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“The night before I left Las Vegas I walked out in the desert to look at the moon.  There was a jeweled city on the horizon, spires rising in the night, but the jewels were diadems of electric and the spires were the neon of signs ten stories high.”  ~Norman Mailer

We drove back to the Valley of Fire this afternoon to catch the sunset.  We then drove back through the northern edge of Lake Mead and found this amazing spot where the lights from Vegas were just stunning.  We set up the tripod and I attempted to do star trails, but didn’t really succeed.  Not dark enough.  However, I did capture the stars, the moon, and light trails from all the airplanes in the sky over the city.  We were here for over an hour and a half . . . mesmerized.  Only a few cars passed by on the road while we were there.  This shot is my attempt at doing sync flash – something MTM taught us when we shot on the Strip a few nights ago.  Not sure I was 100% successful as it seems the background is out of focus.  The first shot is the original with just a bit of LR4 editing.  

D800e, 70-200mm VRII lens @ 70mm, 2 sec @ f6.3, 800ISO, and SB800 flash mounted on camera set at zero.  

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I ended up not really liking that the background was out of focus, so took it in to LR4 and reworked it . . . adding in the starry moonlit sky from another photo I took just a bit earlier in the evening.  I think I like the reworked version best.

This is my edited/reworked version.

312-365 reworked

312-365 reworked

“I don’t believe you have to be better than everybody else.  I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be.”  Ken Venturi

Today is the last day of our 365 Vegas Meetup.  Most are leaving today, or have left already this morning.    My husband and I have decided to stay for a couple more days, as we would like to go back to a couple of the places we didn’t feel like we got enough time in . . . such as the Valley of Fire.  A group of us decided to get our picture taken and the Las Vegas sign at one end of the Strip.  There was quite a line up of people waiting to take pictures, as well as an Elvis personality and two Vegas Showgirls with whom you could get your photo taken if you wanted to pay them for it.  We ended up standing in the lineup for quite some time waiting for all of our people to show up.  I took this shot of Frank (a fellow 365’er) as we waited.  I was so pleasantly surprised when I opened this up on my computer to see this amazing sunburst and the great reflection in his glasses!  Score!  He kind of reminds me of one of those Secret Agent types in this shot.  Or a movie star!  

I also love the quote I found for today that seems to totally fit the mood of this photo.  Be the absolute best that you can be and you will shine beyond measure.  You can certainly use what others have done to inspire and motivate, but don’t compete with others to be the best of the best . . . compete against yourself.    Your beautiful aura will then leave a positive impact on everyone who passes through your experience of life.  And YOU are the only one who can make it  happen . . . GO FOR IT!

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311-365

“In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”  Alfred Stieglitz

I’m 305 days in to this 365 Self Portrait Project.  There are approximately 30 of us left out of a couple hundred that started.  Few of us have met in person . . . but we’re doing a meetup in Las Vegas this weekend.  This has been in the works for a few months now . . . with about half of us showing up – some of us with our spouses and one fellow coming from as far away as Sweden!  We range in photographic abilities from amateur to Pro.  We’ve rented a big house that many of us will be staying at.  It’s going to be a blast for sure . . . with “shoots” planned for different scenic areas around Vegas.  Michael Andrew himself is showing up . . . so very exciting.  To top it off . . . I’ve never been to Vegas . . . this is a first for me.  I’m not really a night lifer, drinker, partyer or gambler . . . I am just interested in soaking up all I can about Photography from everyone that will be there.   (oh – Baby Girl was just helping me pack . . . Mommy won’t let her go to Vegas with us! )

And . . . what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas . . . right?? 

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305-365

“It’s when ordinary people rise above the expectations and seize the opportunity that milestones truly are reached.”  Mike Huckabee

Wow!  I can’t believe I have reached Day Three Hundred of this 365 Project!  There have been days when I really didn’t think I could come up with something to post . . . another photo much less another blog post!  Because I took on the task of not only doing a self portrait every day, but also doing a blog post about it ever day as well.  I have fallen behind a few times . . . but I have not neglected the actual taking of a photo every day.  It’s pretty incredible what I have learned through this process . . . one of which is Photography is most definitely where my passion lies.  There has been a thread of Photography throughout my entire life . . . I just didn’t pursue it as I am able to now because of where life took me.  I’m here now though, and so fortunate and blessed to be in a position to finally pursue my passion.  In fact – in a few days I will be meeting up with fellow 365’ers in Las Vegas for a weekend of shooting and camaraderie over our shared mutual passion.  Here I am perusing the 365 forums, amazed at the talent and friendships that we have formed even tho few of us have met in person.  Vegas . . . here we come!  

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“I think when I was two years old in the sandbox, I think I formulated my basic philosophy there, and I haven’t really had to alter it very much ever since.” Boyd Rice

I don’t even know what to write for today’s post.  I’m just having so much fun following my little Grand Daughter around with the camera.  Today’s 365 is another DNA shot – totally allowed by the guidelines set out at the beginning. Way back in January.  And here we are at the end of October.  And I’m still going strong.  Wow!  Sure there are days when I struggle, and just have no clue what to do.  Somehow though, I get inspired – usually from my fellow 365’ers who are all still cranking away with me.  In fact, many of us are meeting up in Las Vegas mid-November for a few days of Photography goodness.  There’s probably about 25 of us that are still posting regularly – and about 15 of us that are meeting up in Vegas.  Including the guy who started it all . . .the very amazing and talented Michael the Maven himself!  

It’s gonna be a blast!  Anyway – that’s it for today.  

I’m off with my camera again – more “Little” photo-ops!

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287-365

 

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