Two weeks ago, we used the entrance sign of the Neon Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada, for our entry in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter “N”. This week we are publishing a photo of another exhibit in response to the Letter “O” challenge. The Neon Boneyard features more than 200 rescued and restored neon signs from Las Vegas casinos, hotels, and other businesses. The one is the sign from the famous, but now defunct, La Concha Motel.
La Concha Motel Sign
This photo was taken on October 25, 2017. Specs are:
Olympus TG-4, ISO 200, f/4.4, 1/60 sec, focal length 10.7 mm (35mm-equivalent of about 70 mm)
This photo shows the entrance sign for the Neon Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Neon Boneyard features more than 200 rescued and restored neon signs from Las Vegas casinos, hotels, and other businesses. The entrance sign copies the font and style of popular establishments: N from the Golden Nugget, E from Caesar’s Palace, O from Binion’s Horseshoe, and N from the Desert Inn.
This photo was taken on October 25, 2017. Specs are:
Olympus TG-4, ISO 1000, f/18, 1/20 sec, focal length 13.32 mm (35mm-equivalent of about 90 mm)
We like to visit nice places and take interesting photos of enjoyable things to share on our site. Sometimes, that doesn’t work out.
We booked a trip to Las Vegas in July for a trip in late October to photograph the retired iconic neon signs in the Neon Museum Boneyard. In the time between the booking and the trip, the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Concert massacre occurred. We thought about skipping the trip, but we went anyway. We wondered how the shooting would change Las Vegas. It hasn’t, as far as we can tell: they have hidden almost any reference to it except for selling #VegasStrong t-shirts and wristbands on Fremont street. Since this is (currently) the largest mass shooting in American history, we decided to document what we could before all traces vanish.
The shooter was a terrorist who attacked 22,000 concert goers as well as the fuel tanks at the Las Vegas airport. This map shows the shooter’s location in the Mandalay Bay Hotel and the sites he attacked.
We rode to the north end of Las Vegas Boulevard on the bus (the Deuce). Las Vegas cab drivers often take tourists on long, out-of-the way routes to increase the fare (this happened to us one day earlier and we didn’t want to repeat the experience). Except for the requisite #VegasStrong sign, the hotel didn’t seem to be very different. The only thing we noticed was that the reflective glass on one of the windows the shooter used seemed to have a different tint than surrounding windows. This is shown in the following photo.
Outside the hotel, there was a small ad hoc tribute site. Given the number of victims, it seemed too small. It is shown in the following photos.
Left of Entrance
Right of Entrance
Right of entrance
The concert site where 58 people were killed and 546 injured is nearly invisible from the street. When we were there, it was surrounded by tall chain-link fencing covered with black plastic. We walked by it once without even noticing it. The following photo shows the best view we could get from an overpass over Las Vegas Boulevard.
If we tried, we could travel the U.S. and write several blogs a year like this. Since our trip, another horrific shooting occurred in a church in Texas. This has to stop.
Downtown Container Park, on downtown Fremont Street in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a newer shopping center constructed using renovated shipping containers. Here you will find retail shops, restaurants, bars, and live family-friendly free entertainment. Just for the kids there are a tree house, a play area, and a 33-foot slide.
Downtown Container Park
At the entrance to the Container Park is a 150:1 scale model of a female praying mantis. This 40-foot-tall insect breathes fire from its two antennae and blasts flames 20 feet in the air in time to music played in the park.
Fire-Breathing Praying Mantis
There are no casinos and none of the grit that is so prevalent only two blocks away in the better-known area of Fremont Street.
These photos were taken on October 27, 2017. Specs are:
First photo: Olympus TG-4, ISO 500, f/2, 1/30 sec, -1 EV, 19.8mm (35mm-equivalent)
Second photo: Olympus TG-4, ISO 800, f/2.7, 1/20 sec, -1 EV, 33mm (35mm-equivalent)
We visited Las Vegas, Nevada, to do a night shoot at the The Neon Museum, which we will address in a later post. Since we quickly tired of losing at the slot machines, we booked a Pink Jeep Tour of the nearby Valley of Fire State Park in the Mohave Desert. While there was quite a lot of “look over there — that’s fantastic but we’re not allowed to stop,” we still managed to get some good photos. We will post two here and may write a longer post in the future.
The first photograph shows a few of the many 2000 year-old petroglyphs carved into the red Aztec sandstone that gives the park its name.
Valley of Fire Petroglyphs
The second photo shows one of the most famous rock formation in the park, the Balancing Rock. It is so famous that no one is allowed to stop to see it. We had a slow “drive by” and had to take this photograph from a moving vehicle.
Valley of Fire Balancing Rock
These photos were taken on October 26, 2017. Specs are:
First photo: Canon SL1, ISO 400, f/8, 1/400 sec, 50mm, with a polarizing filter.
Second photo: Canon SL1, ISO 100, f/8, 1/50 sec, 135mm, from a moving vehicle, with a polarizing filter.