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Harem Girl | by IronRodArt - Royce Bair ("Star Shooter")
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Harem Girl

"Harem Girl" in front of the old Aladdin Hotel, Las Vegas Strip, September 1976. (Click on image to enlarge it and view some of the shows on the marque -- this will take you down memory lane!)


In September 1976, I sent 10 days photographing the original Aladdin Hotel -- its rooms, restaurants, amenities, and this "Harem Girl" in front of their hotel. We were standing in the median between the six-lane Las Vegas Boulevard. Much of the traffic is stopped on both sides, (including a tour bus) because they think we are shooting a movie. (This is Hollywood's version of a harem girl. I often wonder what the Arab and modest Muslim world thinks of our scantily-clad version of a harem.)


1976 was my first year as a freelance photographer. This was my first assignment longer than two days of shooting. When I finished the assignment, I was surprised to find out that the hotel wanted to pay me in trade (room stay and restaurant meals) rather than in cash! Reluctantly, I accepted. My wife and I ended up only staying one night in their gaudy rooms (decorated in pink, purple, and gold -- just like the harem costume); and two years later they change management and refused to honor our trade agreement. Since that lesson, I have never accepted "trade" for payment unless it was something I wanted and something I initiated. Most of my trades have been with charities, and these arrangements always leave me happy.


Technical Stuff: Photographed with the Olympus OM-1 camera, using a 24mm Zuko lens and Ektachrome 64 film. Available light (no fill flash).


Royce's Photo History (a tutorial): This image is part of a new series I call, "Royce's Way-Back Photos". It's a 40-year review of my professional photography career. I hope you'll come along for the ride. I'll try to share at least one "way-back" image every other day (intermixed with my more current photos). Each image is a milestone in my career and most have an associated lesson or tip that may enrich your life as it has mine. This series will soon become a SET. You'll also be able to find this collection via the tag "royceswaybackphotos".


My new ebook, Milky Way NightScapes, gives extensive details on how to enhance the landscape foreground. Three other chapters cover planning, scouting, forecasting star/landscape alignment, shooting and post processing.


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Taken on August 24, 2010