My buddy Jason Boulanger came back out to Las Vegas for another photography tour here in the Nevada Desert. Neither of us had a definitive list of images we were looking for but had some locations that we both wanted to capture with our new equipment. I had just received my brand new Nikon D800 and Jason had a 8 x 10 Film Camera and several other medium format and film cameras. So we set out and our first stop was ElDorado Canyon in Nelson Nevada. ElDorado Canyon is about 40 minutes from Las Vegas and they have many great things to photograph. There are a few things to watch out for in ElDorado Canyon, there are some very aggressive cactus called Cholla Jumping Cactus and Rattle Snakes in great numbers. So do visit but watch your step.
After our visit to ElDorado Canyon we headed back to Vegas and grabbed a bite for dinner. The weather was great so we decided to head down to the strip and maneuvered thru the crowd to capture some great neon lights. Vegas is instantly recognized in most photographs, the Bellagio water feature is one of my favorite locations that says Vegas in a single image. The panorama images in this post are huge in there full size. I can believe how good my new D800 worked in capturing these images.
The next morning we woke up late and missed the sunrise, but not wanting to waste the day, we grabbed a Starbucks and went across town to Red Rock National Park. Even in harsh daylight Red Rock still photographs well. When you are there at the right time of day or night it is amazing, but don’t let that stop you if you can’t wait for perfect light. Red Rock is an amazing place. We spent a few hours there and decided we would make our way to Valley of Fire National Park. Only about 1 hour north of Las Vegas, Valley of Fire offers a very different type of landscape. It is still a desert scape, however it’s kind of cool and weird at the same time. It is similar to Red Rock in the colors and desert feel, however you can get out and walk all over Valley of Fire. Nothing seems too tall or too far, if you have some adventure in your bones you will find yourself walking around and exploring all around the area. After the sun had set we were hoping to capture some star trails, however mother nature had other plans. The clouds were not clearing and were too thick to waste our time, we went back to my place and prepared for the next day… Big Horn Sheep!
I have tried a few times to find the big horn sheep that venture into Boulder City, until now I have had little to no luck at all. Two nights earlier in Nelson we saw a couple in the hills making a great silhouette against the setting sun, of course I didn’t have the equipment necessary to capture them. But this trip paid off with huge dividends. We drove up to a popular spot that the big horn sheep frequent. I pulled out my binoculars and a guy in a service truck said “you lookin for the big horn”? Jason said yes and the guy pointed down the hill and about 100′ away there was about 25-30 big horn just chillin in the park. They were not completely cool with us getting so close, but after 10-15 minutes with us not moving much they just relaxed and let us take pictures for about an hour. After awhile they got up and wandered away. I used my new D800 with my 300mm f/2.8 and a 2X teleconverter.
So with Jason’s trip ending he wanted to go back and take more images at ElDorado Canyon, we both love this place and the owners. Tony and Bobbie are great, they welcome photographers to use there facility and ask that you respect the area. They charge a fee of $10 per hour, this place is worth every penny and we return regularly. You will find photographers everywhere out there and many video productions are made there as well. With that said here are my favorite images form this trip, enjoy.
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