Miniature Las Vegas

Ron Niebrugge Las Vegas, Nevada, Photos, Travel Leave a Comment

Las Vegas, Nevada.

Las Vegas, Nevada.

This was one of the test frames for what will be a short time-lapse video of Las Vegas.

I have seen this technique used many times, but had never tried it myself.  When some nice defused light moved in during the day while we were in Las Vegas this past April I thought I would give it a try.  This is done by using a wide aperture for a narrow depth of field on a tilt / shift lens.  By tilting the lens and moving the narrow band of focus part way into the frame, you can achieve this trippy look that makes everything look miniature.  If you don’t have a tilt / shift lens, you can kind of do the same thing by adding blur in Photoshop – I think this has gotten even easier with the new version of Photoshop, CS6 but I haven’t upgraded yet.  Probably a project for this weekend.

Colorado River Kayaking

Ron Niebrugge Arizona, Nevada, Photos, Travel Leave a Comment

Janine kayaking in a cave on the Colorado River, Arizona.

Janine kayaking in a cave on the Colorado River, Arizona.

Thursday, after I wrapped up my time at the NAB Conference  we brought  couple of friends from back home kayaking on the Colorado River – one of my favorite things to do when staying in Las Vegas!

Since I had photographed this stretch of river a couple years ago, and because all my dry bags were back in Alaska – I decided not to bring my camera.  Big mistake!  This cave which had visited before looked spectacular – much, much better then before.  So  the following day (last Friday), Janine and I bought a dry bag at REI and drove back to Willow Beach, rented kayaks and repeated the trip.  That was ok with me since it was so much fun paddling on such warm weather.

So why was the cave so much better?  Since the temps were in the mid 90’s, the demand for electricity to power air conditioners in Las Vegas has increased substantially.  To produce the extra electricity, they had to push far more water through the turbines at Hover Dam which increased the water level a fair amount over our previous visit during the cool month of November  Evidently the extra water level is perfect for filling the cave, and that really increases the access to the amazing sight.

I have said this before, but I would really like to do a over night trip on this stretch of river, it is really beautiful.  We even saw some desert bighorn along the banks!

Desert Bighorn – Valley of Fire

Ron Niebrugge Las Vegas, Nevada, Travel 4 Comments

Desert Bighorn, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.

Desert Bighorn, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.

I spotted this guy in Valley of Fire last week.  As beautiful as the scenery is in this State Park, it is also one of the better places in the Southwest to find Desert Bighorns.

This guy looked a little haggard.  Later in the day I found a band of about 11 big, beautiful rams, but they weren’t nearly as approachable as this guy.

Scion FR-S

Ron Niebrugge Las Vegas, Nevada, Photos, Travel 5 Comments

Scion-FR-S seen during a commercial shot, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.

Scion-FR-S seen during a commercial shot, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.

I was in Valley of Fire State Park yesterday shooting a moving 3D time-lapse on a 6 foot ramp when my unique setup caught the attention of a film crew working on a car commercial.  I was happy to answer their questions since I had my own questions about their production.  I asked if I could grab a few photos of the cars during the filming and they said go ahead – so this is a scene that you may soon see on TV, except in a horizontal format.

This 2 seat sports car will be released this week I understand – it is a joint venture between Toyota and Subaru.  Subaru will market it as the BRZ, while Toyota  will sell it under their Scion brand and will call it the FR-S.  It will sell for around $25,000.

I often think I may have the best possible job out there – but after talking to the professional drivers who were able to race up and down the curvy roads through the park that were closed off by Highway Patrol – now I’m not so sure.  🙂

Update:  It will be formally introduced tomorrow (Sunday) at the Long Beach Grand Prix as the marshal car.

Bouder City Zip-line

Ron Niebrugge Las Vegas, Nevada, Photos, Travel 2 Comments

Zip-line above Boulder City, Nevada.

Zip-line above Boulder City, Nevada.

This is the beginning of a series of zip-lines that end up at the bottom of the mountain.  The end of this zip is on the distant ridge – looks fun!

If you look close you can see a series of trails heading down this hill side.  These are part of a series of down hill mountain biking trails known as the Bootleg Canyon Trails.  On certain days of the week there is a shuttle that hauls riders back to the top.  Add Lake Mead and the Colorado River, and I gotta say, there are a lot of recreation opportunities in this area.

I originally drove / hiked to the top of this mountain thinking it would offer a nice view of the Las Vegas Strip, but it was too far away.  It did provide nice views of the town, lake and this zip-line!