How to take quality photos of casino interiors

To get a bright and juicy pictures of casino interiors of a decent technical quality in good light, photographers often do not need any special photographic equipment to work. It’s not even necessary to take a professional camera, you can get by with an amateur compact, also for certain purposes and built in the phone camera is suitable. But what if you need to take photos in low light or very weak, as is often the case in offline casinos? Although almost all casinos prohibit photo and video shooting, they still use the services of professional photographers for promotional purposes. Usually in such conditions the quality of photos suffers greatly. Why does this happen?

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Light is a fundamental element in photography, so when it does not reach the light-sensitive matrix element of the camera the picture will be of poor quality, blurry and with fuzzy borders. A natural solution would be to use an on-camera flash. You just need to use it wisely because in low light conditions a flash can provide a strong, intense stream of light that can cast too much light on the subjects, making them too bright, creating hard shadows and making the background unnaturally dark. Such lighting will destroy any idea of the picture, making it unusable for demonstration or any other purpose except to throw it in the trash.

A good solution when shooting with poor lighting is to use a remote camera flash. They are now available from a variety of manufacturers, for all systems, and are designed for different levels of photographer skill. By using the off-camera flash, you can control the light, directing it towards the desired direction – towards the side, or towards the ceiling for instance – thereby creating a soft, diffuse glow that envelops the subject and allows you to get the shot with high technical quality.

When you can’t use flash

While there are definite advantages to using a flash in certain situations, there are also situations where using a flash is prohibited. For example, many people do not allow flash photography.


During a poker tournament the players are concentrating as much as possible on the action, and any external noise, even from the flash, can affect the outcome. Organisers of such tournaments ask that players take photos while the camera is silent, with no additional lighting, to ensure that players are as comfortable as possible.

How to improve the quality of photos in low light

The easiest way to get the right amount of light onto the light sensor is to increase the ISO speed. Different cameras have different limit values, so of course a photographer can only rely on what’s available to his or her camera. Keep in mind that increasing the ISO setting results in colour noise in the picture which is difficult to get rid of in post-processing. The larger the size of the picture, the more visible the digital noise will be due to higher ISO sensitivities. That’s why one of the most common photography rules is to use the lowest possible ISO settings.

In a dark, dimly lit environment, such as a casino, you would definitely need to use almost maximum ISO settings and it could affect the results. You can get rid of this by using fast lenses with an aperture setting of f/1.2-1.8. The larger you can open the aperture, the slower the shutter speed is needed to get the exposure right.

Using the correct aperture value results in great-looking photographs with well defined backgrounds, sharp subjects, and an optimal depth of field.

What other ways are there to improve a photo?

If you want to take pictures in low light, you could use slow shutter speeds that allow you to keep the aperture open just long enough to let enough light reach the sensor for a proper exposure. It’s important to understand that this method is mostly suitable for static photography – landscapes, urban architecture, etc. Shutter speeds between 1/60th of a second are considered good values.

For slower shutter speeds a tripod or monopod can be helpful. It prevents natural camera shake, blurring of the image and makes it possible to find the best exposure for the elaboration of the entire image.

Another simple but important accessory to use when shooting on a tripod in low light or using slow shutter speeds is a shutter release cable or timer. You can avoid almost any camera wobble and the technical quality of your photos will improve. It’s sometimes the case that you don’t have a tripod handy, so to set the camera down on any stable surface, the remote shutter release can help you in such a tricky situation.

What not to do when taking photos in dim light

When the lighting is bad you should not use the zoom. If necessary move closer to the subject. In difficult lighting conditions, manual adjustments are more likely to help you get the right exposure. For instance, some Canon cameras have what’s known as a night photo mode in their automatic modes. It should be used with caution as the camera doesn’t have eyes, it will simply calculate the brightest area that is in the viewfinder and use it to make the exposure. This means you’ll end up with gaps in the shadows and an overly bright or bright foreground.

Lastly of course, I want to tell you to take some practice shots before you get down to basic shooting. By experimenting with different settings, the photographer will decide which correction to use in any given situation. To understand this – study your camera thoroughly, listen to the advice of veteran photographers and take as many pictures as you can! Only this combined approach will quickly lead you to visible results and quality photos.

The most beautiful casinos in the world

For decades now, casinos all over the world have been hugely popular with the public.

They generate good profits for their patrons, which is why they are always trying to think of something new and original in the interior and exterior design of the buildings. Some casinos excel in luxury, some in scale, some in extravagance. Here are some of the most beautiful ones.

Bellagio (Las Vegas, USA)

Surely not only one of the most beautiful, but also one of the most famous casinos in the world. The Bellagio was built in 1998 for a whopping $1.6 billion. There are over 200 tables for players to play at. The most prestigious poker tournament is the World Poker Classic.

There is also a concert hall, where the famous Cirque du Soleil regularly gives concerts. There are rooms for visitors of all tastes and colours, and the number of rooms is approaching the 4000 mark.

You may have seen this casino hotel in many films, here are some of them: Rush Hour 2, Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Thirteen, Once Upon a Time in Vegas.

Baden-Baden (Baden-Baden, Germany)

Probably the oldest casino in Old Europe, the year of foundation is 1809. Entrance fee is 5 Euros. There is a special dress code for men – a jacket and a shirt. Jackets can be rented at a cost of €8.

Many travel agencies line up special tours to visit this famous casino in Baden-Baden.

Did you know that Dostoevsky, our great writer, visited the casino in Baden-Baden? It was here that he lost his money, and swore to his wife not to gamble anymore. For the last 10 years of his life Dostoevsky really didn’t gamble any more. It was this painful experience that led the great Russian writer to write The Gambler, in which he and his wife were the prototypical protagonists.

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Marina Bay Sands (Singapore)

The Marina Bay Sands Casino surpasses even the famous Bellagio in Las Vegas. The entire $8 billion was spent on its construction. It’s not just a casino, but a lot of different attractions. It’s more of a complete tourist complex, but the casino itself is the jewel. It is spread over three floors and there are new slot machines and 500 tables for different table games.

It’s a beautiful place. And most importantly, the creators cleverly combined the concept by combining a hotel, an unusual pool and a casino under one roof. It is now a tourist attraction attracting thousands of visitors every year. It is a very effective concept, turning a hotel and casino into a landmark in the city and country.

The complex has more than 2500 rooms, so anyone could be accommodated. Each room has been tastefully designed by some of the leading designers in the world. Another feature of the Bellagio Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is the Sands SkyPark, a rooftop terrace overlooking the skyline of Singapore at night.

Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco

The Casino de Monte Carlo, built in the heart of the Principality, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful casinos in the world. The establishment opened in 1865. The man behind the opening of the casino was François Blanc, founder of the Société des Bains de Mer (SBM).

This businessman from Provence was hired personally by Prince Charles III of Monaco. His aim was to make the Principality more attractive to tourists and wealthy foreigners. Hotels were built around the Casino de Monte-Carlo (including the famous Hôtel de Paris) as well as villas and gardens (such as the Place du Casino).

In 1878, the SBM asked the French architect Charles Garnier to design a concert hall adjacent to the Casino, inspired by the Paris Opera. After six months of continuous work, the Monte-Carlo Opera House opened in January 1879.

Success was not long in coming: the casino’s gaming rooms, gardens and terraces had to be enlarged due to the huge influx of people. Within 20 years the Principality had become famous and attracted the elite of the world: princes and princesses, emperors, dukes and notorious landlords came to gamble.

Monaco was a financial success but in countries where gambling is illegal campaigns against ‘monstrous acts of Monaco hell’ continue.

The Monte Carlo casino, designed in the style of the Belle Epoque, consists of seven gaming halls. There are also slot machine rooms and private lounges open only to the most prestigious customers. There are also two restaurants: the cosy Salon Rose and the refined Train Bleu, open only in the evening.

The Casino de Monte-Carlo offers a unique setting, surrounded by its gardens. There is an incredible terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

The building is known for its sumptuous decor with paintings, stucco, sculptures and gilding, as well as stained glass recreating the Grimaldi dynasty history. Some of the rooms are lit by monumental Bohemian crystal chandeliers: each weighing over 150 kg. The bar and ceiling of the White Room are decorated with mosaics. It is in this room that you can find a painting depicting three famous courtesans: Cleo de Merode, Liane de Pugy and Belle Otero. The latter, ravaged by huge expenses, would end her existence thanks to a pension paid by SBM.

This legendary place with its exceptional architecture has been used more than once as a film set. The film Never Again of the iconic James Bond saga was shot here in 1983. Scenes from the 1995 Bond film ‘GoldenEye’ starring Pierce Brosnan were also shot here. As well as Gad Elmaleh’s Koko (2009) and Fast and Furious 5 (2011).

Venetian Macao

If you want to indulge yourself in an extremely large casino, you need to get to Macau and go to the “Venetian”. Even Las Vegas doesn’t have a casino of this size. There are two possibilities: either the owners simply suffer from gigantomania, or it really is incredibly profitable. Most likely, a pre-designed business plan favoured the latter assumption. Otherwise, it is difficult to imagine why one would start such construction, not because of vanity. Although, it seems that someone wanted to demonstrate exactly the luxury.

Even the entrance to the casino is peculiar; to enter Venetian Macau one has to cross a bridge over an artificial canal. After that the guest is in for another treat – inside the shopping mall, which is part of the entertainment complex, gondolas travel through the canals. The role of the gondoliers is performed by the Chinese and it is a hilarious sight.

“Venice”, a Macau attraction, can hardly be called a building – it is a huge city block under one roof: 4 thousand slot machines, 850 gaming tables, a hotel with 3 thousand seats, over 350 shops and 30 world-class restaurants, a conference hall with a capacity of 1800 people and a cinema and concert hall with 15 thousand spectators. There is only one building on the ground larger than “Venetian Macao” – the Boeing aircraft factory. There are always plenty of people in Venetian, some come just to gawk, but it is extremely difficult to resist the game, so everyone leaves their Macao currency there.

Another interesting aspect is the beauty contests and carnival-like ceremonies that are held there at the end of May. The restaurants are great as well. Even if the casino gets you completely naked, the memories are unforgettable. It is difficult even to imagine such beauty, and to visit … By the way, the entrance is free.

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There are hundreds of cafes, bars, bistros, performance areas waiting for the visitors of this biggest in Asia and second biggest in the world, where every 45 minutes the best dancing and circus groups from all over the world give a new concert. Everything is done to make sure that even a hopelessly broke casino goer leaves in a good mood and gets a charge of positive emotions. Then he’s sure to come back and bring his money back.

The scale with which this entertainment and play city is set up under the roof is stunning – it’s as if the organisers have taken a piece of the real Venice and brought it to Macau. With a ‘sky’ carefully painted by Italian artists, St Mark’s Square, Bridge of Sighs, pure Venetian fountains, golden statues, frescoes and of course real canals with gondolas sliding in the water. Gondolas can be ridden for families and tourists from all over the world are happy to do this, much to the delight of children. It’s a lively, festive atmosphere that lasts around the clock, with no interruptions for an hour.