Monday, November 28, 2011

My Photo Walk from 2010 (Better late then never?) #WPBT

The Winter Gathering for 2011 is Thursday! I did figure I need to update here before heading out. I know, it's a smidge late, but as Kat once told me, as long as I get the post up before the next blogger gathering, it's all good. One thing this might do, is fuel the fire for another trip to the desert.

Vegas for me has always been a rather surreal place. The flashy wealth, the poor, the homeless, the clicker people, the tourist, the casino employees, all walking the streets, each with their own purpose. My photo walk is a time for me to really look at Vegas and study the imagery, the people, the lights. Photography, the word, comes from Latin and I believe it means painting with light. A good photo graph tells a story, brings meaning to the world.

Last year, I gave myself an unusual goal for the photo walk. Every time I visit, I see the couples, the families, the friends all doing something that when you look back, is always disappointing. One member of a group is always sitting out of the picture because they are taking the picture. Or worse, they are taking that crappy arm stretched photo that never really works out. My goal? I set out to take 25 pictures for people were every member of a group, both halves of a couple, got to be in the picture.

It did mean I took fewer pictures than years past. In all, I stopped count at about 30 photo for people.

To accomplish my goal, I would just stop when I saw the usual signs of group -1 problem starting and I'd just simply walk up and offer to take the picture for them. A couple of people just declined, which was just fine. One kid hands me his camera, and his mom immediately freaks out. The camera was a pretty crappy, taped together point & shoot, but she kinda lit into him.

"You don't just hand a camera to a perfect stranger in Las Vegas!" she panicked.

He points to my camera, "Mom, I think he's set in the camera department."

I can understand her point. Vegas isn't a place that inspires you to trust in strangers. I showed her the point & shoot I carry along with my DSLR and phone. She joined the group and I took the picture. Lots of smiling faces. Good times.

Another funny came when I was walking near the fountain at Bellagio. A younger couple were doing the take a picture of one, hand the camera to the other and shoot the other one. Always a sad way to get memories of a romantic trip to Las Vegas. I did my offer, and their faces just lit up. "You will take our picture together?" "Sure," I said.

He handed me the camera, I futzed with the buttons for a second and took a really nice shot. I think I got the Eiffel Tower in the background and the whole works. After the click, I admired my work and handed it back.

"Dude! The flash didn't go off! Um, never mind. It looks great, um, how?" he said. I showed him setting on his camera and moved on. Built in flash systems are evil. Please, I'm begging you, learn how to not use a flash.

It felt really good helping people. Helps to take the edge off the decadence you see all around. Give it a try this weekend. Let me know how it goes.

Now, for the photos I took with my camera. I splashed a few in here. This year, I need to get out of the middle of the strip. Almost feels boring to me.

This first one is of a magician working the street. He posed all nice for me which wasn't what I was hoping for. I wanted to shoot him in action, but he just froze up when I pointed the camera at him. I'd have tipped him more if he hadn't kept doing that.

You'd think there was plenty of light here by the statue turned Michael Jackson impersonator. You'd be wrong. I need a faster lens.

Our destination of choice this year for poker. Aria. With a lot more of the construction done, I might spend more time here with the camera.

The now ubiquitous photo of the fountain at Bellagio.

The conservatory is one of my favorite places in the Las Vegas to walk through. Just beautiful. The following are from there. I'll let you finish by just looking at the pictures. I'll post more about my plans for this weekend and little later.