Zazzle Shop

Screen printing

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lighting Las Vegas: Stunning night-time pictures show Sin City in all its gaudy glory

By Mail Foreign Service


These incredible images show dazzling from the sky at night.

For the first time, incredibly detailed pictures depicting the glitzy location - using technology that has only been developed in the past 18 months - have been brought together in a book, called Las Vegas At Night.

The stunning series was taken by renowned aerial photographer Jason Hawkes, from Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, in March.

In the past he has shot famous day-time pictures of , and other major cities.

Las Vegas

City that never sleeps: A panoramic view of Las Vegas looking down the strip from the Pallazo resort

Photographers around the world have only recently been able to capture detailed aerial images after dark. Using a state-of-the-art gyroscopic mount, professionals like Jason are now able to shoot world locations from a circling helicopter at night and get mind-boggling results.

He said: 'Previously, while you could do this kind of aerial photography in the day, it was too difficult at night because of the background "noise" you would get in the images.

'With little light you had to use camera settings with very high film speed which created noise. It made the images grainy and pretty ugly.'

Advances in cutting-edge photography equipment mean that aerial specialists like Jason, 42, can now get crystal clear shots that show world landmarks as they truly appear.

Vegas pix

Ready for your close-up: British photographer Jason Hawkes captured the fountains at The Bellagio and the replica Eiffel Tower at The Paris

Vegas pix

Technicolor town: Vegas's hotels and resorts spread out on either side of the strip

The gyroscopic mount is essentially a tripod with six sets of spinning gyros, contained inside three egg-shaped cases, that rotate extremely quickly. Their movement cancels out the wobbles and shakes caused by the helicopter blades.

Using the new gear Jason was able to heavily reduce the film speed - producing luscious neon-lit images of the most famous entertainment city in the world.

Jason's latest works show many of the desert city's most famous casino landmarks including the fake at Las Vegas, the giant pyramid at Luxor Las Vegas and the famed erupting volcano at Mirage.

It took him two weeks out in Vegas to put the set together. After nine flights and more than 15 hours of flying he was able to touch down having created a jaw-dropping visual feast.

'There's so many weird and wonderful things about Vegas that it was a pretty incredible place to be shooting like this at night,' he said.

'You are allowed to fly very low over the city and it gives you a great perspective on some of their crazy architecture. Watching the volcano erupt was pretty spectacular from the air.'

Vegas pix

A view of the Stratosphere Tower: Mr Hawkes used new technology to capture the images on camera