Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Karaoke World!

For what it's worth, I decided to do my final project in the karaoke lounges of Las Vegas.  I went to three different locations, but was asked to leave in one, and in the second one couldn't get very close.  So most of the shots are from Saddles and Spurs, a country-western themed bar.   The KJ (karaoke jockey) eyed me a bit suspiciously with my camera, but never asked what I was doing.  He tried to call my bluff by asking me to sing, so of course, I complied! Then, he seemed a bit less wary of me. Funny that none of the singers asked me why I was taking photos of him/her.  I think I would ask if someone hung around for hours taking photos of me and others.

 I had to boost the ISO  and shoot at f/1.2 so the images are grainy.  Nevertheless, I think these ten I chose capture the feel of places like this - fun, sad, a community of like-minded folks who like to sing and are a pretty nonjudgmental bunch.  Some people dress the part of the singer whose songs they like to sing, while others just come as they are.  Most are sincere in doing their best.  I wasn't able to capture another aspect of karaoke - college-aged (usually) groups of people whose intention is simply to make fools of themselves.  Even they, though, are welcomed with open arms by the karaoke followers.   Here is a sampling of the singers: 

obligatory sad Elvis

the audience

singing the blues

folk singer




forever in blue jeans


Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Neon Boneyard

I finally made it to this place before it closed (again) for renovations.  It's worthwhile seeing the saved and salvaged remnants of Vegas' past, and I imagine the museum - when fully completed - could be a lot of fun.  The tour guide obviously was in love with the past history of this town and I image the tourists there appreciated his banter.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

volunteer photographer

After I shot at the Maryland Parkway Music Festival, I was hired by one of the bands to do their publicity shots.  I'm hoping I will have the same kind of luck in Portland.   Who thinks of Brian Molko when seeing this first musician?



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

working folks and others on Fremont

For our second assignment on Fremont Street, I decided to capture images of "the regulars" - the workers and other folks who wander about, perhaps living nearby.  I also wanted to get tourist shots without their awareness and show some kind of story.  Here's a link to all 10.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/58115662@N04/sets/72157627903819737/

Still taking people shots

There is a lot of solitude on The Strip.  Tourists often are in gaggles, at times laughing it up and holding those souvenir 4 foot tall plastic drinking containers.  Homeless folks hang out here and there, sometimes resting or sleeping, sometimes asking for money.  The promise of fun, wealth, excitement disappoints many.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Strip's M&M Store

Vegas is a great place for street photography. There's a story dedicated to candy. How weird is that.  But lots of folks just pass it by.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"The Wave"

Coyote Buttes North is an incredible place, protected by the BLM.  In other words, one has to get a permit to hike there and it is the luck of the draw these days since it has become  popular all over the world. I was there Presidents' Weekend of Feb 06 with Emily, and Christmas Day 07 solo, so this was my first time for a look in the Fall.  Differences in lighting, precipitation, and cloud cover all affect the look of the place.  My cousins were absolutely thrilled that I was able to get a permit for a nearly perfect time of year for that hike.  Words can't describe the beauty.   It is well worth the 2 hours of time hiking each way (even with that hellacious uphill trek in sand for the last 15 minutes or so).   Here is a sampling of the imagery.  I'll put more on my website shortly.   http://lindsaywaite.zenfolio.com/
We found "Wave 2" (also called "The Second Wave") after a bit more exploring.  Just as extraordinary, if not more so.   We stayed over 5 hours, reluctantly heading back to avoid hiking in the dark.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Downtown Henderson, Oct 6 2011

It was hard to find shots that I wanted to use this week.  I was looking for something I hadn't seen before; hence, the popcorn and the skeleton.  I was drawn to words: office, unlawful, fence.  The woman in The Rainbow Club, perplexed or annoyed or maybe just having heartburn, interested me.

It's hard finding time to get everything done.    I want to work on "The Wave" pix.  Just knowing that it is still there, in all its majesty, is important to remember.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Kelby Photowalk

I decided to join this activity to get motivated to do some shooting on The Strip at night, which I haven't done for years.  It's a great opportunity to capture unique images of people.  It's funny how one's perspective on this town changes after one lives here for a period of time.  My first impression of Vegas, as a tourist, was a combination of shock and awe.  High art and low art are blended, side-by-side.   Architecture in places is crass; in others, classic and beautiful.  There is a historical center (downtown); there are buildings built and torn down in a matter of years.  It is a fun town, drawing people from all over the world. It is a lonely town, where so many people are from somewhere else and come and go constantly. Here are a few moments in time on a Saturday night in Vegas.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The City Center shoot

Did Aria get named based on the musical concept, or just the Italian word?  It certainly is a fine-art kind of a place, great for photographing art pieces.  Sculptures ended up being the subject of several of my favorite photos.  Cirque du Soleil-influenced art is everywhere, from inside the buildings to art galleries which are along the entranceways to the the main buildings.

I am reviewing a book I bought last year but didn't understand until now since it includes Photoshop methods to convert color to black and white.  Finally it makes some sense.  I followed the procedure for doing some editing in Camera Raw - the split toning technique.  This technique appears similar to the black and white layer technique where you adjust the tonal range of a number of colors which then affects the tones of the blacks and grays.

It's so easy to slip into a state of editing photos where time just flies by.  It reminds me of video editing.  I remember one night when Jenny I worked on our crime video  at Towson University's editing studio the whole night.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

black and white conversion of digital color photos

For so many years I took photos with my Canon AE1 or Pentax K1000.  The world of black and white is not new to me.  I still use those cameras occasionally.  But, this world of converting color digital images to b&w is a new to me.  I had no idea there were so many methods, and that each method had a different result. Oh great! Perfect for someone with OCD tendencies.  So... the assignment for this week (10 photos converted to b&w) ended up taking me a helluva long time because I wanted to see the differences based on the different techniques (each of which has many subsets of techniques). One could spend gazillions of hours doing this, right?  Last night and today I tested converting directly to grayscale....using the hue & saturation layer...the twin hue & sat method...the gradient map methodology..the channel mixer method (like this one)...the b&w adjustment layer method (like this one)-- and with these methods, tried curves, contrast, blend modes, masks.  Added grain to all of them.  Worked with one image (the bark) just in RAW. So.... guess I found a few I prefer.  Here are a few of my favorites from that shoot.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

OK, so for our first assignment, I obviously was into mirrors

3 of the 10 chosen shots for the first class assignment were mirror shots (2 of them are above), plus, of course, I got a reflection of The Plaza in the glass decorative ball shot.  One of the things I like about photography is that it helps us see places differently.  I don't just want a snapshot - I want an image that will remind me of a moment or a feeling.  Take, for instance, sad Elvis, looking almost frozen.  He is constantly seeking the approval of the faceless crowd, and the money as well.  I know that to an extent we all put on faces to the rest of the world.  However, to put on a face of a "famous" person, and then hope for the same (or similar) response that this person receives/received from the public, is sad to me.  It's hard enough to be oneself. I can't imagine trying to be someone else. I really can't imagine being an Elvis in a town full of them.  I particularly like the image of the man walking in a seemingly empty area. Can you tell that I took this shot into a large glass window that reflected behind me? If one looks closely, one sees a man in a wheel chair, hidden by shadows, and another man looking in a shop window. There is another person walking towards me, whose partial image conveys more  solitude.  I'm a fan of Edward Hopper and his influence pervades a number of my photos.  Hopper could have created some amazing paintings in this town.