Archive for December, 2009

Happy New Years!!

December 31, 2009 2 comments

Have a Safe New Year!! Don’t drink and drive!!!!!



City Center Revisited

December 21, 2009 Leave a comment

So after all the grand opening craziness I decided to walk around at a “to my leisure” pace, to revisit some things I saw the weekend prior. I recently acquired a 14-24 f/2.8G lens, and my god what lens that is. Unfortunately I think I will be getting rid of it and replacing it with a fisheye. A lot of it is repeat focal length, and it cannot accept filters in the range of my budget. This is just too expensive of a “specialty” lens to let it sit in my pelican case. Anyways, I love the edge to edge sharpness and color accuracy it produces, and the front element of this thing is to die for!! Anyways, I knew of a few places that I wanted to shoot wide (14-16mm focal length) and hit them up before I forgot.
Doesn’t this look like its almost pulling you forward? The 14-24 is stellar here!

It has the same effect on these gorgeous set of stairs inside of Crystals. I tried to shoot this with my 24-70G, but instantly knew I had to come back with the 14-24G lens.

Here’s one of the escalators outside. (the tone goes well I think)

This one is one of my favorites, it has a real industrial look to it, but its smack in the middle of city center. You can see Aria at the corner of the glass.

One of inside the hotel. The camera tilt works on this one. I love the shapes in this one, everything is so symmetrical but when shot that wide it has a really cool look to it.

Hope you enjoyed these! I had a lot of fun with these if you could tell. Hopefully I can keep my blog a little more up to date. That once a week didn’t really work so well this year.

ARIA @ City Center

December 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Last week was the official opening of ARIA at City Center. Aria has state-of-the-art technology oozing everywhere from architecture and design down to gaming and hotel air circulation. I was lucky enough to have a press pass on opening day and got to go on a few media-tours and cover the Grand Opening Press release! I’ll talk about a few cool features you probably won’t see/hear about just walking into Aria. Every slot machine is LED based and touch screen, making it more efficient for the user and environmentally friendly. Each gaming base (what the slot machines sit on) are ventilated and pump out filtered air 24/7 keeping Aria cool and fresh. The new LED based slot machines don’t produce anywhere near the amount of heat that normal slot machines produce, so A/C usage is down as well. Check out the sinks/faucets all around Aria as well, over 10,000 custom units made from Low-Flo that use 30% less water!!
This is a view of the “porte cochere” or valet from the outside taken at night.

Also, Aria is Valet only, so if you don’t want to pay, there is a “people mover”/tram available that takes you from the Bellagio, and Mandaly Bay to Crystals which is the retail and shopping center. Picture of said “People mover”

During the Press Conference, there were a ton of Aria labeled products just laying around the desserts, (which were amazing and free!!) and I thought they were perfect to shoot and use for fillers. There was this huge stack of towels behind the media stand, not really sure what for, but its presence made for a decent shot!

and one of said desserts! (organic yogurt parfait for the win!) the granola had a touch of honey in it that was a pleasant surprise! It was kind of funny seeing the empty cups, I don’t think anyone could get that blueberry on the bottom out!!!!

along with the exotic desserts, came exotic floral displays. Orchids and other exotic flowers just everywhere making the Aria almost sensory overload!

I have another set of photos, so check back soon for part 2!!


December 18, 2009 2 comments

Help-Portrait is a world-wide movement of photographers, make-up artists, hair stylists that wanted to give back to their local community. The Las Vegas chapter of Help-Portrait decided to participate at one of the several Center of Independent Living, which is a homeless-teen shelter in the valley. This is the first year and kind of a trial-run for years to come. It was one of the best things I can say I’ve done for a very long time. The outcome was so incredible, I will never forget the feeling I had that day EVER. The look on all of their faces was indescribable and made me realize how much we all take things for granted and how our problems are so petty compared to theirs.
There were so many teens with so many stories, I was blown away at how great they all were behind the camera. I have to admit I barely slept the night before because I was so anxious to help out and shoot.
Pictured below is Megan, she wanted pictures with all the great friends she met the Center of Independent Living that help her get through her day. I have so many group shots I still need to sort before Saturday’s Potluck/gallery!!!

Below is Alesha. I asked her if she’s done a photoshoot before because she was doing pose after pose like she’s done it a million times! She told me no, and that she practices in front of a mirror a lot, and it makes her feel good about herself.

I did a few photos with a football they had on hand. I’m so glad I used this as a prop. The football is old, worn, scuffed like an old pair of chuck’s it shows so much character.

This is my favorite photo of the day. It might not be as sharp as I’d like it to be, but it’s the most powerful in my opinion.

I hope this kind of touched you how it touched me. I tried my best to capture images that they can look back at and have that boost in self-confidence and self-esteem that we all need every once in a while.

Above is a picture (al powers took) of everyone that made this event possible, at first I was going to put a picture of just the staff, but without the kids, well, that’s missing the point, this day was all about them! (If you cant spot me, I’m just right of center!) I hope this inspires you to give back to your community, there are lots of people that need our help and would love some kind of positive attention. Happy Holiday guys!


December 10, 2009 Leave a comment

this video is pretty amazing, and I watch it every time I have a break to do so! Good use of MGMT as well!

watch the HD version!

Categories: Videos Tags:

Vegasdrift 015

December 7, 2009 7 comments

This past Saturday was Vegasdrift’s 015 event, which included a small competition and toy drive out at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Nick and his staff always pull through for the vegas community. Tons of track time with two course layouts side by side, and 2 run groups! Good thing its not the summer! Majority of the cars there would be overheating! I’m just messing, only talking about the rotary guys. HA! Actually the night before the event was about 30 degrees! Probably one of the coldest nights we’ve had in a while, so by the time the event was over (when i started shooting the drifting) my hands were freezing! I could barely press the shutter! This is going to sound….., but it might be a wardrobe malfunction, I gotta start wearing jackets that insulate heat!!

So when I arrived at the track, I used two lenses only, both being manual focus, and both being semi new to the arsenal. One was a Korean GEM by the name of ROKINON 85 f/1.4, and the other being approximately 50mm f/4 lens baby composer! I haven’t shot primes in a while, and I do enjoy it over zooms, but not when I’m rushed or expected certain images. I definitely think a full morning of manual focusing can make your brain work as hard as any history book. I just cant justify the price of the AF model of the 85 f/1.4 when optic wise they’re so similar!

Here are a few shot with the 85 f/1.4 particularly of the AZ240SX.ORG drivers!! I miss PIR soo much!

I like the stance of this car, and the motor, still up in the air about the custom sheet metal pull in the rear. I’ve felt this way since the first time I saw this car in PHX a few years back.

Its rocking now ITB’s from the GTIR which by itself is a ton of work. If I recall correctly, new throttle cable, plenum, fuel rail. Whatever, getting off-topic. heres a pic!

lens baby composer pics! Heres one of local Just Drift Drivers, Mike Bolanos! He sure has come a long way since the Hankook drift events!

and one of a local driver who’s car never runs conveniently during an event who also runs Royal Flush Appearal, but needs more t-shirts, RAY! (I’m just kidding, but didn’t I warn you about deathworks injectors when you got them?)

and finally two action shots, this pretty much sums up grassroot drifting I think from cars built from the bottom up, to cars with bare essentials to have fun in!

and lastly my favorite of the day. These images don’t look bad for no post processing, just batch processed the watermarks on because I’m so far behind on updates!

Thanks for checking in! I’ll have more updates soon! Thanks again to Nick and staff for putting on THE only drift events for the las vegas grassroot community.