Las Vegas Strip At Night

January 21, 2012 by  

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MGM Grand Lion Glares At New York Across Las Vegas Blvd

    Less than a year after attending the Nightclub & Bar Convention I found myself in Las Vegas again, this time to cover CES 2012.  This was my first time at the show so suffice to say it was a lot of fun and just about as close to overwhelming as you can possibly get.  Now that I’ve had a week to think about the show and edit some photos I do have a prediction that will merge some of the most impressive things I saw at CES:

    Waterproof 3D Eye Controlled Touch Screen Technology will be huge.

    I’ll elaborate on that in future posts.  For now, it will be all about photography and the 8mm fish-eye lens that was my solo companion as I walked through CES and the Las Vegas Strip for 4 days and nights.

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In Front Of Luxor Hotel Pyramid, Sphinx & Obelisk

    For me the Las Vegas Strip ends at Tropicana Blvd. so I never make it to Luxor or Mandalay Bay unless I make a specific trip just for those two places, which is exactly what I did for this trip.  I hadn’t been to the Shark Reef aquarium in Mandalay Bay for almost 10 years and I had never set foot inside Luxor so this was practically a new adventure for me.

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Inside Luxor Pyramid, Looking Straight Up

    Luxor is has more curb appeal than anything else, so I just did a quick run through the place.  A pyramid has a lot of attic space that you just can’t do much with other than stare at so I was not impressed and due to its location on the strip, I recommend you stay somewhere else, farther north on Las Vegas Blvd.

Jellyfish aquarium at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

Jellyfish at Shark Reef Predator Aquarium In Mandalay Bay

    On the other hand, Mandalay Bay was an incredibly vast and visually appealing place to spend a few hours.  My reason for going there was their Shark Reef exhibit, which I finally managed to see on my last day in Las Vegas.  It is to aquariums what San Diego Safari Park is to zoos.  The place is dim but not dark so set your ISO at 1600 or higher, aperture at f/3.5 or larger and shutter at 1/60th or slower for some amazing results.  You don’t need a tripod for this but you will want to hold your breath and remain still while releasing the shutter. If you take a knee or lean against something while taking your photos, it will help out a lot.

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Shark Reef At Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino

    Las Vegas really is a street photographers dream because there are so many people and you have to walk for miles, even after you exit the taxi or monorail.  Seriously, don’t bother with a tripod, just crank up the ISO and have some fun.  There are plenty of inside things to photograph, so don’t be afraid to practice some low light photography indoors before you start roaming around The Las Vegas Strip, or your own hometown at night.

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Prada, In Crystals On Las Vegas Blvd

    Here are two things you might not know about Las Vegas; you can take your alcoholic beverages everywhere and gambling is not the only thing to do on The Strip.  Shop until you drop if you so desire or eat your heart out.  The retail stores and the restaurants are second to none and just as willing as a casino to take your money in exchange for goods and services.

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Fountains Of Bellagio and Las Vegas Blvd

    As I mentioned earlier, I had a single lens with me for this trip and that was a newly acquired 8mm fish-eye which gave me a full 180 degree field of view.  As a photographer, it’s really cool to have EVERYTHING in front of me show up in the viewfinder; it really is amazing how a new lens at Christmas can turn me into a kid with a camera.  Thanks Santa!

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