Cosmo Las Vegas

Ron Niebrugge Las Vegas, Nevada, Photos, Travel 17 Comments

View from a room balcony from the Cosmopolitian, Las Vegas.

View from a room balcony from the Cosmopolitian, Las Vegas.

Well we have taken a quick two night trip up to Las Vegas not only to photograph what is not only the most recent hotel and casino, but probably the last new hotel on the Strip for many years to come – The Cosmopolitan.  I not only wanted photos of the Cosmopolitan, but also wanted to take advantage of their amazing balcony views!

We are in one of the smallest rooms – it is still over half the size of our home!  Maybe that is more of a reflection of our home, but the place is nice.  We are here during one of the less expensive times – not only to save a bit of money, but to avoid the crowds.  Even at that, this place is still really hopping – seems to be the place to hang out these days.  Can’t imagine what the weekends are like.  I do know at times this room almost costs as much as our monthly house payment!

So, we are really here for the view and I’m doing everything I can to take advantage.  I have been shooting 3D and regular video and time-lapses, plus a wide range of stills including panoramics and HDR.  I worked late in to the night last night so that tonight after sunset we might be able to enjoy the property a bit.

Las Vegas Pictures

Ron Niebrugge How to, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photos, Travel 9 Comments

Inside The Forum Shops at Ceasar's Palace Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Inside The Forum Shops at Ceasar's Palace Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

We have updated what believe it or not is one of our most popular sections -our gallery of Las Vegas photos.  So check out the curved escalator on the left – didn’t know they could make moving stairs like that in a curve!

This is an HDR photo.  I usually don’t use this process because the results can look a little over the top unnatural, but it seems to work will on Las Vegas, probably because the place is a little over the top unnatural!

3D Video

Ron Niebrugge California, Las Vegas, Nevada, Travel 10 Comments

I have been quietly working away for the past year at learning what I believe could be a new business opportunity – 3D Video.  With the likes of ESPN and Discovery coming out with 3D channels this year, I think there could be a fair amount of demand for such material.  The new methods for viewing 3D video have come a long ways since the days of the red / cyan glasses.

Well, I was able to go about it quietly in Alaska last spring and summer, but not so much on this trip last fall.  I like to blend in while I do travel photography, but my elaborate setup of multiple cameras seemed to draw a lot of attention.  People would ask questions and even take photos of me at work, it was not how I like to work.

Now you need red / cyan glasses to view the attached video, and even at that, it isn’t all that good.  You see the red / cyan does not allow for as much 3D effect as the new methods, and works terrible on red colored subjects or contrasty night scenes, like many in this video.  But for many people this might be the only way to see it – and I’m guessing most people don’t even have those types of glasses.

Fortunately, as of yesterday Nvidia has decided to include my video on their 3D Video Live website!  So, if you have a 3D monitor or TV that uses the Nvidia active 3D glasses, you can view the video in full color and 3D!  Right now my video is at the top of page two here:  3D Vision Live The thumbnail for that video is of the Golden Gate Bridge and is labeled Wild Nature Images.

To read a bit more you can check out our page for 3D HD Video.

As far as the process goes, I can say it has involved a lot of time and some expensive software and hardware and a bit of a proprietary process that I won’t get into now, but maybe in the future.

Spring Preserve

Ron Niebrugge Las Vegas, Nevada, Photos, Travel 4 Comments

Springs Preserve, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Springs Preserve, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Here is another cool thing to do in Las Vegas that most visitors haven’t heard of and that is the Springs Preserve.  This is a really well done  museum that covers lots of natural history and local history information with interactive exhibits, gardens and live wildlife exhibits – tons of interesting  information about the Mojave Desert.    To learn more, visit their website at:  Springs Preserve.

Springs Preserve, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Springs Preserve, Las Vegas, Nevada.

On another note.  The next few days will have us busy putting our trailer away and then making the long travel back to Alaska.  We should be home in the middle of next week – so there probably won’t be any activity here until we reach Alaska!

Valley of Color!

Ron Niebrugge Las Vegas, Nevada, Photos, Travel 11 Comments

Colorful rock, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.

Colorful rock, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.

This was a crazy patch of colorful rock – the color just seemed to flow through the rock, it was really cool!

Earlier this week we pulled out of Las Vegas and have headed back to California to take care of some business before we fly back to Alaska.  Actually, right now we are down in Anza-Borrgo where we intend to store our trailer for the next few months.  I gotta say, it is really nice to experience the peace and quite of this remote part of the desert!  Even though we were camped away from the Las Vegas Strip, the non-stop noise does get old after awhile.  Here, the only noise at night is the howl of coyotes – now that is my kind of noise!

Kayaking the Colorado River

Ron Niebrugge Las Vegas, Nevada, Photos, Travel 14 Comments

Kayaking in the Black Canyon on the Colorado River, Nevada / Arizona.

Kayaking in the Black Canyon on the Colorado River, Nevada / Arizona.

Down stream from the Hoover Dam in the Black Canyon is one of the few places outside of the Grand Canyon where the Colorado River still sorta flows, albeit much slower then it would normally.  Saturday we went on a kayaking trip on this stretch of river and it was a blast!  We have done a lot of kayaking in the past, but never in sandals and shorts – thanks to the 80 degree weather, that was a real treat!

Next time we are in the area I think we will start from the Hoover Dam and make a two or three day trip out of it so that we can camp along the river at night – that would really be fun!

Janine kayaking in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River.

Janine kayaking in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River.

Railroad Tunnel Trail

Ron Niebrugge Las Vegas, Nevada, Photos, Travel 10 Comments

Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail leads to the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead Recreation Area, Nevada.

Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail leads to the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead Recreation Area, Nevada.

This is Janine riding the old railroad bed that now makes up the Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail.  This is a cool trail, great for biking or walking.  It travels through 5 tunnels as is traverses its way above Lake Mead from the Visitor Center Parking lot to the Hoover Dam parking lot – about 7 miles in length if you do the round trip.  This railroad was built to assist with the construction of Hoover Dam.

For this photo, I switched to manual mode and exposed for the sunny areas outside the tunnel.  Otherwise the camera metering system would have a tough time accounting for the large dark areas.