A few weeks ago I took a last minute trip to Las Vegas. There’s more to this story that this but I’ll leave it at that 😉 99% of my trips I call “mini trips” and they normally last no more than four days. Sounds crazy? No not really. I plan enough time to shoot (taking photographs), enjoy the area I’m in, and maybe put it on my list to hope to try and get back to one day. I know you’re saying “but Vegas”?? Yes but there’s more to Las Vegas than the Strip.
I have been to Vegas a few times and was able to enjoy the Strip – both day and night. It is something to see because you just never know what you may see. This trip I wanted to see what was what outside of the city limits.
The places I visited were no more than 30-40 minutes from my hotel. The day I got to Vegas I went to the Ghost Town, located near Nelson, NV. It is so cool! It’s a photographer’s dream but it’s for everyone. They have signs stating that if you’re a photographer to come inside the store. When I went inside the owners of the place reminded me of the safety of their place, what buildings you could go inside, and mostly be aware of the cactus plants and rattlesnakes. I really thought the cactus plants were taller than me! And when he said rattlesnakes I knew I wasn’t going to stay long 🙂
The next day I went to Hoover Dam – first time visit. It’s very impressive with the huge generators and the Wings Figures of the Republic. This same day I drove over to Red Rock Canyon. If you enjoy hiking and biking this is the place for you. Pretty cool.
On my last day I visited Valley of Fire State Park. This place was awesome! If I had known how big this state park was I would have left early morning and planned to stay the entire day. I didn’t see all of it; I would like to go back some day and revisit. Not only was the park spectacular, the drive in and out of the park was just as cool. Some of the park features I did enjoy were the Beehives, Atlatl Rock, Arch Rock, and the Fire Wave.
The next time you go to Vegas be sure to make time to enjoy what’s around the city…you will enjoy it 😉
Camera gear: Fujifilm X-Pro2, 18-55mm f/2,8-4 R LM OIS lens. I chose this lens because I knew I would be around a lot of dust, sand, and dry land. I didn’t want to be tempted to change lenses and add more dust/dirt inside of my camera.
HAPPY SHOOTING!! 🙂 🙂
One of my “go to” places that allow me to be creative is an old farm off of Route 340 outside of Berryville, VA. What caught my eye years ago was the old Gaylord Clarke County, VA Post Office (1880-1956) that sits on the farmland. This farm has horses. Every time I travel 340 to go home I always look over to see if the horses are out and how close are they to the post office or just to the fence. It’s been a hit-or-miss-adventure and lately I’ve been lucky.
I’m always talking safety. It’s not like it use to be (my opinion) to go out early morning/late at night by yourself. But… this farmland is right off a major highway… and just maybe I can get away with shooting during sunrise and sunset. So I did. I didn’t know if I would be able to capture anything cool; I just decided to take a chance. The sunset was okay. I was able to capture the sun as it was setting behind the post office. Gave a nice glow to the post office. After this so-so event I decided then to come back for the sunrise the next morning.
Another thing about this location – I park my car right there. I don’t have to take everything I need out and walk. That’s a plus. Gas station close by: hot drinks, food, and bathroom…the essentials of life. With that being said I was prepared.
The sun came up and it was gorgeous. A deep rich color…when I looked behind me but it wasn’t too bad in front of me. Once I took all the photographs I thought I just hang around for a bit. It was chilly out but not super cold and my car was right there if I needed to jump in. I was listening to a photographer one day and he said don’t rush to leave. Hang around…good things could/can happen…don’t rush. And it did.
This aged farm has an old, rusted gate. Bent up, going everywhere but straight, but can still secure the farm. The leaves on the trees had past their prime but they still had character with or without the sun shining through.
And shadows? Shadows can make anything look dramatic especially against an old condemned building where all the paint is peeling. How about shadows and horses? YES!! I waited around long enough to see the horses!! The owner came by and told me they had just finished eating and they were on their way out. I spent an extra 30-45 minutes photographing the horses. I left my camera on the tripod the entire time, which was great for control. Earlier in the morning I was able to focus on long exposures and not worrying about camera stability. With the horses I basically used my tripod as a monopod. My tripod converts to a monopod but I didn’t break it down to do so. The camera, lens, and tripod were so light it didn’t hurt me with that setup.
If you have a favorite spot make sure you go there different times of the day… especially when you’re looking for something in particular…like horses. Snow is just around the corner. Guess where I’m going? Yeah me going out in the cold/snow… capturing what is here today and may be gone tomorrow.
Gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro2, 35mm f/2 R WR, and XC 50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS lens.
HAPPY SHOOTING!! 🙂 🙂