WEST COAST ADVENTURES - DEATH VALLEY & LAS VEGAS!
After our stopover in Mammoth Lakes, we got up super early (again!) to begin our journey to Las Vegas! We were both pretty excited about this drive, but nervous too as majority of the route was through Death Valley National Park, the hottest, driest and lowest national park in the United States notoriously famous for its incredibly high temperatures... particularly in summer months. Needless to say we literally filled the car to the brim with petrol, and made sure we had plenty of ice cold bottled water and an endless supply of snacks, just in case...
The best way to describe Death Valley is literally just one endless road. There were points on this drive where we could see for miles and miles ahead and behind us, and there was literally no one else on the road. Whilst this made for some pretty incredible photographs (like the one above), it was also pretty daunting to think that there was nobody else around for as far as we could see!
Trusty Miguel the Mustang powering through the immense heat of Death Valley
Behind every great photographer is the lookout who makes sure they don't get run over...
Liam doing his thaaang
When we finally arrived in Las Vegas after a long 7 hour drive, we checked into Erik and Keshia's AirBnB (our favourite one of the trip!) and headed down to The Strip for dinner. We went for a walk through a few of the resorts and had some pretty tasty fried chicken at The Yardbird in the Venetian, and the most incredible Oreo cupcake from Carlo's Bakery.
We spent the following day at our AirBnB, making the most of the incredible weather and Eric and Keshia's gorgeous swimming pool - we needed a chilled out day after the amount of travelling we'd done! That evening we went down to Freemont Street to the Downtown Container Park where there were boutique shops and live music. We ate dinner on the Downtown Terrace and then walked down to the Freemont Street Experience, through the bright lights and the casinos! Personally, Liam and I preferred the more chilled out vibe down at Freemont Street compared to The Strip, but would definitely recommend that you check out both if you have the time whilst you're in Vegas!
Downtown Container Park
Don't forget you can buy prints of some of these photographs from my online shop!
People zip lining along the ceiling of the Freemont Street experience!
The next day we booked to go to the Flamingo Hotel to an all day event at the Go Pool where there was live music and a DJ around the pool - a stereotypical Las Vegas style pool party, and it didn't disappoint!
The Flamingo Hotel
Real (?!) flamingos at The Flamingo Hotel
On our last night in Las Vegas we went back down to The Strip for dinner at Gordon Ramsay Burger (which we queued for almost an hour to get into!), and after dinner we won the one and only bet we placed whilst we were in Vegas! We thought we would quit whilst we were ahead... gambling is a fools game after all!
The Las Vegas Strip
Photographing along Freemont Street and The Strip at night was a bit of a challenge, as night time photography requires quite specific camera settings in order to get it just right. For these photographs, I made sure that I was shooting with a high ISO and a low aperture (f-number) and quite a long shutter speed in order to let the light into the shot. All of these images were taken handheld as the lights were quite bright and easy to focus on. If you're interested in nighttime photography then I will be writing a more in-depth blog post soon about my best tips and tricks for making a success of it, so keep an eye out for that!
We finished off our last night in Vegas by watching the incredible fountain shows outside The Bellagio Hotel, which was an amazing way to end our time there. Whilst our few days in Vegas were a little less jam-packed than some of the other places we visited on our West Coast Adventures, we still felt as though we really managed to see all the best bits, and squeeze in some time to relax and enjoy the gorgeous weather (and even out some of the super dodgy tan lines I'd developed!)
Part 6 of my West Coast Adventures series will be coming very soon and it's definitely not one to miss... top tips for visiting the Hoover Dam and The Grand Canyon and some seriously breathtaking photos too!