Things A Photographer Can Do Alone In A Vegas Hotel Room
I was in Las Vegas on a business trip, and I had the pleasure of staying at the Bellagio hotel. The Bellagio is the hotel with the spectacular fountain that draws crowds up and down the strip.
Anyway, I had a great view of the strip and surrounding mountains from my room (see above). Here are some tips in creating a similar image if you too have the good fortune of having such a view.
1. Use a long exposure.
“…but Rain, if I use a long exposure, the picture will be all blurry and stuff.
Duly noted. You should use a tripod.
“…but Rain, due to new air travel restrictions, I’m afraid to carry a tripod on a plane because it can be misconstrued as a deadly weapon”.
Hmmm, that’s rich, but it really is OK to carry a tripod. I recommend the Gitzo Traveler because it’s lightweight and compact. Also, I love my RRS BH-40 ball head. They easily fit into your main luggage bag so you don’t have to carry it on board (TSA incident avoided!)
If, however, you don’t want to drop the coin for the tripod and ball head combo, here’s a great money saving tip…
2. Use a chair and a book poised strategically in front of the window.
3. Place the camera lens directly on window to minimize any window reflection.
4. Use a fluorescent white balance for shooting evening scenes. It provides the closest color rendition of most city lighting, and when it doesn’t, it still looks pretty darn cool.
5. Use the manual exposure settings on your camera. Set camera to an aperture of f16 and a shutter speed of about 15 to 30 seconds (season to taste). This will insure everything is in focus (in photo-geek vernacular, deep depth of field).
6. Resist the urge to take evening shots after the sun has totally disappeared. Having a little illumination in the sky adds interest to the image. Texture in the sky is arguably more appealing than a pitch black sky. Also, having some overall illumination in the scene may prevent you from having to dip into the HDR bag of tricks. HDR is short for High Dynamic Range photography and will be discussed in more detail in later blog posts.