When I lived in California I did contract photography work
for a company out of Michigan. Most of the jobs they sent me were to shoot
motels such as Motel 6 and La
Quinta Inn. These jobs were easy. All I had to do was set-up my camera to automatically
bracket for exposures and line up the shot and press the shutter button. When I
arrived home I uploaded the RAW files to their server and they handled the
processing work. I took these jobs, because they paid well for the amount of
work I had to do.
Well, this contract work followed me to Las Vegas. In Vegas,
however, I am required to travel a little ways. Many of the jobs I receive are
for hotels in places such as Kingman, Arizona, Cedar City, Utah, and places
like that. A couple of weeks ago I was ordered to shoot a Rodeway Inn in Big Water,
Utah. Big Water is 262 miles from my home in Las Vegas. I requested mileage and
they delivered, plus a complimentary night stay at the Rodeway Inn! I was all
Big Water is a dusty little town located near Page, Arizona and Lake Powell. It also borders the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. I took the family and we had a day and a half to explore. We were able to visit Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam. We also visited Page, Arizona. I didn’t take many photos, but I did take my drone. I did do some drone videos and will post them at a later time.
A few weeks we took a drive to Nelson, Nevada. The Eldorado Canyon Mining in Nelson is full of photographic opportunities. The owners of the land have put together an eclectic collection of rusted antique cars and car parts around weathered buildings. They charge a small fee for photographers to stroll the grounds and take photos. They also will let photographers make reservations to bring models and lighting equipment. I saw a couple of different photo shoots taking place in the buildings while I was there. If you are thinking of going make sure to talk them about the safety precautions. The place is known to have rattlesnakes and also has an abundance of cacti that will attach it itself to your skin when touched. Ouch! No matter the dangers, this is a photographer’s paradise!
I use drones for work as a real estate photographer at least twice a week. Many agents ask if I can do video and I have to always tell them “not yet”. This morning I got up early and went out to the desert near Pahrump, Nevada and practiced recording video with my drone. I love flying my drone, either for work or play, but doing video is a whole different dynamic. Throughout my career as a photographer I’ve avoided doing video for several reasons. The number one reason, is the post editing. I’m not too familiar with video editing software even though I have the best of the best through my Adobe CC subscription. I used basic editing software such as Movie Maker and iMovie to do some 3D preview videos in the past. I really enjoy the editing process, even though I’m at the most basic level. I really want to more and more. I’ll start experimenting on the job by taking a few extra minutes and recording some videos alongside the aerial snapshots that I normally take. I still have a long way to go before I can offer these professionally, however I’m looking forward to the journey of getting their more than anything. Anyway, enjoy these to very basic videos featuring Mt. Charleston in the Nevada desert.
Living in Las Vegas, Fremont Street is my go to place for street photography. As an early morning riser I like to go down there before the crowds and get cleaner shots. Of course, I think going after dark would offer some great shots as well, but I just haven’t gone there at night, yet. Anyway, I like Vegas in the early mornings. Before moving here when I would visit I always enjoyed getting up early and going to the coffee shop and to sit, drink coffee, and people watch. The mornings in Vegas are always calm, but still have that Vegas energy. People up and about early in the morning are usually die hard gamers, retirees, or people watchers like myself. Doing street photography in the morning on Fremont Street is a lot like sipping coffee and watching from afar. The crowds are thin giving me a lot of buffer and open space to work with. I like clean shots with isolated subjects. Fremont Street in the early morning hours provides just that. These shots were taken during the National Finals Rodeo which would explain the cowboys.
San Luis Valley in Colorado is a lesser known part of Colorado, but offers all the beauty that the rest of the state has. The San Luis Valley was a favorite place of mine when I lived there and when I returned for a visit I made sure to the valley on my agenda. I was able to visit during the Winter in between snow storms and could have been luckier with the weather. The mountains were all snow capped and tourist destinations such as, The Great Sand Dunes National Park were empty. The first photos in this series was from Mt. Evans near Denver during the same visit.
Monterey Bay is a highlight of the California coast. It’s beautiful beaches and rugged coastline make for some great photos. The marina at Monterey is another great place for photos as well. For more info on Monterey Bay, California click here.
The Mid Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area is home to many recreational areas. These areas provide tons of hiking and I took full advantage when I arrived to the Peninsula in 2012. These photos are from a hike and are from a film camera. I used Kodak PORTRA 35mm film for these photos.