Las Vegas by Night

Las Vegas, USA, 19th and 20th October 2014.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

This is Las Vegas from the air, including “the Strip” in the middle right, as we fly in on the first night.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

On the second night, with most of the party doing other things, I went for a walk in “the Strip” with Glenn, the resident photographer for the tour.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

Water in fountains at the side of the street caught my eye….

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

…and the water can make interesting patterns as it pauses in the air.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

A little later, we walked around inside Bellagio’s Hotel.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

This is not just a place to stay, it’s an elaborate universe of its own with spectacular displays, restaurants, shops, bars, an art gallery, a circus, meeting facilities, wedding facilities and of course a casino.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

Note that the leaves move around.  Their position has changed from the previous photo.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

This is a section of  Fioro di Como, the largest glass sculpture ever made, by Dale Chihuly.  It is a “chandelier” on the ceiling of the reception area of the Bellagio Hotel.  It comprises about 200 hand-blown pieces of glass, supported by nearly a tonne of steel, covering around 2,000 square feet of the ceiling.  I took one hundred people two years to complete.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

There were also various “semi-plastic extravaganzas”, such as this simulated water wheel.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

Out the front of the hotel, I took a photograph of this view as an experiment in infrared photography at night.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

… And then the water display started….

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

…. a magnificent spurting of fountains that recurred (if I recall correctly) every fifteen minutes.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

This is perhaps less surprising in a seaside city with a plentiful water supply.

 

Bellagio

… or it would be if Las Vegas were such a city, whereas in fact it is in the middle of a desert and has a severe problem with its water supply.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

Las Vegas gets 90% of its water from Lake Mead (behind the Hoover Dam) which due to a 14-year drought is at 48% of capacity.  This may be a permanent change and a US Government study showed that the water supply through the Colorado river could reduce annually by 7%.  If the situation continues, Lake Mead may become unusable as a water supply by 2035.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

The water comes in a pipeline direct from Lake Mead and there’s more than one pipeline.  The first is at 1,050 feet above sea level and is currently only 15 feet or so below the surface of the lake.  So there is another at 1,000 feet above sea level but even this will not suffice for all that long.  They are now building another at 890 feet above sea level at the cost of around $1 billion, due for completion next year.

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

And yet there is still no sense of crisis.  Las Vegas has one of the highest percapita water consumptions of a US city and one of the lowest water charges.  The Bellagio fountains are emblematic of this waste yet not the main problem.  They are only 3% of consumption and the Strip 6%, whereas lawns are 70%.   Another factor is mega-resort Lake Las Vegas, covering 320 acres including man-made rivers and waterfalls.  They’re living on borrowed time….

 

Bellagio Hotel, Landscape, Las Vegas, Nevada, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

Otherwise, as we see above, in the end it’s just a normal night in a random American city.

12 comments on “Las Vegas by Night

  1. leecleland says:

    I don’t think there’s anything normal about Las Vegas, starting with where it is situated 🙂

    Like

  2. agent provocateur says:

    Reblogged this on Nevada State Personnel Watch.

    Like

  3. Great photos. For reasons you’ve already mentioned, I’m not a big fan of Las Vegas. But I still enjoyed these photographs (as well as your commentary).

    Like

  4. Tieme says:

    I like how you mix photos that show an overview of Vegas, with detailed shots. Great work and thanks for sharing!

    Kind regards,
    Tieme

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s