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?