and clear me to take shots. After I pointed out that I had been even higher up only a few days ago without incident, he relented, but still held to his guns.

“Just doing my job sir” he answered.
“I understand” I replied. At a whopping 14% unemployment in this city, I really honestly do understand.

I left, tweeted about it and went home.

But there is hope. A great vantage point for seeing the strip can be found on top of the Showcase mall parking structure. You are 14 floors up and no one ever seems to be on the roof.

It made this shot possible, and will enable some great night scenes, in time.

 


Where the Palace Meets The Gods

If you go to only one themed resort while in Las Vegas, it should be to Caesars Palace.

That is not to say that there aren’t other nice themed resorts on the strip. The Luxor is a scale replica of the Pyramids in Egypt and Paris does a good job of looking like, well like Paris.

But the art and history that has gone into Caesars palace is in a word, epic.

 

As you walk through the casino and are led into the Forum Shops you start to notice the attention to detail. Every bit of the resort and it’s shopping has been customized with near perfect representations of Roman art. There is a two story tall statue in the main entrance to the shops, bathed in sunlight during the day and watching the stars at night.

 

The main junction point where the three wings of the Forum Shops separate is anchored by restaurants and contain some of the most detailed statues, centered around fountains and featuring several Roman Gods.

I was first introduced to these statues by my wife several years ago.
To say the location is a popular spot for vacation photos is an understatemet. Over the course of an hour hundreds of people stop to pose with the Gods.

 

As a photographer, these types of settings pose an interesting paradigm. Another subject that has been recorded to film and memory card millions, if not billions of times. How many times have they been taken well?

It took me six years since arriving in Las Vegas to learn the methods to take properly pay tribute to these Gods. The resulting images here were a combination of several exposures, careful post processing and a will and determination. The result was a shoot that saw me taking nine photos of the same scene, putting in about thirty minutes at each angle as people darted in and out of frame and being patient enough to get the shots.

In short, these captures were difficult to create, but worth every second invested.


The Where and the Challenge

Where do you take your photos?

Most of what you see on this site was taken in one of two places, (in some cases a third) either Las Vegas, Nevada or in the Southern Philippines, specifically Mindinao.

Since I live in Las Vegas and work right on Las Vegas Boulevard (aka “The Strip”) getting shots of one of the most photographed places in America is exceedingly easy.

What is not easy however is getting photos which are different enough to stand out.

The problem with a place like Las Vegas or Times Square in New York City is that people have been there, done that and taken the photos. Chances are that if you yourself haven’t bothered to take a picture of it, your friends or family posted up vacation photos on FaceBook. Family vacation? Thanks.

Click like button, glance over photos, move on.

So the challenge is originality.
My drive is to bring people closer to the photos and bring them to a point where they want to look closer.
To be able to bring out an “aha” moment in the viewer that stands to bridge the gap between average snapshot and digital art.