Vegas at night
Well, one of my favourite destinations is Las Vegas, Nevada.
For us, Europeans, it is strange and rich mixture. Romance and greed. Luxury and debase. Art and kitch. Choose your favourite pair.
On one hand, glamorous crowd in casinos at night, sparkling, burstling with pearly laughter, sensuous dresses of pretty girls.
On the other hand, lonely, sad, fat addict at the slot machine at 4am, mindlessly shoving his or her banknotes into the furnace.
About art and kitch, I will spare your sensitive photographer's souls.
I hate to portrait base and evil, ugly and dirty. I concentrate on the bright side of life. I hope, I have managed to show the Vegas night beauty, leaving the bad side, well, aside :)
I believe that the dancing fountains in front of Bellagio Hotel represent the romantic, beautiful and chic side of Las Vegas. However, they are not easy to catch on the static medium. Time of shot, it is obvious - night. I have seen few if any, successful shots during the day or even early evening. The night is the queen.
The technical aspect of the night fountains photography is very interesting.
At night, the are longer times of exposure, which is good and bad. Good, because the light paints miraculous water pictures, bad because exposure time is long, and camera is prone to move. If you plan to shoot the Bellagio, bring heavy tripod. I mean it. I had some shaken pictures even with heavy tripod because there is a lot of cars going and people walking around. Then, some way of remote, either mechanical or electronic.
Before digital, I used Olympus OM-4Ti camera, which has a tremendous feature - OTF, Off-The-Film light measurement. The film received exactly as much light as needed, because the exposure time was not calculated at the moment of the shutter release, but instead, the shutter's second curtain closed in the moment, when enough light reflected from the film. Nevertheless, the changing nature of Bellagio fountains required very heavy bracketing. I burned lots of film to nail the dance.
One of the most successful pictures adorns the wall at my home. I have yet to scan it and upload here.
With my new Sony Alpha 700 I reduced the cost of shooting Bellagio wonder, however, I eschewed OTF feature. Hence, only trial and error remained. You can see the results here.
Good luck !
Photo credits: Tomdraug.