I spent four days in Las Vegas. I went to Red Rocks and hiked the Mojave Desert. I ate at the baddest buffett in town, saw the best show in town, and in the words of Hunter Thompson, went looking for the american dream. The exhaustion that would put me in the hospital in San Francisco had already begun so I had a hard time keeping pace and doing what I wanted to do but I still saw the town. I was dealing with feet blisters too so that was an issue. I had hoped to explore it more.
My best day was my last. I dropped in to old vegas on foot during a mild sandstorm and walked for a few miles, trying to find the spirit of the place. I tried to shoot the glitz and grandeur of the strip during the evenings but that bored me quick. I’m not showing you most of those images.
When I travel I have questions. I want to understand what defines a place and what relationships people have with that place. Sometimes I shoot landscapes or studio work but when I have the most fun is when I can embed in an area and find its essence. It starts as an analytic journey but the process of walking and shooting is emotional. I like to walk for hours and feel my way through an environment.
I tend to focus on environments but my interests are shifting to people. I enjoy being a ghost, somehow alien to an environment. This is not conducive to engaging and photographing people. It is a side of my street photography that I want to explore.
The weirdest thing that happened in Vegas was when I was shooting one of those kitschy wedding chapels during the middle of the afternoon. The wind and sand were shaking the street when I walked past a young black woman pushing a baby carriage. She was holding out a pink baby bottle and trying to communicate with me but I was getting zoned by this native american flute music. I pulled out my earphones and she asks me to feed her baby for a dollar. I was confused so I asked again and she indeed wanted me to pay her a dollar for the honor of feeding her baby. So I did. I stood there in the street feeding this baby while she smiled at me. Wasn’t the cutest baby but not ugly either. Seemed well taken care of so after a minute I said “good luck” and kept on walking and taking photos. About 10 minutes later I realized that I’ve done some wild things during the previous couple of months but this was pretty fucking weird. From that point on my trip out west began to go downhill.