The following day after my Napa trip my wife had a business trip in Las Vegas so I figured I'd join her. So much time in Las Vegas yet so little time to actually shoot. I don't know how travel photographers do it. It's hard to show up in a city even if you have been there before and get a portfolio image. I didn't have a car so Red Rock was out. I called the Bone Yard and they were sold out for the week. What's a man to do? I thought about a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon but then a review from another photographer put the kibosh on that idea. So I decided to shoot the strip. I figured the skywalks and light trails would have be interesting with the right composition, as well we the tops of the Eiffel Tower and Stratosphere .
Unfortunately, I was stuck with the same gear from my Napa Valley trip and that meant I had my Tokina 11-16 f2.8 instead of my Nikon 80-200 f2.8. That lens could have been put to good use in Las Vegas.
I decided I was going to walk almost the entire strip over the course of a couple nights. I would bring my tripod and try to capture the scale of the buildings on the strip and highlight them with light trails and blurred people. As you can imaging some people left me alone, while other drunk people and human-sized Muppet characters insisted in photobombing my shots.
I started my walk down the strip with a quick stop at the Stratosphere. It was my first time far off the strip in Las Vegas and it was odd to say the least. I don't get nervous walking the streets of Chicago but I was concerned more than once during my trip to and from the Stratosphere.
I took a cab to the Stratosphere which is pretty much directly between the Las Vegas strip and old Vegas. The cab like everything in Las Vegas, more money than it needed to be. I originally planned to walk to old Vegas from the Stratosphere but the cabbie highly suggested against it. The top of the Stratosphere is a great view of the strip. You can see directly down Las Vegas Blvd all the way to the end of the strip. At this point I was a little upset by the fact that I didn't have my Nikon 80-200 because I needed a little extra zoom. My Nikon 28-70 f2.8 worked out and the quick lens (f2.8) gave me just enough light to shoot at ISO 5000. It was also a challenge to shoot through the windows. There are a bunch of lights and reflections to deal with so I found myself getting creative to help minimize the reflections. Luckily there was also an outside area to shoot from.
After the Stratosphere I walked back to the strip. It's quite a walk through an "interesting" part of Las Vegas. On my way back I started my journey photographing the Las Vegas strip. My goal was to shoot the buildings and try to capture their scale. I also found that there were many unique angles to shoot from using the skywalks and the walkways at various casinos.
Overall it was an amazing trip. I wish I had more time to shoot Red Rock and the boneyard but I can save that adventure for another trip.