This is the Lou Ruvo Brain Center in Las Vegas NV.
Perhaps the building with the most famous architech in all of Vegas, with Frank Ghery as the designer.
An eyesore? Modern Art? You decide.
Two different versions, an over the top HDR and a more conservative realistic version.
The Riveria in Las Vegas.
A three photo HDR that was upped to a five image set for extra range, this photo was taken on May 16th, the last day that the 59 year old Sahara was open.
The Riviera is one of the oldest on Las Vegas Blvd, and some say it will be one of the soonest to close as it has been in and out of bankruptcy for years.
One more shot from my trip into Caesars Palace a few weeks back. I went from the bottom level to the third level, taking this from the third level of the shops.
The fountains are beautiful and this shot definately showcases the reason why so many make the trip to Caesars Palace while on vacation.
This particular section of the shops was completed about five years ago, it is the newer expansion and creates a great central point, perfect for a meeting place.
The Forum Shoppes at Caesars Palace.
Perhaps known as a high end shopping center in both Las Vegas and Atlantic City, it is actually a very interesting place to watch light stream through windows onto over the top opulent artwork and archetecture.
Sure, you know that looking at this incredible scene that all of it was built a mere five or six years ago however I defy you to find better replica work anywhere on earth, of any one time period.
Two files are represented here, a tone mapped HDR file and a fused version to show a quasi-unreal view and more realistic version of the scene.
I mentioned before my issues with trying to take photos from the top of the Planet Hollywood Resort Casino garage.
Fortunately for me, I was able to take many shots during the daytime a few days before I was asked to leave for no reason. The following panorama turned out okay, and has a nice color balance.
It was also a study in how to tame dark clouds that the HDR process often time tends to bestow on photos. The original file is quite large, and you may feel free to download it and use it for free under creative commons, but please simply give me credit and link back to this blog…
“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 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.