Ahh, the Fountains of Bellagio. What a wonderful place to visit while in Las Vegas. With more than 1000 fountains spraying jets of water in patterns and choreographed to lights and music, it is no wonder why there are always crowds of observers lined up for each show. This is an entertainment experience for everyone with music genres such as jazz, opera, classical and pop, all meticulously assembled into outstanding short performances. You can see the current playlist here and show times below.
The fountains are set into an 8-acre manmade lake which provides great viewing positions so if you happen to be in town, swing by and experience one of the shows. By the way, this is in the public space and is totally free.
From 1955 to 1993 this location was the home of the historic Dunes Hotel and Casino, the tenth casino and resort to open on the now famous Las Vegas Strip. We’re talking historic ground here.
All of that aside, I really returned here to get some photographs of this magnificently designed building with its bold European-styled architecture, something I failed to accomplish on three previous visits. This time I made this a priority instead of allowing time to run out.
Thoughts Behind the Image
My plan was to capture the building with some of those wonderful waterscapes provided by the choreographed fountains, which meant I would be shooting quite a few frames in an attempt to capture something artistic. But first I had to position myself in order to get a well-balanced frame of the scene. To get the best spot, just hang around when the show concludes. Most of the crowd will be moving on at that point.
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The image above illustrates the challenge of fast changing lighting, in this case, resulting in some blown-out areas in the photo. Rather than chase the lighting by changing my settings I thought it best to let the lighting come to me.
Above, less water translates into less light and a better balanced image. I also like the fact that the water just reaches the height of the accent stones across the front of the building.
As I stood before this choreographed water show I was unexpectedly captivated by the shapes and patterns that were on display. Its not that I had never seen a variety like this, but rather, the fact that I was viewing the show through the camera made this a totally different experience.
In the shot above I captured a mound-like formation that was somewhat interesting, but I was looking for more.
In the final shot below, I found that the water somewhat mimicked a stage curtain and framed the building nicely. Overall, I like this one best.
By the time this 15-minute show was over I had taken more than 24 shots, from which I culled the ones posted here.
So what do you think, is there one that stands out more for you?
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