My kids have grown used to lots and lots of activities thanks to their mother, who takes them out multiple times each day. Because of this, we are always looking for something easy to do for an evening. When I learned how close to Las Vegas the Seven Magic Mountains are, it was a no brainer for an evening trip. Throw in the bonus of being able to shoot a great sunset and the evening outing was a huge success.
how i made the image
Surprisingly, the Seven Magic Mountains were quite busy. There were probably 50 or so people wandering around the towers taking selfies. I imagine it is a popular stop for anyone traveling between Las Vegas and Los Angeles or San Diego since it is right of the freeway.
To make this image without any people in it, I took about 40 images over a 20 minute period while the kids played. I then loaded all those images into my computer to let Photoshop and let it do the work of removing people. This trick is one of my favorites in Photoshop. If you go to File > Scripts > Statistics, select median and then use the browse button to add all the images into Photoshop. Photoshop then goes through all the images and removes anything that isn’t present in all the images. So, as people walk around between images, they create a difference between images and are removed. You will likely still have some small clean-up to do, but it does most of the work for you. For this image, I had about 4 people that apparently did not move much between my shots so I had to clone them out. Cloning those four out was a whole lot easier than cloning out the probably thirty people that would have been present in an individual image.
how to get there
The Seven Magic Mountains are located on S. Las Vegas Boulevard, 11 miles south of the M Resort and Casino. You can get there by just going out S. Las Vegas Boulevard, but it is faster to take the freeway most of the time. From I-15, you want to take the Sloan Exit, which is just south of SpeedVegas and just north of the traffic inspection station. From the exit, head east on Sloan, then turn south (right) on S. Las Vegas Boulevard. It will be 7.8 miles from Sloan. Luckily, the Seven Magic Mountains are just off the street and it is impossible to miss seven giant multi-colored towers standing above the flat desert. From the parking area, it is a short, flat walk to the towers.
the seven magic mountains
The Seven Magic Mountains are the product of famous Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. The exhibition is set to remain for only two years. I do not know when the end is scheduled, but I have to think you will want to get out there soon to not risk missing it. Also, if you are seeing this sometime after it was written in March, 2018, it would be worth calling 702.381.5182 to see if the exhibit is still up.
The seven towers are each 30-35 feet high and made from locally-sourced boulders. There are very small signs along the path informing you that you can learn more information about the artist and the Seven Magic Mountains by calling the phone number above.
You should be aware there are no facilities on site. These are literally just in the middle of the desert so you will not find bathrooms, drinking fountains or anything else. The website says commercial photography (which annoyingly means using a tripod or flash) is prohibited, but I did not see any signs at the location (I also didn’t look for any). Obviously, I used a tripod the entire time I was there without a problem. Since the artist has rights to the exhibit, he would probably be successful against you if you make a bunch of money off your image. As always, consult your own lawyer for legal advice.
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