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  • Writer's pictureCameron Grant

What a difference a year makes...

Updated: Sep 8, 2023


THE BREAK

I’m going to start with the present and work back.

You probably don’t care what happened 15 years ago anyway so, what is up with my work and HDR photography in general in mid 2023? Some very cool stuff and yes, AI is a part of that too.


I’m coming off a break.


What started as an intentional and deliberate 1 year hiatus during Covid turned into nearly a 3 year self-imposed exile from the craft that I love so much. I can’t explain why but it happened, and it’s now over.


Regardless I’m back and I’m armed for bear.


For 15 years I’ve been dreaming about photographing Las Vegas from above. During that time I’ve been up on every high rise in town, every radio tower in the area, every mountain that you can see from The Strip many of which I’ve spent the night on, and or course my perennial ‘favorite fun time photography adventure’: BOOM LIFTS!


You know those things they work on cell phone towers with? Yeah those things.


I can’t explain what I love about them so much other than to say that driving a machine worth $250,000 around that weighs 29 tons in order to take pictures has been one of the recurring highlights of my career. Being able to get pretty much anywhere that the arm on those things can reach (and some of them are quite long) is a thrill not for the faint of heart. They swing around up in the wind, you can see through the floor which only adds to the vertigo, and generally they are just super dangerous and ecstatically fun.


My boom lift images are some of my best work that I’ve produced and I can still drive the shit out of one when given the chance.

Wanna go for a ride?


THE DRONE

All that all changed in December of 2022 however when I realized a 10-year dream of buying my first real camera drone. I had been waiting for the cameras on these things to catch up to ‘real cameras’ and they finally have, they’ve surpassed them in some ways too and they’re only going to get better as we move forward.


Concurrent with that purchase and as I began learning the rules of aerial photography around Las Vegas I quickly realized that I was going to have to get my FAA Part 107 Drone Pilots License in order to be allowed to shoot what/where I saw in my head which lets face it is The Strip. I need my pilot's license.


So I did that too.


Now, with proper permission I am allowed to fly pretty much anywhere I can imagine, safely, legally and in full view of both ATC and Metro watching my every move. It truly is a dream come true.


The first time I got approved to fly on the strip I started crying, I still get all choked up when the message comes across “approved” and I know that yet again I’m being allowed to go where few other people can , and even if they do, they don’t have my gift anyways.

It’s a privilege that I do not take lightly, these things are not toys, they are actual aircraft and public safety is everyone’s goal, especially when flying 400 feet next the strip on a Saturday night near a crowd. Watch this space.


GREAT LOSS

2022 was a very rough year for me.

For many of us the lock-down year of 2020-21 was the rough one but for me it was 2022.


I lost my home to a fire in May but saved my kitties and my hard drives, and then in September the unthinkable happened: My fiancé and love of my life Dawn Marie passed away unexpectedly.

I was destroyed.


It was a one-two punch that left me gasping for air.

I fell into a deep depression and only clawed my way out of the bottle of vodka that I had fallen into when I bought the drone and woke up once again to the blessing.

This one simple object, this one dream has given me a hope and a purpose again. I have a gift that I had briefly forgotten but I have awakened with a clarity and conscious focus that is going to redefine photography here in Las Vegas, again.


THE WORD

How do I know this?

Because they have already told me, and who are ‘they’ you ask?

Angels, they’re 100% real and they walk among us.

They run this show, we don’t know jack shit.


Oh and the images that I'm now producing??

They’re going to make your eyes fall out of your head.

I’m about to start a fresh installation downtown at The Container Park and I’m going to go broke printing big metal for it. I don’t care either because I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life than my photography and of this gift.

It’s what I’m supposed to be doing.

They said so, so it’s going to happen.


BE KIND

That’s it for this one! Be kind to each other always and CALL YOUR MOMS!

Love to everyone, everywhere,

Cameron

June 2023

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