Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter F

Prompts and Challenges

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter F – Topic is Fun or Flowers

For me, this is the quintessential film noir image. Bright highlights, and deep dark shadows with a strong light source. It was to be my submission to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter F. Unfortunately, I didn’t read the title thoroughly and this image says murder or mayhem more than flowers or fun. But that’s where you’d be wrong because the guy off camera in deep shadow was wearing a ghastly hawaiian shirt with green flowers and this was shot at an event that was described as “A FUN Night With Panasonic And Drink And Click At Our Las Vegas Event”!

 

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A Fun Night at Drink and Click?

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OK, that’s the hype on the Drink and Click website, “A Fun Night With Panasonic And Drink And Click At Our Las Vegas Event”! It must be understood that I am never, have never been, the life of the party. I much prefer moving incognito through a room full of strangers. Because there was a full bar, I thought a drink might help. But the last time I was at a bar, the drinks were about half the price they are now. So I did not imbibe.

I did not drink, either.

The event started at 7 and there were less than 20 people there when I arrived at 6:45 pm. I was the 3rd or 4th person in line and, after a few questions like what do I shoot with (Fuji X-T1) and am I looking to compare or trade up (compare), I was handed the G85 Lumix.

Sorry for all the dust but the second and third photos above were from my iPhone and I did not clean them up.

The first I can tell you about the Lumix is that it seemed a lot heavier and thicker than what I am used to. I found a seat and tried to figure out where all the controls were. It was impossible and so I found someone from B & C Camera, the store that was sponsoring the event, and they set up the camera for me. That was the extent of the tutorial. I know it would have been a daunting task to give instructions on each model of camera they had at the event. But something. I didn’t realize until after I got home and downloaded my photos into Lightroom that I was shooting in jpeg all night.

No, that’s not me trying to figure out the camera I was handed. It’s simply confirmation that I wasn’t alone. In fact, the room was full of people looking askance at the camera in their hands. The guy in the hoodie in that first photo up there, the guy sitting at the bar? He’s checking out the camera in his hand, too, as if thinking to himself, “Now what do I do?” Well, maybe that wasn’t him saying that, but me.

Vanessa Green

Chelsey Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had gone around the room and taken photos of the two models who were there (as seen in my previous post Cee’s Share Your World), then took some shots of the people, then even some photos of the artwork on the walls. And then I wondered if it was close to the time to leave. I looked at my phone. It was only 7:30.

OK, stop complaining and get on with the review. I will. Except, at that point, I was able to get up my courage to step outside of the place and take some shots. After all, they had my driver’s license so I figured they wouldn’t mind. They didn’t.

They didn’t even know I was gone.

Then I went back in, splurged, and went up to the bar to order a glass of wine. It cost more than what I would spend on a full bottle at a liquor store!

This woman is putting on her glasses to try to figure out the camera that is sitting on the bar in front of her. Anyway, after all that bitching and moaning I have to say I was pretty impressed by the Lumix G85. Once I got a bit more comfortable with it I was able to hand hold at extremely slow speeds because they had, unbeknownst to me, set the ISO to automatic. And there was hardly any noise on any of the shots. Amazing.

The exterior photo of the people having a smoke was handheld at 1/10 sec. The guy at the table studying his camera was shot at ISO 3200 with not a trace of noise. Maybe not that extraordinary but still I liked it.

So, not a very technical review but let me tell you, if I was actually in the market for another camera, I would definitely consider the Lumix G85. And save a bit of money, too.

Oh, and let me say the people from B & C Camera who gave up their evening for this event were appreciated. They maintained their professionalism and friendliness all evening. I wonder if they received any compensation?

In Retrospect: City Center Las Vegas

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City Center
Las Vegas NV
February 8, 2014

OK, in the attempt at being politically correct, I am going to blame someone else for posting late today. It’s not my fault. When Bernie made all those promises he sort of locked me into a corner and I lost all awareness of what day it was. Really. That’s so much better for my psyche than to take responsibilities for my own actions. I feel so much better now. Anyway…

City Center in Las Vegas is just a fancy name for more hotels and casinos. The buildings are impressive, a wee bit fancier than others on the strip. But they are still casinos. As is my habit, I quote from Wikipedia: City Center Las Vegas is a “…16,797,000-square-foot (1,560,500 m2) mixed-use, urban complex on 76 acres.

Impressive, no?

“It is the largest privately funded construction project in the history of the United States. The project is connected by a people mover system to adjacent MGM properties.”

People Mover
Las Vegas NV
February 8, 2014

“The project was started by MGM Resorts International; Dubai World became a joint partner during the project’s construction phase. As of 2015, the ‘CityCenter’ branding has been largely retired, with the focus instead on the Aria brand of the development’s centerpiece property in names such as the ‘Aria Express’ (formerly ‘CityCenter Tram’) and ‘Aria Art Collection’ (formerly ‘CityCenter Art Collection’).”

City Center
Las Vegas NV
February 8, 2014

My initial intent was to process the buildings all in stark black and white. That’s how I normally see them as they are mostly glass and highly polished steel. But, they reflect the colors around them so well.

Ciyy Center
Las Vegas NV
February 8, 2014

When I showed these images to Lynn, she said she can appreciate the geometry, but they don’t speak to her. They’re not of nature.

I know exactly what she means.

In Retrospect is an ongoing series of older photos from my archives, newly processed. I hope you enjoy the series as much as I enjoy revisiting the memories.

 

 

Emilio’s Share My World – August 21, 2017

Prompts and Challenges

Valley Of Fire State Park
Overton NV
August 20, 2017

OK, now, no one get excited. I am not taking over Cee’s Share Your World. In fact, I first asked her permission and she graciously agreed. Seems she’s having too much fun on her break this week to wonder what I’m actually up to. But I just miss her, I guess. I haven’t joined in SYW the last two weeks and so here’s my version for today. Cee also said I could ask anyone who wants to, to join in. So, if you want to, link in the comments below. Here we go!

Have you ever been pulled over by a cop?  Just out of college, my roommate and I decided to try to furnish our apartment with a dumpster dive. We drove into Beverly Hills and, within 10 minutes, were stopped by police asking what we were up to. We were subsequently arrested and charged with suspicion of burglary. Spent the night in jail. When we reported to court to find out when our trial date would be, we were told there was no such charge as suspicion of burglary. I think those cops just wanted to scare the crap out of us – which they did. Now, all these years later, when I see a cop, I think he’s looking for me.

What have you always wanted?  Did you get it?  Be careful what you wish for. When I was 15 1/2, I got my learner’s permit. In California at that time, you could drive a motorcycle with just a learner’s. Don’t know how my parents ever agreed to that but I got my first Honda motorcycle at that tender young age. Then my second when I went away to college. One day, a car ran a stop sign and I narrowly avoided an accident. I didn’t avoid  a sudden meeting with the pavement, though and had my first knee operation when I was 22. My second knee operation happened about 3 years later when I drove into a gas station and slid out from a combination of water and oil on the ground. Since then, no more motorcycles.

What is your perfect pizza?  My perfect pizza is the one I’m eating. I don’t think I’ve ever had a pizza I didn’t like, including Domino’s or Pizza Hut when times were tough. But my tastes are a bit more upscale nowadays. We have a favorite place, Settebello’s, which is authentic Neapolitan pizza. A very thin crust. You can only put a maximum of 3 toppings on it or it will fall apart. We usually get kalamata olives on our margherita  pizza.

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. See that photo up there. Well, last weekend we went out to Mojave National Preserve to catch the Pleiades meteor Shower. I wanted to attempt some astrophotography but realized I didn’t know my Fuji camera well enough. So all week I read up on the settings, downloaded the Fuji remote to my iPhone, got my tripod, and then went to Valley of Fire State Park (about an hour north of the strip). This is the 4th shot I took last night before dark. The white strip, in the upper left to center, is a plane coming in for a landing at McCarran Airport. The yellow in the lower right is the glow from the lights of the strip.

OK, so that wasn’t so scary, was it Cee? I hope whoever reads this enjoys it. And if they don’t, I’d definitely like to hear some constructive criticism.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter A

Prompts and Challenges

Cee’s new challenge is what she calls Alphabet with a Twist and it will run for 26 weeks (presumably due to the fact that there are 26 letters in the English alphabet).

“This week”, Cee directs, “is Letter A – Needs to start with the letters Ap.  For example some words you can use are apple, apron, applaud, ape, appendage, appliance, etc.  You can always use adjectives and adverbs with a specific topic just make sure you give us the word that fits the requirements of this challenge”.

Did I ever mention that I am not very good at following directions? Maybe that’s why I never buy anything from IKEA. The last time I put together one of their desks, it came together looking like a bookshelf! But I digress. So, anyway, here’s my submission to this first week’s challenge. “The letter A – needs to start with ap”!

Chow
By King Ruck 2015
August 12, 2017

A puppy. Get it? Ap? (Did I mention I’m not good at taking directions?) My apologies to anyone who thinks perhaps I stepped over the line to actually cheating. But Cee also said “Use your imagination for this theme.  The thing is to have a lot of fun with this challenge.”

And that’s all I’m doing, having a lot of fun!

(King Ruck is a former graffiti artist who has made a smooth transition to tattooing. He went from bombing and painting on walls and building his reputation as a respected graffiti artist, to owning two of the premiere tattoo shops in Las Vegas. The nickname “King” was given to him by his mentors because of the dues he paid as a graffiti artist and “Ruck,” which is short for Ruckus, was the main name he used while getting up on walls. King Ruck is known for his fine lines, smooth grays and attention to detail but really enjoys the bold lines and bright colors as well and jumps at every chance he gets to do so. – from Spike TV’s Tattoo Masters website)

Look… Up In The Sky…

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Ferguson’s Spells Fun
Las Vegas NV
August 12, 2017

Yeah, I know. You were expecting images of the Perseids meteor shower from the past weekend. Well, so was I. I researched all day Saturday on what settings to use on my camera and even downloaded the app for the Fuji remote. Lynn had spent the day out at Lake Mead on a boat. At 8:30 pm she called me and said to pick her up around 10 and we’d head out to Mojave National Preserve- far enough away from Las Vegas that light pollution would not be a major concern. But by the time we got out there, the moon was already up and you couldn’t even see the Milky Way.

Draw Back Your Bow
Las Vegas NV
August 12, 2017

We parked along the Cima Kelso Road and sat for awhile. We saw nothing save for a lone rabbit and a few field mice. We drove over to the Kelso train station to see if I could get a nice night shot of it. But the building was not really lit up well. So we drove a bit on Kelbaker Road and parked again. And waited. Still nothing. I asked Lynn if she wanted to wait some more or head on home. She didn’t answer.

She had fallen asleep.

Elvis Sl pt Here
Las Vegas NV
August 12, 2017

I got out of the car and found a bush and, while standing there, saw two quick streaks of white light in the sky. When I got back in the car, Lynn was awake and I told her what I had seen. We both got out of the car and stood for about 5 minutes and…, nothing. She didn’t believe me.

Going Up
Las Vegas NV
August 12, 2017

We got home at 3:37 am and fell asleep probably even before falling into bed. Lynn woke up Sunday morning around 6:30 to let the dog out. She let me sleep in.

High Society
Las Vegas NV
August 12, 2017

All images were taken between 5:30 pm and 6:20 pm Saturday afternoon in the Fremont Street area on Las Vegas Blvd. The signs are on loan from the Neon Boneyard, except for the Ferguson’s and Travelers signs, which were found at 1028 and 1120 Fremont Street, respectively. 

Neon Boneyard Visitor’s Center
770 Las Vegas Blvd North
August 12, 2017

The Neon Boneyard Visitor’s Center

Second Best

Prompts and Challenges

Underbelly
November 10, 2015

Laura Bloomsbury of eljaygee in pursuit of the photo has come up with Second Best Sundays which, according to her definition, is : an image [you] cannot quite assign to the trash… neither technically well–crafted nor spellbinding, yet still it holds [one’s] attention – a second best shot that deserves more than a second look.

This shot of the back side of the Las Vegas Strip is a seldom seen angle that exemplifies the tawdry underbelly of an industry with its roots in organized crime. It is not a picture postcard image of the city, but it fascinated me that day when the rain had stopped and the sun peeking through the cloud cover shone off the buildings on the strip.

Cee’s Share Your World – July 24, 2017

Prompts and Challenges

New York New York Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas NV
October 15, 2016

List some of your favorites types of teas. My favorite type of tea? That would be coffee. I’ve never met a tea I liked. Really. We, as a nation, are mainly coffee drinkers. We take our coffee in 12 oz. heavy ceramic mugs. We do not, as a rule drink tea in china cups with matching saucers. OK, I know Cee does because she told me. On her site this morning in answer to this question. The rest of us drink coffee. Sometimes even with a shot of whiskey in it. Wakes you right up in the morning!

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?

Image result for slow children at play

OK, that was easy. But you have to watch where you put the comma. It’s not “slow children, at play”. It’s “slow, children at play”!

What are a couple of things people could do for you on a really bad day that would really help you? Just listen and make appropriate facial expressions. No talking. No suggestions as to what you would do. Not even when I’m done.

Irregardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility: If you could be an athlete what would you do? I’ll tell you, ever since The Karate Kid, I wanted to be Ralph Macchio so I could beat the crap out of anybody who offended me. I know part of your training would probably include never fighting in anger or revenge. And nowadays you’d probably get shot because everybody seems to own a gun. But One can dream!

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Last week was a shocking week all around and proves the adage that you never know how much time you have so live life to the fullest. A member of Lynn’s extended family was mountain biking, fell, and severed two vertebrae. He never regained consciousness and they took him off life support last Saturday. We are in Los Angeles now for his funeral tomorrow. Next week we are headed to San Diego for a wedding in which the entire family of the bride seems to be opposed to the groom. Now that should be interesting!

Cee’s Share Your World

In Retrospect: Fremont Street

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The occasion was a political demonstration called Occupy Wall Street way back on October 15, 2011. Anybody remember the good old days when we took to the streets to protest?

Did it do us one damn bit of good?

Will it this time?

For What It’s Worth

Buffalo Springfield

Lyrics by Stephen Stills

Cee’s Share Your World – April 10, 2017

Prompts and Challenges

Great In Bed
Fremont District
Las Vegas NV
January 8, 2017

Have you ever participated in a distance walking, swimming, running, or biking event? Tell your story. See the photo above? I can go the distance on sleeping. Eight hours is easy for me. Ten? No problem.

Name one thing not many people know about you. I would venture to say that many people have forgotten, or never did read, that I am considerably older than Emilio Pasquale. “Luke, I am your father!” Yes, Emilio is fashioned after my son. He will be 34 this year. This is the second marriage for both Lynn and myself. Lynn’s first husband died of cancer, my first wife is still very much alive. But between Lynn and myself, we have ten kids.

What is your favorite flower? I don’t really have a favorite flower. In fact, I’ve gone on record as stating I do not like flowers. At least in captivity. Lynn has forbidden me to purchase flowers on her birthday or anniversary or in apology for the countless times I have been at fault! But I have also been known to travel far and wide when the desert wildflowers are in bloom. And watching the hummingbirds levitate over a flowering plant is truly a sight to behold.

Things I want to have in my home (paintings, hot tubs, book cases, big screen tv etc) We are at that time in our lives when we want to scale down and rid ourselves of some of the clutter we’ve accumulated over the years. So, I think all we really want, or need, is a roof and a bed. And books, music, probably classic movies on dvd (and a way to view them), coffee, wine, pizza at least once a week. Friends, and family! Oh, and that hot tub? Just make it a shower. For two. 🙂

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Last week? Grateful? I guess I am grateful that my 2006 Nissan Altima has just passed 204,000 miles and did not “crap out” on us in Death Valley yesterday. As for the following week? A movie or two, hopefully getting the book I am working on into it’s first edit, and a trip on the weekend to a section of Route 66 between Barstow and Needles.

I’m happy to hear that Cee and Chris are better this week and that Cee was able to come up with these questions. It’s always fun! Join in sometime! Check out Cee’s Share Your World every Monday.

Please check out Cee’s Share Your World for more answers to these earth shattering questions.