Going Dutch in Vegas


Las Vegas | Looking North on The Strip

The Dutch angle in this long exposure translated the feeling I experienced at my first view of the Las Vegas Strip at night. What do you feel when you view this image?

When a camera axis is rotated or tilted so the horizon or vertical lines in the shot do not appear parallel with the bottom of the camera frame it creates tension. The image may project sensations such as disorientation, unease, discomfort, or being overwhelmed.  This framing technique is called a Dutch tilt, Dutch angle, oblique angle.

In Albuquerque where I live, people value darkness at night and avoid causing light pollution to better enjoy the stars above.  Las Vegas is on the completely opposite side of that illumination spectrum!  The decent nickname that the city has earned, because of the high density of neon signs, is the City of Lights. It was an exciting challenge to include so many elements of artificial lighting in my camera frame.

To make this particular night image, I used a tripod, wide-angle lens, and a long exposure. I included light trails on the left-hand side from the traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard; ghosted figures of pedestrians who enter the frame, light bursts, brightly lit buildings, and vivid colors.

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