Paris, Not Paris


Paris hotel, casino and shopping mall.

P

aris, France. Paris, Texas. There are 48 places named Paris in the world. I’d list them but you’d either get bored or crazy. There is this one. Paris on Las Vegas Boulevard, or as it is commonly called The Strip.

This Paris is a casino, hotel and underground shopping mall that is designed and decorated to look like the streets of Paris, maybe in the 1800’s.

Believe it or not I spend a lot of time in the shopping malls. When it’s ten o’clock in the morning and 112 degrees in the shade, I like the idea of spending time in air conditioning. I wonder at what cost to the environment all of the hotel-casinos’ air conditioning needs are being met.

I’m not going there today, Sunday.

Instead, I want to talk about the place.

They say that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. I do nothing that has to stay there. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke and I don’t gamble. Well, except or throwing a few coins in a slot machine as I pass through a casino.

I really only go there to do one thing. Photograph.

I like the color, the lights and the energy. I like the quirkiness and the oddities. I never stay on the strip because I’m usually there for at least three days and more like a business week. I stay in one of those long stay business hotels. There is more room and a place to cook a little. I can work, relax, eat and make coffee.

I’m up at dawn and work until about 10 am, I go underground until about 5pm and I work until about 9pm. That gives me a good breadth of lighting conditions. It’s a long day. Maybe 14 hours. But, that’s not all. When I’m “home” I download and back up my newly made images. I don’t look at them, or edit, but it’s important to move my images from SD cards to a portable hard drive. Using Photo Mechanic makes the process fairly fast and very painless.

I stay as long as I do because I often see a subject that needs light at a different time of day and that time has already passed. I make notes when I take a coffee break in those underground malls. I rarely eat down there because food is offered at casino prices.

Making photographs is fun, even for the most dreary of assignments. But, the work I do to support that is just that, work. I haven’t really researched it, but I’m pretty sure photography as a profession uses some form of the 80-20 rule. I only spend 20% of my time making pictures and 80% of my time wading through quicksand made of dog poop.

Graphic enough for you?

Happy Sunday. Go to church voluntarily before the Supreme Court makes you go.

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Published by Ray Laskowitz

I am a visual storyteller. I've been making pictures for some 40 years. I travel the world in search of the right image. in the right light at the right time. You can reach me by phone at 505.280.4686, or by email at Ray@Laskowitzpicturess.com or Pictures34@me.com. For a quick look at my work please go to www.laskowitzpictures.com.

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