New York, New York

Is it a sad thing to say that one of the most fun things I did in Vegas was walk around by myself and take photos? Yes, I think that sounds kinda sad.

But it’s true! What a great place for photography. The lights are insane, the textures are off-the-wall, and everywhere you look is a feast for the eyes. It’s also a real challenge to try to get everything just right in the photo. With so many light levels working against one another on your sensor, it takes a bit to get it right.

I just finished recording another podcast today with Jim Goldstein from EXIF and Beyond. Whenever that one comes online, I’ll share it with y’all. We talked a lot about HDR and how it can best be used. I usually dial it up or down based on the photo, and this one, like my others, follows the steps in my HDR Tutorial. I can’t think of a better situation for HDR than Vegas at night. I look forward to getting more time in Vegas to go take photos of the other casinos hotels. If you guys have any special requests, be sure to put them in the comments!

New York, New York (by Stuck in Customs)

Grabbing some sushi in Vegas

This place is cool!

They have this huge video wall with a plexiglass 3D sculpture covering the surface, which causes all sorts of interesting angular distortion. It’s really tough to describe, but cool.

I’m reminded of one time in Korea when I went to eat sushi and something bad happened. I should have put this in my 25 Things from yesterday! Anyway… I went back to this special sushi place because I remembered the unagi (eel) at the buffet. They had none when I went back, so I asked the manager what happened. He was very apologetic and said he would have some specially made for me.

He asked how many eel I wanted, and I didn’t know what quantity to say, since I never really knew what percentage of an unagi a typical serving of sushi was.

So I told him 3. It turns out that 3 eels is a lot of food. (is there an s on the end of eel for a multitude of eel(s)?)

He brought me a heaping serving plate full of sushi. I felt so bad for making them do so much work, that I ate as much as I could. I consumed waaaay too much and passed out later that night in my bathroom, cutting my face open on the sink and waking up the next day in a small pool of sticky blood.

But I still love eating eel.

Below is a pic of Shibuya, the sushi restaurant in Vegas. Under that is an older shot from Seoul, taken during full consciousness.

Grabbing some sushi in Vegas (by Stuck in Customs)

Rush Hour went

Entering the Pyramid

I know people always harp on how campy Vegas is, but I think it’s all totally cool. All the textures, the interior design, the layers of vision — they all add up to some very interesting optics. I assume that most people that walk around these places don’t notice all the incredible design, but I know you guys do… just like me. I had unexpected free time one night, so I went out to occupy myself with a bit of exploration. I was staying at THE Hotel and walked next door to the Luxor. Upon entering the complex from the bottom, I was greeted with this view of the inside of the pyramid.

Entering the Pyramid (by Stuck in Customs)

Le Fleur de Lys, where I really should have dined

Do you see that gentle shape there in the room with me? It’s made up of hundreds of other tiny little things that are perfect and delicate. Each is alive and real. I’ll let you zoom into the full-sized version and see if you can deduce their Linnaean taxonomy. (you can zoom in by clicking on the image to go to the Flickr page, then click on All Sizes, then Original — it works like this for all my shots…. I always put the highest rez version online for you, should you decide it is time to dive in for the full experience)

The restaurant is called the Fleur de Lys, and it’s in THE Hotel, attached to the Mandalay Bay. You will probably also see that wine cellar on top with a nice little table for two. I think I need to get back to that place one day… I do love French food.

Le Fleur de Lys, where I really should have dined (by Stuck in Customs)

Entering Another World

Sometimes don’t you just want to leave this world behind and go some place else for a bit (or forever)?

I was invited to go for a private walk of the shark reef aquarium at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I went in with average expectations and came away very impressed! There are many cool areas, including a dreamy jellyfish tank and another nearby section where you are in a sunken ship. I’ll post that one as soon as I get around to processing it… my brain has been overloaded as of late…

Entering Another World (by Stuck in Customs)

Where to Party in Vegas

I just recently got back from Las Vegas and betwixt a panoply of activities that kept my mental faculties on edge, I did manage to go out and get some photos, of course. At least I am assured that these always turn out winners!

I stayed in THE Hotel. I think you are supposed to capitalize that THE. In fact, maybe it is even one word like THEhotel. Before going, I thought it was just "the" hotel at Mandalay but now I know it’s much different…. It was a great place and probably the best of 7 or 8 hotels I have stayed there. Although 2 or 3 of those should barely be on the list…

This is a shot of the restaurant area of Club Mix, which sits on the top floor of THE Hotel. I was able to see so many cool places there — I hardly knew which to process first! …more coming in the next weeks and months!

Where to Party in Vegas (by Stuck in Customs)

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