Las Vegas, NV – New York NY Hotel (HDR)

Las Vegas.  I love this place and look forward to visiting whenever possible.   I wish I had conventions there for my work, but unfortunately, we do not.  We try to fly out for a day or so every summer.  I really enjoy just walking around to see the sights and the night lights. Typically during my visits I only have a little time to take photographs….and here is one from this past year.  Something I rarely do…it is a single raw file processed into HDR.  I was playing around today with some old pics and decided to give this one a try.  I liked the HDR…but it needed a little pop.  As I am a fan of selective color…I decided to give it a try! Hope you enjoy this shot!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 200.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:   3 seconds (Single RAW HDR)
  • Aperture:  f/16
  • Gear:  Tripod, Cable release
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Silver Efex Pro

New York, New York – Merry Christmas!

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR

Merry Christmas to all my readers!  Happy Holidays as well!!  Hope you are having a great time!  What better way to celebrate on Places 2 Explore than the most famous Christmas Tree in the world…Rockefeller Center in New York City!   Best wishes to you and your family!

New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall (HDR)

Radio City HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix

I was in NYC a few weeks back and had a few hours to grab a few shots.  We walked around Rockefeller Center and I had always wanted to get an HDR of Radio City Music Hall.   I took a few versions, but I liked this grand shot with the car lights cruising by.   A colorful street corner!    I have never been to any event at Radio City…I hear it is wonderful!

Here is some info from the web:  The names “Radio City” and “Radio City Music Hall” derive from one of the complex’s first tenants, the Radio Corporation of America. Radio City Music Hall was a project of Rockefeller; Samuel Roxy Rothafel, who previously opened the Roxy Theatre in 1927; and RCA chairman David Sarnoff. RCA had developed numerous studios for NBC at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, just to the south of the Music Hall, and the radio-TV complex that lent the Music Hall its name is still known as the NBC Radio City Studios.

The Music Hall opened to the public on December 27, 1932 with a lavish stage show featuring Ray Bolger and Martha Graham. The opening was meant to be a return to high-class variety entertainment. The new format was not a success. The program was very long and individual acts were lost in the cavernous hall. On January 11, 1933, the Music Hall converted to the then familiar format of a feature film with a spectacular stage show which Rothafel had perfected at the Roxy Theatre. The first film was shown on the giant screen was Frank Capra’s The Bitter Tea of General Yen starring Barbara Stanwyck and the Music Hall became the premiere showcase for films from the RKO-Radio Studio. The film plus stage spectacle format continued at the Music Hall until 1979 with four complete performances presented every day.

Radio City has 5,933 seats for spectators; it became the largest movie theater in the world at the time of its opening. Designed by Edward Durell Stone, the interior of the theater, with decor by Donald Deskey, incorporates glass, aluminum, chrome, and geometric ornamentation. Deskey rejected the Rococo embellishment generally used for theaters at that time in favor of a contemporary Art Deco style, borrowed heavily from a European Modern aesthetic style, of which he was the foremost exponent at the time.

Great stuff!  I’d love to see a concert there one day!  New York is one of the best cities in the world!!!  I can visit again and again!

New York, NY – Rockefeller Center (HDR)

Rockefeller Center HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix

It is almost Christmas time and here is a calm photo of Rockefeller Center before the holiday rush.  Soon in the back you will see a BIG X-Mas tree and lots of holiday lights.  It is a great sight to visit when you are in NYC.  One spot I have never visited is the “Top of the Rock” – a wonderful view of NYC from above Rockefeller Center…I should have a shot from here soon (hopefully)!  I will be in NYC sometime in Dec for a holiday visit!

Here is some info from the web on the center:  The Center is a combination of two building complexes: the older and original 14 Art Deco office buildings from the 1930s, and a set of four International-style towers built along the west side of Avenue of the Americas during the 1960s and 1970s (plus the Lehman Brothers Building). (The Time-Life Building, McGraw-Hill and News Corporation/Fox News Channel headquarters are part of these “newer” Rockefeller Center buildings now owned/managed by the major private real estate firm, Rockefeller Group.).  Enjoy!

New York City, NY – St. Patrick’s Cathedral (HDR)

St. Patricks HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix

I had a little time in NYC recently and wanted to photograph this statue of Atlas across from St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  There are probably tons of angles to take this shot…I went for the full frame view.  I hope to be back later this year and try it as a fisheye!   St. Patrick’s is special in my heart as my Grandmother and Grandfather were married there many years ago!    I had sent an email to St. Patrick’s to ask if I could photograph inside, they said yes, but no tripods.  I’d like to try one day!

Here is some info form the web on the statue:   In Rockefeller Center (New York City), directly across the street from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, is this two ton statue of Atlas; a companion piece to Prometheus, and the largest sculptural work at Rockefeller Center. Atlas carries the heavens upon his shoulders as punishment for defying Zeus. Designed and cast in 1936 by Lee Lawrie and Rene Chambellan, the statue’s exaggerated musculature and stylized body are characteristic of the Art Deco style.

The north-south axis of the armillary sphere on his shoulders points to the North Star as viewed from New York City. Laid across Atlas’s shoulders is a wide, curved beam that displays a frieze of the traditional symbols for Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Adjacent to Earth (over Atlas’s right forearm) is a small crescent symbolizing the Moon. Affixed to one of the sphere’s rings are symbols for twelve constellations through which the Sun passes during the year.

Quite an amazing view in NYC!  Stop on by and see it if you have the time!  Enjoy!

New York City, NY – Times Square M&M World


NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photmatix

Who doesn’t love chocolate?  Or the chance to pass up on a delicious M&M!  If you are even in NYC near Time Square, stop by the M&M World store and enjoy!   When you walk in you get an immediate aroma of M&M’s!  Its a very cute store with lots of M&M products to see.  I went upstairs and saw this interesting fellow in the corner of the store.   It was quiet when I arrived. I thought hey…why not take an HDR!  I took out my tripod and set up…5 exposures, cable release and took a quick shot in between the people coming to pose with him!

Here is a little info from the web: The New York City store is within a 24,000-square-foot (2,200 m2), three-level glass box, in Times Square. It includes a 50-foot-wide, two-story-high, “wall of chocolate”, made up of 72 continuous candy-filled tubes. M&M bills it as “the world’s largest.”  M&M World in Times Square is New York City’s largest candy store, and offers merchandise such as themed clothing, dishware, watches, and piggy banks. The most famous location is in the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada; stores also opened in Orlando, Florida (2005) and New York City (2006).   Hope your day is candy filled!

Las Vegas, NV – New York, NY Hotel


NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR, HDR in Photomatix

If you are ever on the Vegas strip…one can’t stop on enjoy the view of the New York, NY Hotel & Casino!   The colors are wonderful and the Statue of Liberty replica is wonderful!   If you are up for it…”The Roller Coaster”  (formally known as the Manhattan Express) at the hotel will surely give you a dizzy head afterwards!  A great ride!   For fun there is an ESPNZone inside and our favorite diner style restaurant  – America (great inexpensive food!)

Here is some info about the hotel from the web:  New York-New York uses the New York City influence of its name in several ways. Its architecture creates an impression of the New York City skyline; the hotel includes several towers configured to resemble New York City towers such as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. In front of the property is a pool representing New York Harbor, with a 150 ft (46 m) tall (half-scale) replica of the Statue of Liberty, a roller coaster, and replicas of the Brooklyn Bridge, Soldiers and Sailors Monument, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Ellis Island, and Grand Central Terminal, among other well-known structures. The property opened on January 3, 1997. The project, which was first announced in 1994, was a joint venture of MGM Grand Inc. and Primadonna Resorts.

If you want to have some fun in Vegas….its up to you, New York, New York – Hotel!!