Waster Dance

I shot these while I was in Las Vegas last year. These are the Bellagio Fountains that are in front of the Bellagio Hotel and Casino on the Vegas Strip. They do nightly shows, not sure about daytime as I am usually working so no idea if they do it then. They change up the theme periodically and they set it to music that is piped through speakers. I know they are scheduled and you can tell its about to begin because the crowds gather. I was lucky to get my tripod where I did.

These were all shot on my Sony A7R. I was using my Tokina 24-200 with an adapter. While it was an autofocus lens it had its fair share of issues. Happy to report after selling out a bunch of gear and using my American Express points I acquired the Sony 24-240 I have been wanting for my travel/landscape work. Looking at one more lens for wider images but that will do for the Sony kit.

When I started editing I didn’t even want these images. Was looking for a different one to edit. Then I started on these and the next thing I know I’m 13 images deep. I just kept at it as they were straight forward. I went for a consistent style and format in the edits. A 16×9 crop to get the expansive feeling. Nothing overly fancy. Just a bit of dodging and burning to get the water to pop.


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Shadowy Walkway

This was shot at the Venetian and it took awhile to get. I didn’t want anyone in the frame so I had to wait for people to move out it. When you are shooting long exposures this can either be a problem or not. If someone walks through quick enough they won’t appear. If they don’t then they are a blur in the shot. Sometimes this is nice sometimes its not. In this case I didn’t want them.

I used Macphun’s Intensify Pro to bring out the shadow details then masked it back into the original image with a varying opacity to the areas I wanted. Then ran it through Nik Silver Efex and bumped the structure in the image then used a luminosity mask to give it a bit of the secret sauce.

From there done!



Tower Of The Doge

Another one from the Venetian in Las Vegas. This is supposed to mimic an Italian courtyard with the tower rising above it.

Wasn’t sure about this image. Lots of layer masks going on with this one to bring out the areas I wanted and others I didn’t. I think in total I used something like 6 layers to get the final effect and I’m still not 100% happy with it. Still, its something I can live with and the tower and details look cool.



Faux Venice

The Venetian in Las Vegas is one of the nicer casino’s and hotels on the strip. The entire place is designed to be like being in Venice. If you had never been to Venice I guess you could believe it. While I haven’t personally been there I have been to Europe enough to know the difference between a chlorinated canal versus the real thing with centuries old buildings. Still, it makes for some nice images.

The little story I will share is that I had to use the mens rooms badly by the time I reached the Venetian. This had nothing to do with the 24 ounce beer I enjoyed while walking. Seeing as I had no choice I had to take my camera and tripod into the mens room. There were offers of will you take my picture or are you really taking pictures in here with a lens with a very clear lens cap on it. Only in Vegas.



Poseidon Rising

No idea if this is Poseidon or not. I just like the image so I’m going with it.

One of the problems with shooting in Las Vegas is that there is so much other stuff around your primary focus area. You have a choice to work with it and bring it into focus or take the crop tool and perform radical surgery. I went with the first option, bring it into focus.

I really liked the water cascading down from the fountain and I wanted the statue as the focus. So I used one of my favorite tools which is Macphun’s Intensify Pro. I went with HDR effect and then just brought it back into Photoshop. From there is was a layer mask to get it to where I wanted it and left the other stuff normal. Then a quick luminosity mask for a bit more of that secret sauce and I think the effect I was looking for was achieved.



And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.

Who knew a long exposure of a escalator could look cool?

This was totally a random shot that I took as I was walking down Las Vegas Blvd. It was an interesting place to setup. To my right were a group of touts who apparently were treating their various medical conditions with some sort of herbal remedy. I felt I could have been treated just by standing there. To my left were a group of touts who hand out the escort business cards trying to “keep warm” by drinking something out of a bottle. Immediately behind me were two women dressed in Las Vegas Show Girl costumes posing for pictures for small donations.

Only in Vegas.