New York State Of Mind

Taken in Vegas at the New York New York casino. Which would explain the New York theme.

My first trip ever to Las Vegas was for a birthday party (could have happily been my last) and I happened to stay at the the New York New York Casino. It was my introduction to casino mindgames and how stupid expensive Las Vegas is unless you are gambling and that’s a whole other level of expense.

One of the joyful things large casinos like to do is make it impossible to find the exit. Why? If you aren’t in there they aren’t making any money off you. From a business standpoint it’s brilliant. From the practical standpoint it absolutely sucks trying to find an exit when you actually want to go outside.

The other thing you want to pay attention to is that there is never a clock in casino. EVER! Again, this is done on purpose to separate you from reality and keep you spending, gambling or doing whatever. Sure, we all have a phone now with a clock on it but for most people it’s more natural to look for a clock then reach for a phone.

There are those that love Las Vegas and I applaud them. Me? I live on the other side of the world and happily making it my mission never to go back there again.

This image was shot on a EM1 so I knew I could not push the file that much so it’s more or less out of the camera. I used Intensify to bump some stuff on it then dodged and burned for local contrast since I was happy with the image overall.

Enjoy.

New York State Of Mind

Fountain Spray

Shot this in Vegas with the fountains from the Bellagio Hotel.

Been in a weird editing mood lately. Felt like doing more, HDR-esq photos and going over the top. I shift from reality based super clean to going from it’s my world and I’ll make it look however the hell I want.

Maybe part of it is the fact I live in Thailand where reality sometimes seems a lifetime ago with some of the stuff I have seen in the last month. There is no culture shock but there is just a holy hell I live here factor and now pay attention to things I otherwise ignored or didn’t deal with when I was on holiday. So maybe the bit of unreality has worked it’s way into my editing for the moment and seems to be a trend. Who knows.

Editing this was standard workflow then moved into Aurora HDR and crunched up a bit. Then I brought it into Intensify CK and hit a preset. Once I was happy hit save and called it done.

Enjoy.

Fountain Spray

Venice In Vegas

This was obviously shot in Las Vegas at the Venetian Hotel when I was there a few years ago. One of the things that I will not miss about living in America is Las Vegas. Hated the place.

It always seems that when I am in a hurry and just want to bang out an image it turns into a marathon editing session. I really am sitting on a ton of series images but I need to sit down for a few hours and do the edits. The problem is doing a site 5 days a weeks make that difficult. Sure, I live in Thailand but I find myself busier than ever doing stuff that is non-photographic related so I don’t have the time to sit and edit photos for hours. Hopefully in the near future I will get some time to do a series or two.

Editing this turned was interesting. I knew it would look good HDR. So usual workflow and took it into Aurora 2017. Just played with some sliders until I was happy. Then took another layer off the original and then brought it into Intensify and picked a preset that worked for me. I then masked those two layers together to get the overall effect I was looking for but still wasn’t happy. Once more into Intensify to bump up some details and then some dodging and burning and gotta say rather happy with the image.

Enjoy.

Venice In Vegas

Koi Las Vegas

I shot this when I was on my last trip to Las Vegas. I was working an event there so I got permission to shoot the photo from the representative at Planet Hollywood. It made for a much nice experience instead of worrying about a random security person coming up and asking me what I was doing.

I don’t have a lot of love for Vegas. I got shipped there for work. I only went once for personal for a friends party. If I could avoid Vegas I do. Too many people lose their minds about it being some adult fun capital. Sure, it’s a fun capital provided you don’t need to worry about a bank account. Everything is stupid expensive in Las Vegas.

The reason I took this image is I would walk past the Koi entrance everyday going to working at some unholy hour in the morning. When I got the opportunity to ask to take the shot I jumped on it. It’s not often you get permission from a casino to shoot something on a tripod.

This is a HDR image. I did the conversion using Aurora 2017 and just manually played with the sliders. Once I was happy there it was into Photoshop for some dodging and burning and a lot of straightening and cropping. Then it was time to clean up some stuff I didn’t want in the image and called it done.

Enjoy.

Koi Las Vegas

Eiffel Tower via Las Vegas

Home after 3 days in Florida. Didn’t shoot much while there but I got a lot of aerial photos on my way to Florida. Once I get some time from another project I’m working on I may get to them. Right now I’m a wee bit tired from traveling so keeping things simple.

This is the Eiffel Tower that is apart of the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. When I got to Las Vegas I stay at the Planet Hollywood next door and they are both owned by Caesars Entertainment. Since I deal with hotel staff I got the word that there was a main power line cut to the Paris Hotel and that the hotel was evacuated and shut down until they could repair the cut. I found out later they got everything back up by 1 AM and let people back in.

That night I wandered over with my tripod and snapped a few shots. It was weird because the casino and hotel were completely dark. There was no light. There were security and Las Vegas police blocking all entrances. I guess the Eiffel Tower was on a different power feed so it was lit up and since there was almost no traffic I could set up almost anywhere. One of the officers looked at me and I just pointed up towards the tower and he was happy that I wasn’t trying to get in or ask when I could get in to get my stuff. I was thrilled that no one was going to walk into my shot.

Editing this one I did things a bit different. Trying a new workflow out to be quicker and I only add one curves adjustment and a lot less dodging and burning. So far so good because I am tired and really not in the mood to edit. I stayed in RGB mode and only did a light burn to the base of the tower. I was going to add some Intensify or even HDR it up but when I loaded it into either program it just wasn’t doing it for me. So I sharpened the image and called it done.

Enjoy.

Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas

Typical Vegas Night

I don’t know why I like this image. I just do. It’s far from perfect in any sense of the word. Still, its one that I have thought of for some time and I wanted to edit it. I have attempted it before but never published it but this time I am going ahead with it.

This was shot at the Bellagio which is obvious from the hotel in the background. I like the people in it. You got the guy looking at me. The busker talking to the other guys. You got tourists looking at the view. There is a lot going on and a lot to take in. It really is a typical Vegas night. Doesn’t matter what day of the week either. This goes on all the time. It really is a snapshot of Vegas.

Nothing overly fancy editing wise. 16×9 crop to hide the fact that the 12-24 lens was for a crop sensor so I had to remove the dark rings. Used Intensify to pop some of the hotel out and a few other details I wanted. Then dodged and burned to get attention focused where I wanted. In all a fairly simple edit.

Enjoy.

Typical Vegas Night

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.

Enjoy.

Water DanceWater DanceWater DanceWater DanceWater DanceWater DanceWater DanceWater DanceWater DanceWater DanceWater DanceWater DanceWater Dance

 

Vegas Rising

I don’t really want to do all my flower stuff at once. I have a lot of it so don’t worry they will return. So instead I shifted back to some of the Las Vegas stuff I shot before I jumped on a plane and flew to Thailand for 6 weeks. Most of these are around that Aria Hotel and Casino and I don’t pretend to know the names of them. The buildings aren’t straight and they just out at angles that mess with your perception.

Nothing overly fancy here in editing. All of them were shot on an Olympus EM1 and with a tripod and shutter release. Did the usual Photoshop voodoo. Was fun to use the Wacom to do the dodging and burning.

Enjoy.

Vegas RisingVegas RisingVegas RisingVegas Rising

The Low Side of the Tracks

This one is from Las Vegas. One of the buildings is the Cosmopolitan and the others I want to say Wynn but I honestly don’t remember. I had just crossed a pedestrian bridge over Las Vegas Blvd and setup my tripod for the shots. I liked how the tracks just ran through the buildings that towered above.

The image felt better in monochrome than color. It was a nightmare getting perspective corrected because the buildings aren’t straight on purpose. If it looks skewed who the hell knows if I got it right or not. It did take two tone curves to get the tone right and more Wacom Tablet playing.

Enjoy.

The Low Side of the Tracks

Hard Rock Cafe – Las Vegas

I have shot this sign before. I’m a sucker for a Gibson Les Paul done in Sunburst. As for the restaurant itself can’t comment as I have never been in it but I have been in the Hard Rock Casino and thats got a lot of cool memorabilia in it if you are a rock music buff.

This was shot on my Olympus EM1 at 24mm. Took 5 images and did the HDR merge and then the usual Photoshop fun ensued. Nothing overly fancy. The biggest thing I did was to make sure the guitar itself popped. Like I said I’m a sucker for a good looking Les Paul.

Final note – It goes to 11!

Enjoy.

Hard Rock Cafe Las Vegas