The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada

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I’ve been to Las Vegas a number of times over the years, but the place has never clicked with me. I last about two days before I feel the need to get the heck out of there. Maybe it’s because nothing is the genuine article in Vegas (even most of the trees are plastic). Or maybe it’s the quiet desperation I see on many of the faces.

The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino
The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada

Despite all this, I keep finding reasons to go back. This time it was to visit Death Valley and see friends.  Our Vegas luck started with a comp for a suite at the new Cosmopolitan – which is like a New York boutique hotel on steroids. You only need to see the three story chandelier in the lobby and casino floor to see what I mean. The entire hotel does a great job of masking the tacky side of Vegas with a vintage elegance.

I shot this just on the casino floor hand-holding my Phase One DF. I tend to shoot medium format like 35mm, just snapping away like it’s a Nikon DSLR. This time I cranked up the ISO to 400 to get the depth of field I wanted. Higher ISO is more of a problem for medium format cameras than for DSLRs due to the large sensor size. My digital back does pretty well at ISO 400, but I still wound up finishing the image in Photoshop after playing with a combo of noise reduction tools in Capture One and Topaz DeNoise 5.

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