Monday, February 21, 2011

"The Splendor Of The Bellagio Fountains"


"The Splendor Of The Bellagio Fountains"
©David A. Ziser

The Bellagio Fountain is one of the best free things to do in Las Vegas.  The dance of water and sound is simply breathtaking.  I actually proposed to LaDawn in front of the Bellagio Fountains a little over 7 years ago.  I don't need to mention that it is one of the most romantic locations to visit with your significant other as well.

Anyway, about this image - the quickest way to capture this image is to juice the ISO, put the camera on "P" for Professional and shoot away - right?  NO, not right.  As you ready yourself for the giant blast of the fountains finale, your camera is reading the density of the Bellagio Hotel in the distance - very much darker than the very bright fountain climax.  If you take the shot, the water is a stop or two overexposed.

The best way to shoot the fountains is to compensate by underexposing the scene about 11/2 stops.  That will give you a decent exposure of the fountains but a very underexposed hotel in the distance.

I chose to make my expose NOT at the fountain's climax but earlier   as the water was dancing to a much slower, less intense, but still interesting beat.  The variety of the water streams captured what I wanted to present in my image of the Bellagio Fountains without having to deal with the extremes of exposure.

So you can see, shooting the fountains is not just a matter of shooting away on "P" mode.  To get the best image, you still need to think it through for best exposure and composition.

If you have not had the opportunity to visit Las Vegas and experience the fountains, here a YouTube link to several videos that let's you enjoy them in all their spender.  Just click on any of them and enjoy the amazing show.

Camera specs:  Canon 7D fitted with 18-200mm IS lens at 18mm, F5.6 @ 1/60 second, ISO 3200.  Enjoy!  -David

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