I know you liked the cover photo. I do too. I really like it, in fact. It’s Las Vegas, a city of entertainment located in the middle of the desert in the US state of Nevada. As I haven’t written anything about this city yet, I decided to explore it and write something about it. But this will primarily be a post about the most popular photo spots in Las Vegas, where photographers and photography enthusiasts who are heading to this exciting city will find a lot to capture.
Welcome to the city of lights, vivacity, and endless photographic possibilities—Las Vegas! This glittering oasis in the heart of Nevada’s desert is a real haven for photographers. It offers countless stunning scenes, ranging from neon-lit streets to exquisite architectural wonders to breathtaking natural landmarks.
Las Vegas is unique in its diversity. Here, you can capture a picture of the Eiffel Tower and Venice on the same day. And you don’t even have to leave the city for that. Add in the exciting nightlife with all its lights and the beautiful nature surrounding the city, and you get a true photographic playground. It’s suitable for all types of photographers, regardless of their style or experience.
Today we will discover some of the best photographic spots in Las Vegas that you simply cannot miss. Relax and prepare for a journey through exceptional scenes, tips, and tricks for creating the best photos. Whether you are a professional photographer or an enthusiast looking for new ideas, this guide will be a real source of inspiration for you. Continue reading, and together we will explore the light, colors, and magic that Las Vegas offers through the lens.
Location of Las Vegas and important online resources
Las Vegas is located in the southwestern part of the United States of America, in the state of Nevada. The city lies in the heart of the Mojave Desert, providing some truly unique and spectacular natural landscapes.
There are several ways to get to Las Vegas, depending on where you are. The most popular and convenient way is by air. McCarran International Airport is located right next to the city center and offers regular flights to most major cities in the USA and worldwide.
If you are traveling by car, Las Vegas is accessible via several major highways, including Interstate 15, running north-south, and US Route 95, running east-west. Traveling by car also offers the opportunity to visit some spectacular natural landmarks nearby, such as Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire State Park.
Important online resources for information
There are numerous online resources available for planning your trip and gathering more information about Las Vegas and its attractions. Some of them include:
• Visit Las Vegas: https://www.visitlasvegas.com/ the official tourism website of the city of Las Vegas, providing information on accommodations, events, restaurants, attractions, and more.
• Nevada State Parks: https://parks.nv.gov/ for more detailed information about parks such as Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire State Park,
• Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority: https://www.lvcva.com/ for information on major events, trade shows, and conferences in Las Vegas.
• National Park Service: https://www.nps.gov/index.htm for detailed information on national parks and historical sites, including the Hoover Dam,
These websites will help you plan your visit, find inspiration for photography, and gain a better understanding of the history and culture of Las Vegas.
History of Las Vegas
Establishment and early development
Las Vegas, whose name in Spanish means “the meadows”, was once a green oasis in the heart of the Mojave Desert. The city was founded in 1905 as a railway station. At that time, it became a crucial junction for passengers and goods. Despite its beginnings as a small town, Las Vegas experienced rapid growth, primarily due to its location and natural resources.
The casino and entertainment era
Las Vegas, known by many as “Sin City”, developed its identity in the 1940s and 1950s. This was when the first casinos and hotels were built. The city became world-famous as a hub for gambling, show business, and luxury. This era led to the creation of iconic neon signs that now adorn the Neon Museum.
Las Vegas today
Today, the city is a dynamic and versatile one that is constantly evolving. Visitors can enjoy world-renowned shows, top-notch cuisine, luxurious hotels, and, of course, casinos. The city also offers a wide range of natural beauty and historic sites, such as Red Rock Canyon and Hoover Dam. Las Vegas has something special for every visitor, so if you decide to visit, you will certainly find something for yourself.
What are the top Las Vegas photo spots?
Alright, let’s get straight to our favorite photo spots in the city. Whenever I embark on a photo journey, I always check out the best photo spots in the city. For searching, I always use Google, where I type: best photo spots + city name. Another popular application for searching is Instagram. There, I search by entering the city’s name and clicking on hashtags or the city’s location. In this way, I always find the best photo spots in the city I’m heading to.
Let’s go to Las Vegas and its best photo spots!
1. Las Vegas Strip
What is the Las Vegas Strip and its history?
The Las Vegas Strip is the heart and soul of the city. It’s the place where bright lights meet extraordinary energy, creating scenes you can’t find anywhere else in the world. This 4.2-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard, known as The Strip, is home to many of the city’s most lavish hotels, casinos, and attractions. Historically, The Strip has always been seen as the center of entertainment and luxury, from its early days in the 1940s, when the first major hotel and casino, “El Rancho Vegas,” was opened, to today, when it is recognized as one of the most iconic places in the world.
Best photo spots: Bellagio fountains, Venetian Grand Canal, High Roller Wheel, famous casinos
The Strip offers countless points perfect for your camera lens. Among them are the iconic Bellagio fountains, which provide a unique opportunity to capture water dancing with lights and music. The Venetian Grand Canal, with its European architecture and gondolas, offers a perfect contrast to the usual Las Vegas view. The High Roller is the world’s largest observation wheel and an ideal spot to capture wonderful city panoramas. Not to forget the stunning architecture of famous casinos, offering rich details and colors to be captured on lens.
Photography tips: how to capture night lights and lively action, optimal times for photography
Photographing on the Strip requires some strategic thinking, especially when it comes to night photography. To capture stunning night shots, focus on the neon lights illuminating every corner of this area. Use a longer exposure to capture the light trails of cars and casino lights. Early morning or late evening is the best time to shoot. At that time, it’s less crowded, and you can capture beautiful scenes in the “golden or blue hour”. Whether day or night, there’s always something on The Strip that you can capture with your lens. Be prepared for an unforgettable photographic adventure.
2. Fremont Street experience
History of Fremont Street
Fremont Street, once known as “the first street” of Las Vegas, is one of the oldest and most historic locations in the city. This street, which was once the heart of Las Vegas, was home to the first hotels and casinos. Today, this significant part of the city boasts a spectacular attraction known as the Fremont Street Experience.
Highlights from Viva Vision
Viva Vision is the main attraction of the Fremont Street Experience and has one of the largest video screens in the world. This LED-overlay ceiling stretches across the entire street. It plays light shows to music, which are truly awe-inspiring. Its light and energy provide you with countless opportunities for unique photos that capture the true heart and soul of Las Vegas.
Photography tips: lighting challenges, shot ideas
Photographing on Fremont Street, especially Viva Vision, can bring some lighting challenges, but you can turn these difficulties to your advantage. Use a longer exposure to capture the movement of lights and people. This creates dynamic and vibrant shots. If you want to focus on details, try photographing individual screen scenes or architectural details of surrounding buildings. Street photography is also a great option at this location, as Fremont Street is always full of interesting people and scenes. Remember, it’s usually best to photograph Viva Vision at night when it’s in full glow.
3. Red Rock Canyon
Introduction to Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon is just 17 miles west of Las Vegas. It’s a perfect oasis of nature and peace, offering a dramatic contrast to the hustle and bustle of the city. This nature reserve boasts impressive red cliffs and massive walls that provide a stunning panorama for all photography enthusiasts.
Best photo spots: Scenic Drive, Calico Hills
Within the park, there are several points worth capturing with a lens. Start with the Scenic Drive, a 13-mile road that takes you through stunning places in the park. From this viewpoint, there are exceptional opportunities for panorama photography. Calico Hills, distinctive for their dramatic red and pink hues, are another popular area for photography. It’s a great time at sunrise or sunset when the light brings extra depth to the colors.
Photography tips: capturing contrast and using natural light
When photographing in Red Rock Canyon, focus on contrast. Concentrate on the differences in colors, shapes, and textures that you find in the park to create dynamic and visually appealing photos. Natural light is your best friend here. The light of sunrise or sunset can dramatically improve the colors and shadows on the cliffs, so try to plan your photography around these times. You can use a polarizing filter to reduce glare and enhance color saturation in your shots.
4. Hoover Dam
Introduction to Hoover Dam
The Hoover Dam on the Colorado River, one of the greatest landmarks in the United States, is an unforgettable mix of grand architecture and remarkable history. This iconic structure, located on the Colorado River between Nevada and Arizona, bears witness to human achievement and engineering masterpieces.
Significance of the Dam for Las Vegas
The Hoover Dam is significant for Las Vegas and its surroundings. The dam created the largest man-made lake in the U.S., Lake Mead, which provides water for millions of people. It generates hydroelectric power for many parts of the southwestern U.S. Its presence has enabled the growth and development of Las Vegas into the world-renowned destination we know today.
Photography tips: architectural geometry, day and night photography
Photographing Hoover Dam is an opportunity to capture a unique combination of nature and technology. Emphasize the geometric shapes of the dam in contrast with the wild nature of the Colorado River. Focus on the strong lines and structures that span across the river, and add interest by capturing the contrasting shadows created by the high dam walls.
During the day, when the sun is high, lighting provides dramatic contrasts and shadows. The Hoover Dam is also stunning at night when artificial light highlights its structures and details, which can be less apparent during the day. Regardless of the time, try to take advantage of different perspectives—from higher points for a panoramic view of the dam and river, or from lower points for a close-up view of the impressive dam wall.
As always, don’t be afraid to experiment and express your creativity. This is very important when photographing this exceptional place!
5. Neon Museum
Introduction to the Neon Museum
The Neon Museum, also known as the Neon Boneyard, is a glowing collection of historical signs offering a colorful and shining history of Las Vegas. This unique open-air museum, located on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip, is a gathering place for vintage neon signs that once adorned the city’s streets and casinos.
History and importance of the museum
Founded in 1996, the Neon Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting iconic neon signs from Las Vegas’ past. These signs, some from as early as the 1930s, tell the story of the city’s rise and development, from its early days as an entertainment mecca to its status as a global destination. This museum is a vibrant reminder of the history that has shaped Las Vegas, offering a unique look at the city through the eyes of its neon lights.
Photography tips: capturing glowing colors; challenges of photographing neon
Photographing at the Neon Museum brings challenges but also incredible opportunities. To start, try to capture the bright and vibrant colors of the neon lights. These lights can create strong contrasts and visual dynamics in your photographs. Try shooting in the early evening or at sunset, when natural light blends with neon colors.
Adjust your camera settings to photograph neon lights. Because neon glows intensely, you may need to lower your ISO value or decrease your exposure time to prevent overexposure. Use a tripod for stability during longer exposure times.
And don’t forget—a visit to the museum at night brings even more dramatic and interesting photos. At that time, the entire museum comes alive in a light symphony of neon. Be creative, play with colors and lights, and create something truly unique!
6. Valley of Fire State Park
Overview of Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park is just an hour’s drive northeast of Las Vegas. It’s one of the oldest and most recognized parks in Nevada. This national park boasts spectacular red sandstones, pillars, and formations that glow like fire when bathed in sunlight, giving it its name. It’s a place where history and natural beauty meet, and it’s a true paradise for photographers.
Best photo spots: Fire Wave, Elephant Rock, and White Domes
The Valley of Fire offers many points worth photographing. Fire Wave is an exceptional formation where red and white bands of rock blend in patterns reminiscent of waves. Elephant Rock is an elephant-shaped formation. It’s a really interesting object to photograph. White domes, with a striking contrast between red and white rocks, provide a wealth of opportunities for creative photography.
Photography tips: optimal light, leveraging natural colors and shapes
When photographing in the Valley of Fire, it’s key to understand the effect of light on sandstone. The best time to photograph is at dawn or dusk. At these times, the sunlight creates dramatic shadows and highlights the colors of the rocks. Also, leverage the natural colors and shapes of the rocks to create interesting and dynamic compositions.
Observe and take advantage of the contrasts created by the different colors of the stone and the textures caused by erosion and weathering. Some rocks may contain fossils or traces that add additional interest to your photographs.
In the park, it’s important to respect nature and preserve its natural beauty for future generations. Be responsible and enjoy this truly unique and spectacular landscape!
The best Instagram hashtags for Las Vegas
Creating beautiful photos is only half the fun; sharing these precious moments with others is what really counts! Instagram is a great place to share your photos of Las Vegas. I’ve researched the best hashtags to use when sharing. I’ve listed general hashtags as ones specific to each location. Isn’t that truly amazing?
Here are some of the best hashtags to use:
General hashtags for Las Vegas:
For the Las Vegas Strip:
For the Fremont Street Experience:
For Red Rock Canyon:
For Hoover Dam:
For the Neon Museum:
For the Valley of Fire State Park:
Remember, Instagram hashtags and trends can change over time, so it’s a good idea to check what hashtags are currently popular. Also, use geotagging for the precise location where you took the photo, as this can help increase the visibility of your photographs.
And we’ve come to the end of another top photo spots post, this time with Las Vegas taking the spotlight. How did you find the article? Have you visited Las Vegas before? Drop a comment and maybe a link to a photo you’ve taken.
Las Vegas is a city known for its bright lights and neon signs, but it offers so much more than just casinos and nightlife. In this article, I tried to provide a comprehensive look at some of the best photographic locations in and around the city. I hope you found some inspiration for your next photographic adventure!
Your photographs are a critical part of this discovery process, and I would love to see what you’ve created. I’d be delighted to learn about your perspectives on these locations and how you interpreted their beauty through your lens. Therefore, I invite you to share your best shots from Las Vegas on our forum or on social media, where we can all share and learn from each other.
Remember, the most important part of photography is the joy of discovery and exploration. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there’s always something new to see and discover in Las Vegas. So get out there, grab your camera, and start exploring. And experimenting, of course. The City of Lights awaits you, and we can’t wait to see how you capture its unique beauty and character.
Thank you for being part of this adventure, and I look forward to discovering more amazing photographic spots together. Check out my social media channels; you won’t regret it.