Photographing Neon Signs on Fremont Street in Las Vegas

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Last week, we wrote about our fun experience at the Neon Sign Bone Yard in Las Vegas.  This week, we show what you might see strolling through Fremont Street to photograph the neon signs.  We did not carry our tripods, so we had to figure out how to capture the neon glow while hand-holding, an interesting challenge.  Here is what we saw:

After we left the Neon Sign Museum, we drove towards Fremont Street along North Las Vegas Boulevard   There are restored neon signs along the median as you approach Fremont Street.  This one is right at the beginning of the Fremont Street Experience.  If you want this shot, you will have to plant yourself in the middle of the street while the “walk sign is on.”  You’ll get abut 20 seconds a try.

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As you enter the Fremont Street Experience, you’ll see a few restored signs from Las Vegas hotels and businesses.

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Farther into the Experience, you will see several famous Las Vegas Neon signs.  Unfortunately, the cowboy was not lit up for us on this evening.

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To capture these images, we used our Canon 5D Mark IIs with Canon 24-105 mm f/4 image stabilized lenses.  We jacked up our ISOs to 800-1000 and opened up the lens to 4.0 aperture.  Because you are essentially shooting “flat” signs, you do not need much depth of field and you need all the light gathering capability you can.  With these settings, we got decent hand-holding shutter speeds.  If you have a point and shoot with a low-light setting or fireworks setting, use one of those.

There is an absolutely fabulous sound system and light show on this street.  I am sure that the concerts here are amazing.  However, as a photographer you will have to compose carefully around the giant speakers hung from the ceiling and all of the wires and support rods that hold up the roof.  Keep moving around and you will find some good compositions without the clutter.

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