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Off to Vegas in a month, any shootin tips ?

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by Random-Rabbit, 15 Apr 2010.

  1. Random-Rabbit

    Gangster

    Joined: 30 May 2003

    Posts: 139

    Location: UK, Essex

    I'm heading to vegas in a month and although the aim will be a heavy alcohol fuelled gambling adventure etc etc I also intend to use it as an opertunity to explore and little and get some good shots.

    I am planning on taking my 500D + 18-270 tamron for general walkout use, maybe my f1.8 50mm prime as well to get a few nice night shots of the strip. I also intend to invest in a hoya circular polarisor for the canyon as well. For clubs etc I will leave the SLR behind and take my Panasonic LX3 in my pocket

    any good tips for locations, shots even different lenses and filters ... I figured while I'm there I may as well make the most of it ...
     
  2. NvidiaDan

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 5 Dec 2008

    Posts: 1,179

    Location: Oxfordshire

    Take a small tripod or buy a cheap one out there. Might come in handy for some nice long exposures of the city ect..
     
  3. mysticsniper

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 1 May 2003

    Posts: 9,875

    Head upto the top of the Stratosphere, for some good shots, especially at night. You can also get a helicopter ride around Vegas which should provide an oppertunity to take some cracking shots :)
     
  4. Goliath

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 20 Aug 2003

    Posts: 2,139

    Location: The Republic

    This - a gorillapod or similar comes in really useful. My Flickr has my own ham fisted attempts, but as Vegas looks better at night then you will really need a stable base for your shots.
     
  5. AHarvey

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 Mar 2008

    Posts: 10,020

    Location: Stoke area

    Doubtful, we did one and ended up on the right side of the helicopter, we saw nothing but the outskirts of Vegas.

    Wouldn't mind but we agreed to go on a later flight because they had messed up, we didn't get the free photo they promised and we didn't see the strip because of the MAHOOOSIVE English woman on the left side.

    Loads of places to shoot in Vegas, most obvious are the Fountains :)
     
  6. Random-Rabbit

    Gangster

    Joined: 30 May 2003

    Posts: 139

    Location: UK, Essex

    great shout! was thinking about a gorilla pod, btw great shots! can I ask what camera/lens you where using ... the shots are very crisp and sharp
     
  7. Random-Rabbit

    Gangster

    Joined: 30 May 2003

    Posts: 139

    Location: UK, Essex


    oh .. had planned to do a helo ride out to the canyon, apparently in sets down for 30 min or so then comes back down the strip @ sunset ... What company did you use for yours ... I'll be sure to avoid it, thanks for the heads up

    I'm staying in the Stratosphere :D I'll definately use your advice there
     
  8. Goliath

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 20 Aug 2003

    Posts: 2,139

    Location: The Republic

    Cheers, Pentax K200D with either the 18-55 kit or the 17-70 SDM lenses. Well worth getting up early one morning too, the light is amazing!
     
  9. Zaf

    Soldato

    Joined: 16 Jan 2003

    Posts: 6,103

    Location: Derbyshire

    Me Too!!!!!!! were flying out on May 30th when are you going?

    Taking my 500D + 28-75 Tamron and Nifty fifty hopefully be getting a 10-24 before we go too for the Canyon :)

    Who have you got insurance through?
     
  10. a1ex2001

    Capodecina

    Joined: 14 Mar 2005

    Posts: 14,027

    Location: Here and There...

    You can't get a helicopter flight from Vegas to the real Grand Canyon, the best you'll get is the 'west rim' area which really isn't the canyon. Organised trips to the real Grand Canyon come in two forms a short plane ride or a long Bus trip via the hoover damn. When we went we took what we considered a better a cheaper option we did the trip DIY and hired a Mustang for two days, we drove out to the canyon stayed the night and then drove back meaning we could be at the south rim before the majority of the day trippers arrived and after they left giving us the best photo and exploration opertunities.

    My advice on staying in the Stratosphere would be to cancel your reservation imediately and book somewhere in the middle of the strip, the Stratosphere is a total dive and miles from the action.
     
  11. Jase

    Mobster

    Joined: 19 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,848

    Location: Pembrokeshire

    I've been to Vegas a few times, and each time have done a helicopter trip of some kind. I've always used Heli USA and haven't had any problems, that said I've always been in the front with the Pilot. I never really noticed but can picture what AHarvey is talking about due to the route it takes. One year I did the cowboy ranch tour which was a Heli flight over the Canyon and then to a Cowboy ranch for lunch (and horse riding if you wanted) which had some nice photo ops, that trip also included a night flight over vegas.

    There are some boat trips that you can do, white water rafting for fun or a slower rafting trip from the Hoover Da (takes most of the day) which would allow more photo ops, you'll have to wrap the camera up in places though as it can still get very wet.

    Also agree with a1ex2001, the Stratosphere isn't the best hotel to stay in, it kinda feels like the wrong side of the strip, it's where the strip ends and the more residential aka rougher part starts. I'd recommend Caesars Palace which is nicely in the middle, I've stayed there a few times now and enjoyed it... talking of which have a meal at the "Cheesecake Factory" in there, lovely!! if you're stuck with the Stratosphere no problems just enjoy it and note for next time and I assure you there will be a next time ;)

    If you've gone as a package deal, when you check in ask about room upgrades, if it's quiet the hotel will offer better rooms for a supplement.. at the right time you could get a really nice suite for a few extra $'s.

    ohh and a Gorilla Pod is a good idea, vegas is meant to be viewed at night :)

    Anyway, have a great time there, you'll love it.
     
    Last edited: 15 Apr 2010
  12. Random-Rabbit

    Gangster

    Joined: 30 May 2003

    Posts: 139

    Location: UK, Essex

    thanks you ... it's actually a 15 man stag so unfortunatley I'm kinda locked into the stratosphere, personally I'd rather have gone with ceasars like you said or the bellagio.

    Great shouts tho ... cos of the nature of the holiday I'm not sure how much photography I'll get done but canyon and vegas night shots are a definate.

    I'll post shot links when I get back for some constructive critique :D

    Ross
     
  13. AHarvey

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 Mar 2008

    Posts: 10,020

    Location: Stoke area

    We used http://www.maverickhelicopter.com/ as the hotel booked it for us.

    They may be very good for the Canyon tour but we were disappointed with the strip flight and they didnt respond to 2 complaint emails either.

    Vegas is odd, it never stops. There was a heat wave when went, you could of cooked an egg on the pavement. Walking around at 2-3am in shorts and a tshirt feels odd :)
     
  14. BigT

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,269

    Location: UK

    This. Get on the outside viewing platform and you'll get some great shots. I also recommend goinjg up to the outside area in the bar at the top of the Rio. Because it is off the strip you get a good angle to get the complete length of the strip, giving stunning night time panoramas.
     
  15. Mr_Sukebe

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 23 Dec 2002

    Posts: 9,309

    Location: London

    The key thing I remember were the places vaguely near LV. Excluding the Grand Canyon, you also have national monument, Lake Tahoe, the Hoover dam, all of which are within easy striking distance. A bit further out there's also Sequoia national park and death valley. All are very worth seeing if you have time and a car.
     
  16. mcwildcard

    Mobster

    Joined: 29 Jun 2005

    Posts: 4,595

    Location: London

    If you're up for a DIY excursion, hire a car and go to Death Valley, it'd probably require a stayover tbh, but it's truly magnificent. I can recommend Furnace Creek Ranch for the stayover, although stay away from their Gorgonzola Steak...

    Here's the thread from my respective Vegas/Canyon/Death Valley trip:
    http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=17893577

    Oh and if you do go to see the Canyon, I HIGHLY recommend the Papillion coach trip with the helicopter option, if you book online you'll probably get it much cheaper than the street vendors are selling it at.
    You can't have the heli ride and the skywalk btw, they're on different rims, personally I'd ditch the skywalk for the heli ride, it's no contest.
    Whatever way you do it, it's a very long day, but you'll rememebr it with awe for the rest of your life.
     
    Last edited: 16 Apr 2010
  17. mcwildcard

    Mobster

    Joined: 29 Jun 2005

    Posts: 4,595

    Location: London

    Did you go in '08?
    We hit a heatwave when we went, it was 40c in Vegas every day and 50c in Death Valley.
    I really can't fathom how the cowboys used to survive in such conditions.
     
  18. AHarvey

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 Mar 2008

    Posts: 10,020

    Location: Stoke area

    Nope, it was may last year.

    105F was the highest we saws while driving, even when we got to San Fran everyone was saying that the bay was really clear due to the heat wave as it's usually quite misty/foggy.

    We missed Death Valley :( We went from Vegas to Yosemite, I wanted to travel the death valley way but we just didn't have the time!
     
  19. Tafkap

    Gangster

    Joined: 31 Jul 2003

    Posts: 214

    I have visited Vegas three times in the last three years, and wish I knew more about taking decent photos when I'd gone.. But I'll visit there again!

    I would get everything you need in the UK before you travel, as one other regret is being conned by a photography shop on the strip - across from Caesar's I think. I went in to buy a circular polariser and after half an hour of intense selling pressure to get a no-brand wide angle lens I departed with an overpriced no-brand polariser.

    Turned out this actually caused my pictures to be miscoloured and fuzzy! I've encountered similar tactics in NY when I wanted to buy a memory card for my camcorder... 'What kind of camera have you got?', 'Here I'll fit the memory card for you...'..

    All that rubbish to get you snared - I'd been given a taste in Vegas and once he dragged out the bargain lenses I made it clear I wasn't interested and left.
    Makes you thankful for Jessops (seriously..).

    I've been lucky to stay at Caesar's, Luxor and Bellagio - the latter room had wonderful views of their fountain display, which I took an inordinate amount of photos of..

    Las Vegas is a world of it's own - you'll have a ball, so long as you can remember any of it..!
     
  20. Zaf

    Soldato

    Joined: 16 Jan 2003

    Posts: 6,103

    Location: Derbyshire

    Were staying in The MGM anyone else stayed their?

    what are the views of the strip like from the Rooms etc might take Laptop and do a time lapse