Photo Locations in Vegas Wanted

Discussion in 'Travel' started by tom_nardi, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. Hello everyone,

    First I want to say thanks to everyone who makes this forum what it is. I?ve
    really learned a lot.

    I?m going to be in Las Vegas this weekend and I?m looking for some ideas of
    good photo locations. I tried searching this forum but I didn?t come across

    I?ve taken pictures there before so I?m looking for something different than
    the usual hotel pictures. I?m staying on the strip and I?m not going to have a
    rental car. So ideally I?ll need to be able to walk or take a cab to any

    I?m looking for any suggestions. However, I?d love to find a place to capture
    either the sun rising or setting, with the skyline in the background,
    preferably in a relatively safe part of town, especially if I have to get there
    before dawn.

    I?d also like to experiment with taking some night photos of all the lights.
    I?ve never been to the Fremont Experience but from what I?ve read it seems like
    it would be worth checking out.

    Thanks for the suggestions

  2. Have you been inside Bellagio to the Conservatory? If you like flower close-ups, bring all of your memory cards (or film).

    Although I haven't done this yet myself, knowledgeable friends tell me there's an observation deck with no chain link fencing at the top of the Stratosphere - shooting down the strip at twilight should be excellent.

    Ask at the Concierge Desk in your hotel about a tour of Red Rock Canyon. It's on the city's western edge and and has great western red rock geology on display everywhere. It's popular with hard rock climbers, but it may be past their season - it'll be hot. Expect 100+ in the canyon (108+ on the strip). I've seen motor tours in there, so I know they exist. I really like Red Rock - I'd offer to meet you and take you out there myself, but I'll be in Santa Barbara this weekend.

    I like shooting the Bellagio fountains from a variety of angles to get different sun angles and backgrounds. My favorite has the balloon from the Paris casino behind a large scale fountain blast.

    Photographing animals is tough along the strip - the lions at MGM and white tigers at the Mirage are behind glass walls. The "Secret Garden" at the Mirage is outdoors, but the mesh of the cage wiring is very problematic.

    Fremont Street is the bargain basement of Las Vegas. Older casinos, some remodeled, most not. Kiosks selling all sorts of stuff all along the street. The overhead light show every hour during the evening is cool, but won't photograph well. Fun to see, but not a photo trip. If you stay down the strip and decide to go to Fremont Street, take a cab or a bus (known as the duece - a London-type double decker), and don't walk. Too far and the neighborhood gets er, um, ah, perhaps more interesting that you'd want a youngster to see.

    The Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay allows cameras, but it's not well lit - if you have some experience with aquarium photography, you might enjoy this. It's smaller than the aquariums (aquaria?) in Monterey, Chattanooga, and Atlanta, but has good stuff.

    I haven't pursued a sunrise/sunset shot of the strip. A sunrise shot may be possible from either side of the strip, but if enhancement by nicley illuminated clouds is your goal, we haven't seen much in weeks (there's a reason they call this a desert). Shooting toward the east won't offer much interesting background (mostly city-scape, low hills) - the better angle would be toward the west and the Spring Mountains. Early light on the mountains would make a nice background for the sunrise shot, but finding a shooting location is the key. Perhaps someone else can offer specific advice.
  3. Bob - thank you very much for that detailed response. I've always wanted to do the stratosphere, and I didn't even know about the Bellagio's conservatory.

    Thanks for the suggestions. I guess as far as the weather is concerned this isn't really the best time of year to go. Oh well.

  4. Bellagio Conservatory (daytime) and fountains at night.

    Red Rock Canyon - go in the early morning hours so the rising sun will light the canyon up.


    If you can rent a car, do it. I was there a few weeks ago and rented a car about 1pm one day and renturned in the same time the next day for about $50. Go to Hoover damn during the day then head about an hour north to the Valley of Fire for sunset. The next morning head out of Red Rock for sunset. The best $50 you can spend in Vegas for photos. I unfortunately did it backwards and hit Red Rock in the evening and VOF in the morning. Bad lighting with this schedule. Oh well, next time I know.

    Fremont is also a $15 cab ride from Bellagio and well worth it. Lot's of old school neon!

    Here is a link to some of my Vegas Shots from a few weeks ago.

  5. Tom - Jim's car idea is a good one, and his recommendation of Red Rock early and VoF late is spot-on. Jim - I really like the first shot at Hoover - it's not easy to get good water shots these days with the lake level so low. Your stuff also shows the variety of shooting opportunities on the strip after dark.

    If you do decide to rent, Red Rock is easy to get to - go west (toward the mountains) from Las Vegas Blvd (the strip) on any of the major cross streets (Tropicana, Flamingo, Spring Mountain, or Sahara) and get on I-15 southbound. South of Tropicana, keep right and exit onto 215 westbound. That will cruise you around to the west side of the city (20 minutes) where you get off at Charleston and go west, right to the entrance to Red Rock. Easy drive, easy return. For Valley of Fire, start out the same way but take I-15 north. Less than an hour out, you'll hit an exit not quite in the middle of nowhere that says VoF - take it and follow the 2-lane blacktop to the park. Neither park has food or beverages - take what you want to eat and drink, especially water if you will be out hiking much in our heat. Both charge an admission.

    A good map of Las Vegas will help - AAA has a good one of the greater Las Vegas/southern Nevada area, your hotel or the car rental will undoubtedly have a good city map, but probably so-so for the VoF area.

    If you can't have fun here.... Hope your trip is a huge success.

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