Tag Archives: Neon Boneyard

Sunset on the Neon Boneyard

This shot was one of the last taken while photographing the Neon Boneyard in Las Vegas.

The sun had begun to sink its head to the horizon… the light at this time of the day is just magnificent. It’s soft and palpable… you can feel it kissing everything it touches.  Just privileged to have a camera in hand in moments like these…

Neon Boneyard Sign

Pulled this one from one of the archives of shots I took while running around the Neon Boneyard in Las Vegas. I’ve blogged about this place before… amazing place where all the old signs from the casinos and hotels go to “heaven” I guess. They are stacked about a fenced in property for photographers and movie folk to come see (at a price of course). this was a quick snap of the Las Vegas club sign. It’s seen better days no doubt.



Another macro shot from the Neon Boneyard. The sun had begun to sink in the late day so the shadows began to grow a bit longer and more pronounced. It was intriguing to see these lights in perfect shape, disrupted by broken or missing ones scattered throughout the pattern. My photog buddy Ron is big on disruption in images 🙂 So when I saw this one, I drew inspiration from his comments and critiques of my prior postings.

Just a quick snap, and only some tonal contrast applied in post. That was it (besides adding the black border via Kubota’s action set!)… a different perspective of these larger than life signs.


Lights and Shadows (c) joseph Rowland 2009

Boneyard Details

I wrote the other day how different shooting the Neon Boneyard was from my usual landscape favorites. For the first few minutes I felt, well, uncomfortable that I wasn’t “seeing or feeling it.” The camera seemed foreign in my hand (which it never does) and as my eyes processed the signs, the framed compositions that usually run through my mind were absent.

A bit unnerving. To say the least… especially after paying for the time to shoot.

I switched gears from grand to small… from macro to micro and focused on the details of the signs. The bulbs, the color and textures, the vibrant script and fonts, the weathered paints and varnish wearing off. The story to be told was the memory of the these signs. To make them “noble,” even after their glory had faded and they lay now in disuse and disrepair in a desert graveyard.

So I set about switching the lens of my mind, and found small things that made me stare a minute longer, or caught my attention due to the light falling a certain way.

This is one of those images… and believe it or not it’s one of my favorites from the Boneyard shoot. I love the colors, the textures, the dent in the side of the metal swirl on the right side of the frame and the wway the sunlight makes the right side of the sign glow a little bit (as if it WANTED to be relit!).   I printed it big tonight (13×19) , and I’ll be sending it out to MPIX PRO (which I joined and will be reviewing when I receive my prints)… and I smiled as it rolled off my Epson. Just a great image that in one frame accomplished my goal of telling the story of the place I was so privileged to visit and capture.


Boneyard Swirl (c) Joseph Rowland 2009

Yesterday’s Stardust

At the Neon Boneyard the remnants of yesterday’s Vegas are strewn about the property… actually 2 properties. These Stardust letters were in the second Boneyard and were just begging for an HDR shot. Why? Shooting in the Las Vegas sun tends to blow things out rather quickly. This image was taken at almost 6pm and it was still fairly bright, but the sun was beginning to position itself a bit lower in the sky, and the signs helped block most of the strongest light.

I very much like the mirrored reflections of sunlight at the bottom left of the image. The sun was bouncing off the back of the signs and careening about… it seems to spill out of the sign itself. A nice little addition which I think, really helps pop the image.


P.S., I didn’t get a chance to say Thank You to Nancy the very helpful volunteer who guided me through the shoot. She had been a Showgirl for 12 years at the Stardust (I believe) and related the storied histories of the signs as we walked past them. It was a real treat to have met her.

Stardust at the Neon Boneyard (c) Joseph Rowland 2009