Tag Archives: photography

Naked in Las Vegas

Greg Friedler is a fine art photographer.  Translated, he has a passion for capturing unique still photo scenes.  But his other finely honed artsy ability is taking photographs of willing people posed clothed and naked in front of a studio canvas. 

Las Vegas, undisputed City of Sin, was squarely in his camera’s viewfinder years ago and is now part of a documentary film, “Stripped: Greg Friedler’s Naked Las Vegas,” by David Palmer, which will premier in March 2010 and is planned to be on Showtime for two years. 

Their creative effort started in 1973, working from scratch and with no confirmed photo subjects nor even a confirmed location to shoot, Denver, Colorado-based avant-garde photographer Friedler and Los Angeles-based filmmaker David Palmer embarked on a multi-dimensional and highly emotional 30-day Las Vegas roller coaster ride, that would eventually bring together 173 naked human beings of every shape, size, and walk of life. 

Participants in the project entered a small white room with a red curtain and opened themselves up, literally, for what eventually became “Stripped: Gred Friedler’s Naked: Las Vegas,” baring not only their naked bodies, but, equally important, a bit of their inner souls. 

In 2008, with a pre-release copy of Greg Friedler’s book “Naked Las Vegas” in hand, David Palmer would journey back to Las Vegas and follow up interpersonally with 40 of the book’s true-life characters whom he had documented during Friedler’s initial Las Vegas shoot.  What would become apparent was that not only had the city of Las Vegas gone through very drastic changes, so too, on multiple levels, did the people whom Friedler and Palmer had photographed. 

Through Palmer’s discerning lens, which at times becomes so humanizing that even clothed, the film’s characters feel more naked than ever; viewers are privileged to see what happens when everyday human beings stripped of clothing, comforts and society’s judgments discover an even playing field of beauty, humanity and ultimately self love. 

The variety of visual candy is amazing.  From a homeless man who strips himself of his past regrets to find employment, a home of his own, and along with it his dignity; to a hermaphrodite couple exposing the truth that beauty and love can be shared beyond social stigmas; to an Elvis impersonator nakedly confronting his own lack of trust in society and finding faith in others by keeping his own commitments, “Stripped” prevails by sharing an honest, true story of ultimate triumph over what may seem like insurmountable social and personal odds. 

In our society that is overwrought with an obsession for money, fame and beauty, this collective of unique and sometimes bizarre individuals, living in one of the world’s most infamous cities, shows all of us it is possible to grow from crisis, to find the betterment of humanity through vulnerability, and ultimately be uplifted and inspired by the triumphs of coming to terms with who we all really are.

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Silver Slipper Gets New Las Vegas Home

The famous neon slipper once sat atop of the historic Silver Slipper Gambling Hall, a part of the Last Frontier Village, a replica of an old western town that was once located on Las Vegas Boulevard in Las Vegas.  

Silver Slipper neon signAlthough the Silver Slipper opened in 1950, the sign did not go up until the 1960s. The Last Frontier became the New Frontier, which was eventually absorbed into the Frontier. The slipper was designed by Jack Larsen, Sr., a designer at Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO). The sign is 12 feet high and 17 feet wide. The slipper’s main body contains 900 incandescent light bulbs, with about 80 more in the bow. 

The slipper is part of Las Vegas’ $1.1 million Neon Sign Improvement Project that includes three vintage neon signs placed in the heart of the Cultural Corridor.  It was refurbished and set into place on the median island of Las Vegas Boulevard, located just south of Washington Avenue in what is called the Cultural Corridor of Las Vegas by eight workers from Ultra Signs on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009 at approximately 11 p.m. after first being refurbished by Rafael Construction. 

The slipper is the last of three Las Vegas vintage signs to be set in place on the corridor, following the Bow & Arrow Motel sign set into place north of Bonanza on Aug. 24 and, a week later, by the installation of Binion’s Horseshoe sign north of Washington Avenue.  New landscaped median islands are also being installed. 

City crews will now work to provide power and conduct a series of tests prior to the signs being officially put into service. 

The cultural corridor is made up of the highest concentration of cultural institutions in Las Vegas and includes Cashman Center, the Las Vegas Library, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, Lied Discovery Children’s Museum, The Neon Museum, the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park and the Reed Whipple Cultural Center.

Please watch the video of the installation:

http://video214.com/play/0IFyBBBcRJhslXBK3V5KOw/s/dark/

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‘Peepshow’ in Las Vegas not for Camera Peeking

Scandalous photographs recently snapped at a risqué Las Vegas show have raised questions about technology versus security. 

The photos were of performer Aubrey O’Day in topless revue “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood. AubreyODay

Between cameras and cell phones, pictures can be easily snapped and even full length movies can be recorded — causing rising concerns now to producers and performers. 

The pictures taken were not suitable for children and were something the performer did not want to see surfacing on the Internet. 

“I decided to call out tonight because of some nude photos that were illegally obtained last night at the show,” O’Day said.   

O’Day cancelled an appearance earlier this week after the nude pictures circulated the Web. She later posted a video on YouTube addressing the candid photos. 

“It made me feel bad. It made me insecure about my body,” O’Day said. 

Security officials said they are not sure how the photos were captured. “We don’t allow any cameras in the theater,” said vice president of BASE Entertainment Marks Chowning. 

But even with all the security detail and bag checks, many devices still do sneak inside. 

Chowning works for the company that manages “Peepshow” and said it’s a problem that’s getting tougher to handle.  “It’s somewhat of a losing battle. As you know, the devices are getting smaller and better equipped with more technology,” Chowning said. 

At almost every Las Vegas show, nude or not, recording is forbidden.  Knowing it’s almost impossible to stop everyone, “Peepshow” uses trained eyes and even night vision goggles to weed out clandestine photographers. 

“We will be more aggressive about watching the audience. We will have the night vision goggles in use, and people who are found in violation of the policy will be ejected from the theater,” Chowning said.  “Really trying to protect what the women want protected, which is not having naked pictures of them strewn about the Internet,” Chowning said. 

O’Day has since returned to “Peepshow” after sitting out one night. The show opened earlier this year.

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Penn & Teller, Harrah’s Entertainment Give Back to Las Vegas

Comedy-magic duo Penn & Teller will present Goodwill of Southern Nevada with hundreds of men’s and women’s business suits that were collected throughout the Harrah’s Entertainment properties. The event starts at 11 a.m.  April 15 at the Penn & Teller box office in the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. pennandteller

The event’s purpose is to raise awareness of Harrah’s Entertainment’s ‘Giving Back to the Community’ resource fair that focuses on professional and personal development on Thursday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  at the Rio Pavillion Ballroom in the Rio Convention Center at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. 

Workshops and presentations planned for April 16 include opportunities to improve skills in job searching, health and wellness, nutrition, and create awareness of financial and community resources available.  Highlights include resume review, interview practice and feedback, free mammograms, health screenings and dental checks, healthy cooking demos and more than 30 organizations that provide services to Las Vegas. 

Both events are free and open to the public.

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Indian Petroglyphs never had it so good

Kevin James Manix, 58, born in Boulder City, Nevada and now living in Henderson, Nevada, knows where all the great petroglyphs are in the Southwest– but he’s just not telling exactly where. petroglyphs

“I don’t tell people where these things are,” Manix said. “We’ve got to preserve them.” 

Mannix’s 35 primo photographs of them, though, weave an unbelievable story.  The photographs were taken between 2002 and 2007 and all feature ancient art – petroglyphs or rock art – and were taken at various places, including Grand Gulch in Utah, White River Narrows in Nevada, and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  For some, he walked 50 miles just to take one photograph. 

Mannix is sharing some of the images he has captured, once hidden and left by Native  Americans, in a Southwest Photography exhibit that runs through May 3 at the Rainbow Library Art Gallery, 3501 N. Buffalo Drive, in Las Vegas.

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Sky Holds Answer to Las Vegas Woes?

In this choking, restless economy, how do you draw better focus to your Las Vegas casino or hotel?  Simple:  Put a camera view on the side of your business.  

SkyTag, a building wrap design firm, has provided the ‘guiding light,’ draping two sides of the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas with an advertisement that mimics what you see when you look through the lens of your camera or video recorder.   

This “camera” is taking a photograph of the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign.  By using this local landmark as the centerpiece to the design, SkyTag has managed to not just focus attention on the Luxor but also focus attention on Las Vegas.  And with some luck, this campaign may just focus attention on SkyTag itself as a viable advertising alternative.

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Out with Miss America, In with Miss USA

No sooner than Miss America pageant contestants sashayed in and out of Las Vegas, then 51 Miss USA contestants strutted in to take their place at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.  On April 4 at 6 p.m. all the Miss USA contestants will have their first official welcoming ceremony, with the public invited to come out and meet, greet and photograph the bevy of beauties outside the resort on Las Vegas Boulevard plaza, 3667 Las Vegas Boulevard South. 

The iconic Donald Trump-owned Miss USA® Pageant returns for its second year to Las Vegas and the Theatre for the Performing Arts at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

Representing Miss Nevada USA will be Georgina Vaughan, who will have a brief four-mile drive from her home in georgiavaugnSummerlin to the festivities.   The local 20-year-old blonde beauty plans to wear a bikini from Jessica Simpson’s swimsuit line for that part of the competition and promises that she’s also going to take a risk with her evening gown competition as well.

“It’s definitely going to be something spectacular and different. I want to be a trendsetter because that’s what Nevada is all about in the first place. It’s going to have a real sparkle to it, but nobody will see it until the actual moment I walk in it for the competition.”

Rounding out the Las Vegas welcoming committee entourage will be Crystal Stewart, 2008 Miss USA®; Thomas McCartney, president and CEO of Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino; Lawrence Weekly, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Board of Director and Clark County Commissioner; and other dignitaries.  KLUC’s Chet Buchanan will be onsite as the local emcee.

If the mass meet and greet is just too bland for you, might want to consider attending the Sunday, April 5 pajama brunch at Simon at Palms Place from noon to 2 p.m.  Twenty-six Miss USA contestants will be in their jammies eating anything yummy.    Then that evening the high metabolism blessed lovelies will pig out on pasta at Buca di Beppo in Las Vegas and be entertained by chef Michael Miyahara.

There is no word on whether Katie Rees, Miss Nevada USA 2007, who was stripped of her title after racy photos emerged of her kissing other women, will show up to kibitz with the new flock of beauties.

Also, no blog postings are being planned about having fun at Guantanamo Bay, as happened when Miss Universe Venezulean beaty queen Dayana Mendoza visited the detainee camp with Miss USA 2008 Crystal Stewart and posted her late-March bombshell entry.  It quickly vanished and was replaced by a statement from embarassed Paula M. Shugart, president of the Miss Universe organization.

The 2009 Miss USA® Pageant will air live on NBC on April 19, 2009.

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