Okay, so it wasn't actually summer and it wasn't actually a vacation. Pat and I went to Las Vegas last month to attend the WPPI trade show, then on to southern California where I did a bunch of shoots on the beach (as you have probably deduced from browsing my previous posts featuring tons of portraits on the beach). I did manage to spend a little time with friends and family, and take a few pictures for fun when I wasn't working. I'll blog the Vegas half today and the CA half tomorrow. Enjoy!
Just before leaving the house Pat decided he wanted to make a 16mm film of our road trip, so he rigged a tripod contraption on the console between us. Every three miles we'd click off some frames (shooting in single frame mode). We did this all the way to the ocean! Can't wait to see the film -- if it comes out worth a flip I'll post it here.
What's so great about WPPI is being around so many other photographers! This is me with the wonderful and talented Christine Kufske, who also happens to have a studio called Click Photography. She's located in Toronto. It was nice hanging out with you Chris!
We went to a place called the Neon Boneyard, where all the old Vegas neon signs go when they die. It's a very cool place. Unfortunately you have to make a reservation to get in but we didn't know that, so we resorted to shooting through gaps in the fence and so on. This was at twilight, the light was gorgeous.
This is what's left of the La Concha Hotel and Casino, the front facade of which was a marvel of mid-century modern design. The facade/lobby was saved and now resides at the Neon Boneyard. It's being restored. The Neon Boneyard will soon be turned into a legitimate museum, and La Concha's former lobby will be an integral part of it.
Another twilight view of La Concha
One of the many wedding chapels on the strip. Apparently John Bonjovi and his wife were married here. Chris and I took a bunch of pictures of the exterior, then decided we wanted to shoot a few inside. We were horrified to open the door on a wedding in progress! It was pretty funny actually. The people actually invited us in but we declined. We only caught a glimpse but it looked like they were getting married in jeans and tee shirts! What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas I guess.
This is in the older part of Vegas, it's called Fremont. I think it's much cooler than the strip.
I think Fremont Street must be where the local hipsters go to party. This happened to be Saint Patrick's day so there was more than the usual quota of drunk people stumbling about, and a lot of police keeping an eye on things.
Fremont Street is so cool! All of the old neon still exists and it hasn't been taken over by the gigantic casinos. This particular picture was really hard to take. The giant red shoe revolves; meanwhile the "stripper" lights up in a specifically timed pattern as does the "Mexican food" sign on the right. I had to shoot a ton of frames to get the right moment when they all looked good at the same time.
The second night Pat and I tried to do some gambling after the trade show. We were miserable failures and lost our money very quickly, but we did have fun walking around the strip and snapping some pics of all the neon. These were taken with my little Canon point and shoot.
The famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign! We went there a couple of times and it was swarming with photographers every time (some of them were pretty unfriendly too). This was taken at rush hour. We got stuck on this median for ten or fifteen minutes because there was not a sufficient enough gap in the traffic for us to cross the street and get back to our car!
On our way out of Vegas Pat wanted to try again to get into the Neon Boneyard. We went to the offices and tried to schmooze our way in, but no go. So we parked on the street outside and stood on the car to shoot over the tall fence. Whatever it takes!
I didn't like the shots I was getting (and standing on top of your car to shoot isn't very comfortable!), but now that I've had a chance to mess around with them in Photoshop I've decided I like a few of them after all. This was the flattest high noon light so they needed a little TLC to be sure! But they came out pretty cool in the end.