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Don’t Forget to Explore

Old Las Vegas with the New

When traveling for business, as I am this week to cover CES, it’s easy to become consumed with the event itself. And why not? The responsibilities associated with one’s job have to be the first priority. Plus, there are plenty of other distractions created by spontaneous get-togethers and the logistics of just finding your spots.

But over the years, I’ve also learned to add some extra time to my business trips. Getting in a day early is best. This provides time to recover from the travel itself. If something goes wrong, you still have an opportunity to go with Plan B to get you to your destination on time. And if things do go as planned, you have an extra day to explore.

And this is the real point. Who wants to know the great cities of the world only their luxury hotels? And that gets even more homogenized if you’re a rewards member. Marriotts look the same regardless of their location.

This year for CES, I used my monorail pass to travel all the way to the northern most stop, then explored the older parts of town. This Las Vegas is much different than the flashing lights and blaring music that dominate the southern end of The Strip.

I carried my Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with 14-42mm compact zoom in a discrete shoulder bag. For the camera settings, I chose RAW+Jpeg this day, and applied an Art Filter to the Jpegs. I wanted an older look for these images, something that conveyed the feeling of the people and buildings in my view.

These activities – augmenting the routine of business travel, exploring areas that I would have never attempted in the past, and trying new photography techniques that I never seem to have time for – these are what transforms a good business trip a great one.

"The Other Las Vegas" - Photos by Derrick Story

“The Other Las Vegas” – Photos by Derrick Story

Yes, I still have plenty of shots of high tech gear, the latest products, and crowded trade show floors. Those are necessary for my work.

But my photographs of old motels, wet pavement, and a far less glamorous life are the images that I’ll continue to enjoy long after I return home from Las Vegas.

Derrick Story is the photography evangelist for Rocky Nook Publishing.

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