Where: Las Vegas, NV
Between Meeting: After Photoshop World
Located far from The Strip, is the Neon Boneyard. The Boneyard is run by the Neon Museum and home to over 150 donated and rescued Las Vegas signs dating as far back as the 1930′s.
I was in Vegas for Photoshop World and was able to secure a 1 hour time slot to photograph the signs right after the Expo closed. I called Jay Maisel, who was also at Photoshop World, and invited him to come along.
It was the end of August and hot, as in, unbelievably hot. Our time slot was for 4pm which would be the hottest part of the day at around 104 degrees Fahrenheit. With the high air temperature combined with the radiant heat from all those metal signs, I started to worry I might inadvertently kill the amazing Jay Maisel through heatstroke. So I prepped the night before getting 5 bottles of water for each of us, misters and hats. I put together a plan so Jay and I would drink a bottle of water every 10 to 15 minutes.
I remember the blast of hot desert air as we got out of the cab and set off as the 1 hour time slot began. Jay said, ” I’ll see you in a hour” and I bolted looking for the best stuff. In 10 minutes I took what I thought were 3 amazing images and downed one bottle of water. After 30 minutes, I was up to 5 great images and made my way through 2.5 bottles of water. At 45 minutes, I was running out of images and a bit dizzy, but persevered shooting a total of 9 interesting images in that hour time slot and finished my 4th bottle of water.
I was faint, and dusty and went to meet Jay at a pre-designated area when the hour was up. To my surprise and delight, Jay looked pretty much the same as when we arrived. The heat didn’t seem to phase him. He said that he saw me running around and thought the heat would send me to the hospital, so he decided to find a shady spot, and within that one hour slot focused in a small area where there were a lot of letter A’s.
It was an interesting lesson for me that when surrounded by so many amazing things, the best approach is to force a self assignment that limits you to a single concept, in Jay’s case, the letter A.
While my stuff was OK, and I may have captured more images, Jay’s A’s smoked just about everything I shot.