Monday, February 18, 2008

Vegas Skyline Photos Gone Wild!

Remember last year when I went on a rampage over the overuse of "What Happens Here Stays Here" and derivative cliches throughout the media? Well, I've spotted a new Vegas journalistic menace and I want your help stamping it out wherever it may rear its ugly head.

Outdated Vegas skyline photos. It's not quite as insidious as lazy writers thinking they're clever; I know photo editors in New York or elsewhere can't possibly keep track of what the Vegas skyline looks like right now. But they at least ought to be aware that it changes at least as often as their underwear and, thus, they should be alerted when they're using unforgivably old images. Indeed, they wouldn't send their relatives 3-year-old picture of their children and claim they represent their present-day appearance, so they should check the date before using some of the images they do.

Two case-in-points. The first one comes from my own piece on 2-3-08 in The New York Times about Vegas paparazzi:


I date this shot by the Times' Jim Wilson to at least 2006, based on the old Aladdin being intact and the Boardwalk Hotel-Casino still existing. Of course, I welcome anyone who can get a more exact read on it. I did notify my editors, who told me they'd flag it in their archives and get something newer.

My second example comes off of Newsweek.Com, where this picture accompanied a 2-18-08 rave review of the Vegas-set novel-of-the-moment, "Beautiful Children" by Charles Bock.

Obviously, this image shot by Richard Cummins of the Corbis photo agency is a lot more egregious. Siegfried & Roy are still on the marquee at The Mirage, for God's sake. That means it dates at least back to 2003.

The irony of that one is that I went to the Newsweek site because I was fascinated by the photo that actually was published with the same review in the print edition. I didn't have any criticism of it, but I'm still having trouble determining the vantage point from which it was taken. Since it wasn't online, I scanned it in and I hope you can see it:

Miles and I both stared long and hard at this shot by W. Van Cappellen of Reporters/Redux Pictures. At first I think it was shot in a room at the Flaming-O, but then it doesn't explain the resort's full-bodied reflection overlaid on the southerly view of Las Vegas Boulevard south of Flamingo Road.

Anyhow, please point to way when you see the major media using stale Vegas skyline photos. It is a scourge and it must be stopped!

14 comments:

Ryan said...

My guess is that the mystery photo was taken on the walkway over the strip from Caesars to Barbary Coast (Bill's Saloon, whatever). The Bally's, Paris, and Bellagio are straight ahead. The Flamingo is a reflection in the plexiglass that lines the walkway. Thus, the reversal of the Flamingo Marquee.

rrsartist said...

Maybe the picture was used flipped from it's correct orientation.

Troy from Las Vegas said...

Didn't the S&R photo stay on the Marque for quite some time after the accident? I moved to Las Vegas 6/2004 and seem to remember seeing it there.

Anonymous said...

This stuff bugs the shit out of me also!! I watch season openers of CSI in 2007 and they are using aerials from like 2004 - drives me crazy!

Yes Troy, they were left on the marquee at The Mirage for almost a year afterwards as a sign of respect.

Hunter / RateVegas.com

Troy from Las Vegas said...

Thanks Hunter. That is what I thought I remembered.
I am agreeing with Ryan. I reconstructed the mystery photo using Google Earth and definetly it was taken from the bridge north of Flamingo facing south.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind the old photos. It makes the town seem interesting rather than the high-rise, everything looks the same, no more kitschy neon goodness, craphole it is becoming.

THE STRIP PODCAST GUYS said...

Anon: I *enjoy* looking at old skyline pix - in fact, I have a 2000 Millenial Vegas mousepad I'm using right now! -- but current ones should accompany current articles about Vegas unless the story itself is about other eras of the city.

-sf

Anonymous said...

It just seems to me that, if this town follows it's current trajectory, there would be little difference in the las vegas skyline versus any other large metropolitan area. In particular, areas North Strip where the similar looking Turnberry, FountainBleu, Hilton Vacation, etc don't scream "Vegas". The intention of the picture in those and other articles is to signal that the article is about Vegas. Some lame-ass high rise condos don't really send that signal.

THE STRIP PODCAST GUYS said...

Anon: An interesting view. I'm not sure that it's such a real danger, though. It's not like nondescript buildings are sprouting where the iconic themed buildings currently are, and in general these shots have been of the south part of the Strip anyway. CityCenter, I suspect, will not be a dull-looking addition to the skyline.

mike_ch said...

Agreeing with Anonymous, sort of. Any current picture of the Strip is filled not just with condo towers but also construction cranes every which way and most offensive of all the giant wraparound billboards.

The best current era skyline shot would be after Wynn opened. Palazzo was still a crane-less pit, the west side of the Strip didn't have many acres of dirt pit where the Frontier and Stardust used to be, and CityCenter was assembling around the outside edges of Boardwalk.

In that timeframe, the only real construction project on the Strip itself, I guess, is Augustus Tower. Which is fine, since Caesars has been non-stop jackhammers and renovations for decades.

Anonymous said...

But looking at what City Center replaced-nothing says iconic theming like the Boardwalk. It was a giant clown head! City Center, while I'm sure not dull, will just be a display of modern architecture. A display that is similar to those found elsewhere. Plenty of other cities have giant casino/hotel complexes, ours just happen to have them crammed up against each other. I suppose if that is what "current Vegas" is (cramped modern industrial architecture)....
Oh, I keep forgetting to sign in. It's Heather from Troy and Heather in Las Vegas.

GregoryZephyr said...

I'd say that first photo is even older than 2006 since by Spring of that year Aladdin was well along with its ill-advised (and short-lived) exterior blue paint job.

I saw an ad not long ago that showed a picture of Harrah's as the old showboat theme which was, what?, remodeled in 1996 or so. Wish I could remember what that ad was for but I remember thinking the picture was so old maybe they used it because it was out of copyright!

Anonymous said...

FYI A much clearer version of the picture in question can be found here: http://archive.reduxpictures.com/gps.aspx?pid=131332&aid=1

Anonymous said...

Reference the top photo, I seem to remember watching Fox one morning whilst on vacation in 2004 and they were taking the Mirage sign down and putting Danny Gans on there, I went twice to Vegas that year so it would have been either March or September.