Las Vegas Skyline

December 01, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Gigi, Devin, and I traveled to Henderson, Nevada to spend Thanksgiving with Gigi's parents. This trip I was dedicating time to finally shoot the Las Vegas skyline at night from the hills in Henderson. To get the images, I brought my Canon 5D Mark II and 1Ds that I converted to capture infrared, my Manfrotto tripod, and my Canon 500mm.

During the day, I wanted to find the location. Gigi and I hiked up a steep hill that provided an unobstructed view of the strip. It took us 15-20 minutes to get to the top. The surface was loose dirt and lava rock. Once we made it to the top, I used the 500mm mounted on the Infrared camera hand holding and shot enough frames to stitch 16 images for the panorama. The image measures 11 feet in length.

Infrared Las Vegas SkylineInfrared Las Vegas Skyline© Reidar Schopp, All Rights Reserved, Visiting Gigi's parents for Thanksgiving with Devin. Panorama images of Las Vegas cityscape in day. This image is 11 feet by 8 inches. 16 stitched images. Image shot Nov 27, 2014.


After climbing back down to the car, Gigi and I discussed trying to climb that hill at night. We decided with the equipment and then holding flashlights in the dark, we had to find an easier location.

We drove along Horizon Ridge and at the cross street of Gilbert, the road went up a hill and off to the right of the road was a flat bluff that got me over the power lines, street lights, and homes. We explored other locations, but between construction fences and gated communities, we opted to return to the Gilbert location that evening.

I awoke from a nap late and realized it was already twilight which is when I wanted to be at the location. Gigi and I grabbed the equipment and drove to the location. But, it was total darkness when we arrived. Even so, I set up the tripod. I have never purchased a level for the tripod so setting it up for the panorama with the 500mm lens took a few minutes as I tested the swing of the lens from one end of the Las Vegas strip to the old strip keeping everything level. Based on the afternoon shots from earlier that day, I knew I needed to make 2 passes to build up the height of the image. Testing exposure in manual mode and manual focus, I selected 10 seconds at f11 and turned on noise reduction. It took 32 images to capture the full strip excluding those images were jets were streaking the sky.

I used Adobe Photoshop CS5 photomerge functionality turning on blending and vignette correction. I then flattened the image. From there I processed the image using NIK Dfine to smooth the noise and then followed up with NIK Color Efex Pro to brighted the colors. I then added a curve layer to reduce the red sodium glow in the sky. This finished images is 15 feet long by 16 inches high.

Las Vegas Night SkylineLas Vegas Night Skyline© Reidar Schopp, All Rights Reserved, Thanksgiving weekend trip to visit Gigi's parents in Henderson, Nevada. 32 images created this panorama shot from a hill above Horizon Ridge road and Gilbert. 12 feet x 11 inches. 36 images for this panorama. Image shot Nov 27, 2014.

For anyone interested in a print, please contact me ( I am offering signed limited edition of 9 for each of the infrared and night panoramas at $750 each.


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