HIPPIE SAILOR WASHES UP IN THE DESERT
My name is Craig Morgan Butelo. I came to Las Vegas three years ago as a homeless Veteran. I found a camera in a box. I wanted to use it but the directions overwhelmed me so I put it back in the box.
Eventually, I took the camera out on the street and experimented with the different settings. My pictures were so bad that I thought that the camera must be broken. However, I could see something hidden in the pictures that I believed could be beautiful. I just needed to find a way in which to capture the beauty and bring it out. I am not the "artsy fartsy" type but I was falling in love with my pictures; even the bad ones intrigued me. Las Vegas is a dynamic city and I wanted my pictures to move, to walk right off the page. I wanted them to look like paintings. I think that it must be like being a parent that has a less than beautiful child. You love the child anyway. Actually, perhaps you love that child even more.
Finally, I got a job as a security officer. It was the perfect job because my shift ended at midnight. I was able to ride my bicycle up and down the Las Vegas Strip and through back alleys to get the right views of the city as its lights lit up the night sky. Sometimes the cold wind would blow so hard that I thought it was moving the buildings.
I have photographed most of the hotels and casinos, but my favorite one is the Stratosphere, because it can be viewed from 360 degrees. It can be seen from the I-15 Freeway, from the track homes in the east, all the way to the I-95 freeway.
Just in case you are wondering . . . yes the Stratosphere does move.
Craig Morgan Butelo