(Now there’s a title. I could have called this “Look at the Pretty Sparkles!” but that would not have made me seem learned and scholarly and a big ol’ smartypants and stuff.)

At the Wynn Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, the entry area from the main valet area outside features a large glass dome. Just past the dome is a foyer with tall glass doors that open from the domed space on one side and tall glass interior domed skylight at Wynn Hotel & Casinodoors opening into the casino lobby on the other. The casino lobby itself features a large skylight (also featured are enormous balls of dried flowers, but that’s neither here nor there), so the overall effect is to brightly illuminate the foyer through the doors. On either side of the foyer, perpendicular to the doors, are two tall niches, each featuring a bronze statue. Behind the statue (and yes, we’re finally getting to the point of this little architectural tour), the niches, or alcoves, are lined with tiny mirrors (remember, this is Las Vegas, where most surfaces (and many of the people as well) are gold-leafed, shiny, sparkling with sequins, or sprinkled with buglebeads). The mirrors are rectangles, each about a quarter inch by a half inch.

And it is here, boys and girls, that our story begins. Because Your Intrepid Narrator spent a great deal of time standing a few inches from those little niches, focusing and refocusing and trying various techniques to capture the lovely display of light and color and reflected illusion of depth that was created on the surface of the mirrors as mid-afternoon sunlight streamed directly through the dome into the foyer, and the doors around me opened and closed and people walked past. The play of light and shadow and color and reflection on the little mirrored tiles was, well, pretty astonishing. What’s more, because the niches were pretty much semi-circular concavities, they not only reflected the light and people passing by, but the grid of mirrored tiles reflected itself as well. The result was an illusion of layers and depth, and the creation of really interesting light effects in my Nikon.

Here, for instance, the angle of the light passing through the doors as they swung open (or closed, I wasn’t paying attention), plus the concavity of the niches, and whatever objects were passing by, created what I swear look like disco balls, which were not there at all. (You can also make out bits of a door handle on the lower right, and a clear reflection of the corner of a curved wall on the lower left.)


The same surface took on different coloration and character, depending on how the doors were swinging open or closed, whether the mirrors picked up glimpses of lobby foliage, or what outlandish costume someone was wearing as they staggered into or out of the Wynn. It was mid-day, so only about a third of the passers-by were staggering, of course.

So that’s all, really. I just thought they were really pretty pictures, which the sort of blurry, focusless mottling that I usually assume is achieved largely through over-indulgence in Photoshoppery. Here, though, these photos are pretty much fresh out of the Nikon, with only modest Photoshoppery for croppage and clean-up.

I think the title of this blog may, in fact, be longer than the blog itself. And for that, I apologize. I also apologize for permitting something that happened in Vegas to, in fact, leave Vegas. So here I am, feeling very bad about it all:

Me, reflecting on my wicked ways.