La Quinta, CA – La Quinta Resort & Club (HDR)

We took the weekend off and took a drive to Palm Springs, CA. If you head to Palm Springs in July…its considered off season. Why?…its way too hot! About 108-110 degrees each day! Whew! But the good thing is that you can relax by the pool and its very cheap!!! We paid only $100/nite at the La Quinta Resort and Club. La Quinta is southeast of Palm Springs….about 15 miles..near Indian Wells….where the Professional Tennis tournament is located in March.

Its a great resort, dating from 1926…I can imagine that years ago it was amazing! Cozy and quaint casitas are your rooms. 70 pools spread all over the property….basically a pool will be outside your hotel room door…no matter where you stay! The shot above is the entrance to to the hotel at blue hour. Such a lovely view! Thanks La Quninta…we enjoyed our weekend getaway!! =)

Talke Photography Settings:

Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 16.0 mm
ISO: 200
Exposure: HDR 7 Exposures (+3 to -3)
Aperture: f/11
Gear: Tripod
Post Process: Adobe CS6, HDR Efex Pro 2, OnOne Software Photo Tools 2.6

Las Vegas, Nevada – Bellagio Hotel (HDR)

The Bellagio is my favorite hotel in Vegas.  A great place to stay and kinda in the middle of it all.  This shot was from an early AM visit out by the reception/drop off area.  I added a little extra selective color touch to it for fun.  Hope thats my limo to the right!  LOL    The pavers look wet, but the HDR created a nice shine.  Hard to believe that when I walked through the hotel at 6:30 AM people were gambling and drinking.  Some may be continuations from the nite before and some actually looked like they just got up to start a fun day!  Whew!  That is why most of the time what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!!

Did you know Vegas is Spanish for the Meadows?  Here is info on Las Vegas from the web:   Development of the Las Vegas valley began in 1907 with the installation of the first flowing groundwater well. Prior to that time, the aquifer system’s natural discharge and recharge was in equilibrium, with an estimated flow of 7,500 acre-feet per year. As development progressed, nature’s balance was disturbed as water flowed freely onto the desert floor from uncapped artesian wells, resulting in a drop in the groundwater table and the drying of the springs.

In 1912, groundwater discharge from these free flowing artesian wells was almost 15,000 acre-feet per year. Due to this excessive drain on the aquifer system, the groundwater levels decreased by an average rate of one foot per year from 1912 to 1944. The groundwater table dropped more than 90 feet in some areas between 1944 and 1963. By 1955, groundwater pumped from the Las Vegas aquifer approached 40,000 acre-feet per year. The springs stopped flowing by 1962, resulting in the lush grassy meadows to fade away. The name “Las Vegas” is the only remaining evidence of the desert oasis that once existed in the now parched landscape. Groundwater pumpage continued to increase, peaking at 90,000 acre-feet per year in the 1970s. By 1990, the groundwater table had dropped more than 300 feet in some areas of the valley.

The stress on the aquifer system forced a change on the sole reliance on groundwater. To meet consumption demands, Las Vegas began importing water from the Colorado River. Currently, Las Vegas imports 90 percent of its water from the Colorado River via Lake Mead. Groundwater pumped from the local aquifer provides the valley with only 10 percent of the demand.

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 12.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/22
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza, Silver Efex Pro