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Best Photo Location of the Las Vegas Strip

Best Photo Location of the Las Vegas Strip

If you are looking for the best photo location of the Las Vegas Strip, this is it. It is surprisingly difficult to find clear views of the Las Vegas Strip. Most good vantage points are covered with glass which causes bad reflections in your photo. In addition, clear and open areas are few and far between, so when I found this photo location I knew it was a keeper.

The easiest photo location where you can see the Eiffel Tower and the Bellagio fountains is on the top level of the Bellagio parking garage. You can drive a car right to the top and take your time while you shoot across the fountains in the direction of the tower and Planet Hollywood. The photo below is what the shot looks like:

The fake Eiffel Tower
Las Vegas Eiffel Tower and Bellagio Fountains from the Bellagio parking garage. Photo: Tim Shields

This view is a nice, clean shot of the best part of the Las Vegas Strip, but there is one downfall you need to be aware of. When I imported my photos into Lightroom after this shoot I saw to my dismay that my photos were not sharp. I initially thought I had made an error by not refocusing after changing the zoom on my lens, so I went back to the same location two nights later and took the same photo. When I reviewed the photos in the field I saw to my surprise that they were also a bit blurry.

What went wrong?

My first thought was panic because the only logical explanation was that my lens was not focusing correctly. It was then that I realized that the very solid looking concrete wall that my tripod was sitting on was not actually rock solid. When I rested my hand on the wall I could feel a very slight but constant vibration, and when shooting long exposures any vibration will result in a soft photo.

The workaround for me was to extend the legs and center post on my tripod to their maximum height and then sit the tripod on the concrete floor where I was standing. My photos were tack sharp from that point on. I felt…redeemed. I had not made a focus mistake after all.

The only downside of the Bellagio parking garage location is that trees have grown up so you cannot see the water of the lagoon. Oh well…

After taking these shots I wanted an even better photo location of the Vegas Strip, so my wife and I rented a room at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, located beside the Bellagio. This place is not cheap…just saying.

We wanted to ensure that we were high enough so the Bellagio bell tower would not block the view, but not too high so the photo would look like a drone shot. For photos like this one, the lower, the better.

How did we find the perfect view in Las Vegas?

We worked with the concierge at the hotel who took us to numerous rooms on various floors until finally, we found what seemed like the perfect location. If you want to know exactly what room it was, then you have to join my mastermind and I will tell you.

The Bellagio water fountain show occurs every half hour (it happens every 15 minutes later at night), so at the first show after sunset, we were in position with the camera on a tripod on the outdoor deck of our room when I shot this multi-image panorama, which is the image at the top of this post. It was so awesome not to have to worry about shooting through glass, or security asking us to leave, and being able to take our time.

The photo above was edited quickly on my laptop and still needs some tweaks. Later I will remove the airplane and dust spots, as well as toning down the colors.

I am super happy with the composition, and personally think it’s my best photo on the strip. It has balance and symmetry — equal visual weight on the left compared to the right (well, almost equal). The main subject is brightly lit fountains, which creates a curved leading line. And it has that awesome Eiffel Tower on the right 1/3 line. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better photo location in Vegas.

Capturing the colours of the Las Vegas Strip
A wide-angle lens is needed to capture all of the chaos of the Las Vegas strip. Photo: Tim Shields

Location scouting is key

My four-step system will help you learn how to research and plan your photo locations,

  1. Know how to get to the right place at exactly the right time for the best light.
  2. Knowing how to find fantastic compositions wherever you are. Even if you are in your own backyard taking pictures of flowers.
  3. Know easy-to-use camera settings so your photos will be tack sharp and correctly exposed.
  4. Knowing how to QUICKLY edit your photos to create drama. Learn to highlight the good parts and downplay the bad parts. This way the viewer sees only what you want them to see.
  5. Know how to print your photos in the best and easiest possible way.

Check out this photo of one of my graduates who just made a print for the very first time:

Jeff Dodds holding up his first printed image after taking part in the Photography Academy Photography Transformation Masterclass.

This is Jeff Dodds. He just printed his photo and this is what he wrote about it inside our Facebook mastermind group. An exclusive forum where students and I exchange tips and ideas as part of the Photography Transformation Masterclass.

“Here is my first ever finished canvas print. I am overwhelmed with joy seeing this thing in real life. Tim said it best. Taking your work out of the digital world and printing it is powerful. You truly get to have a personal connection between you and your art.”

It makes me super happy to see students printing their own art and hanging it on their wall at home. It feels so good to be proud of a printed photo that you created out of thin air!

Start learning today

So if you want to take your photography to the next level, then now is the time. I have a free online web class that will teach you the 3 secrets I use to take beautiful photos. If you want to start taking photos you are incredibly proud of, sign up for the free web class today.

 

Tim Shields

Tim Shields is the founder of Photography Academy, the author of The Photo Cookbook, and the creator of the Photography Transformation 4-Step System. He holds the designation of Master Photographer in Fine Art from Master Photographers International.