Las Vegas Neon Rainbow

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Las Vegas is a very interesting town. The 24-hour entertainment offered by the casinos can cause you to lose track of time (and sometimes, your money :-) ). Pam and I have been to Vegas a number of times and really enjoy it as long as we don’t spend more than a couple of days there.  More than that and we start to go into sensory overload. When we were there a few weeks ago while going back and forth between Death Valley and Zion I took some time to wander around Downtown with the camera. This was the 1st time I had taken “serious” photographs in Vegas so I was interested to see what I could come up with.

This picture is a close-up of the rainbow neon sign at Fitzgerald’s Hotel/Casino, a Downtown classic. For those of you who haven’t been to Downtown Las Vegas, the Fitzgerald’s sign on Fremont Street is a large rainbow ending in a pot of gold. The entire sign is very colorful but I decided to focus on just the rainbow part to see what I could do with it. The result is below:

Las Vegas Neon Rainbow

Getting Lost in The Neon Rainbow at Fitzgerald's

 What I liked about the image is the bright colors and repeating pattern. I tried to compose the picture in the camera, instead of cropping and I think I got it pretty good.

Vegas is a fun town for photographers. I shot quite a few images while in Vegas and I’ll probably post some of them here over the coming weeks/months.

Have any of you taken some interesting photographs in Las Vegas? If so, feel free to post a link to them in the comments. I’d like to see them.

Happy shooting!

Review: Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens

Last week we returned from a great vacation out West. We spent three days each in Death Valley and Zion National Parks with stopovers in Las Vegas. I knew that I wanted to try some wide angle photography while out there so after some research, I decided to rent a Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens for the trip. It is one of several “ultra wide angle” lenses that are on the market and has received very good reviews from a number of sources. The lens is specifically designed to fit the APS-C “crop sensor” EOS digital SLR’s like my Canon EOS Rebel T3i


After using the lens and really enjoying it I thought I would give you my impressions of it by doing a “video review” of it. Now remember, I’m not a pro photographer or optics expert, so I can’t give you a technical review discussing sharpness, vignetting, barrel distortion or any of the other technical issues. But, I think I can give you a real world impression based on using the lens in a variety of situations.

 

So, without further ado, here is the video review. After this, scroll down and I’ll give you some sample photos and links:

Having a wide angle lens can really increase the possibilities in your photography. Here are a couple of images I took to show you the advantage you can gain by “going wide”.

This first shot is taken with my T3i and the kit 18-55mm lens set to 18mm:

Our Backyard With the 18-55mm Lens Set to 18mm


Here is the same scene after I swapped out the 18-55 for the 10-22, shot at 10mm:

Our Backyard With the 10-22mm Lens Set to 10mm


Big difference, huh? The extra field of view is pretty impressive. In the first picture (18mm) you can barely see the top of one of the deck posts while at 10mm you can see a good chunk of the railing. That’s a HUGE difference and exactly what I was looking for. Having some extra room can make a big difference in your ability to get the whole picture in one shot. And, a wide angle lens opens up many new creative paths.

Here’s a couple of quick (I’m not finished tweaking these yet) examples from the trip:

This 1st one is from Las Vegas. It was taken on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard “the strip” and Tropicana.  With the lens at 10mm I was able to get both New York/New York and the MGM in the shot, as well as a good portion of the road.

A Wide Angle Shot of The corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana.

This next shot is from the top of “Angels Landing” in Zion National Park. To get here I had to hike up a ridge and scramble up some rocks. The view from here is awesome. Once again, with the extreme wide angle I was able to capture a pretty impressive view.

Wide Angle Shot From the Top of Angels Landing in Zion NP

As you can see, the wide angle really gives a different perspective on things and can allow you to capture a very big slice of life. The lens operated perfectly for me and I can assure you that any “errors” you see in my images are my fault, not the lens’ If you are interested in trying a wide angle lens for yourself without committing to purchase one you might want to rent one to try out, like I did. I used a local lens rental service, Aperturent.com for my rental and they were great. Their prices are very reasonable and they will ship the lens to you, anywhere in the country, via FedEx just like the other lens rental companies. Here’s a link to their site.

Rent Camera Gear

After using the lens for two weeks I plan on purchasing one whenever I can afford it. If you are looking for a wide angle lens, here are some links to help you out.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens on Amazon

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens at Adorama

In addition to Canon, Sigma produces a 10-20mm lens. It has received favorable reviews as well:

Amazon:Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM ELD SLD Aspherical Super Wide Angle Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

Adorama:Sigma 10-20mm lens

Not to be outdone by Canon or Sigma, Tamron has their own 10-24mm wide angle lens:

Amazon:Tamron AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 SP Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

Adorama: Tamron AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 SP Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

 

So, to summarize things: You Need A Wide Angle Lens! OK, maybe you don’t officially “need” one but they sure are nice and can open up lots of creative possibilities in your photography. If you are looking to add a lens that can give you new options in landscape, architectural and many other types of photography, a wide angle lens is the way to go. I plan on getting one and I think you will enjoy the creative opportunities a wide angle lens like the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens can give you.

Happy Shooting!