Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Alcatraz Trip
Thanks to April (AKTSE) for inviting me to go shooting with her and three other DGrin/Smugmug photographers on a fun trip to Alcatraz for a night time shoot.

Attendeesincluded myself, Cal(not a DGRIN member yet) ,AKTSE, Liquid Air, Schmoo and the rarely ever seen but still has a huge impact Zweiblumen. And yes to answer your questions I was extremely nervous to shoot with such talented photographers. How can you not when you take a glimpse at some of their awesome work.

Since AKTSE introduced me to IR camera's, I thought I would mainly use my new modified IR D80 camera. Below are some of the examples I was able to capture.

We departed pier 33 at 5PM and only had a couple of hours to go crazy and shoot at anything we can, except for those areas deemed restricted to tourists. Even then, someone in our group whom I can not recall(April maybe???), was able to convince one the park rangers to gives us a private guided tour of the underground dungeons.

This is were the original army fort's lower level was covered up by the newer prison but kept accessible. I am not quite sure how the newer prison used this area but originally it was used for the first fortress and military prison on the west coast.

This "lower" prison was used to hold Southern sympathizers/supporters during the Civil War, conscientious objectors during WWI, and a number of Native Americans, beginning in 1873.

OK, ok enough of the history stuff and onto the IR picture set.

First we have the view of the rock from our ferry. The tour included a trip completely around the island so we may see it from all sides. Very cool since the frst time and only other time I have gone to Alcatraz, the ferry went straight from SF to the Alcatraz with no photo opportunities.

As we all, 300 hundred people, disembarked from the ferry, we were herded to an open space to get the run down on a little history but more on the rules of the Island. Our group was particularly spoken to by one of the park rangers to explain that we must stay within the barricaded areas and will be immediately escorted off the island if we do not strictly adhere to the rules and stay out of the closed off areas. The Park Rangers here must practice racial profiling using tripods as one of those characteristics of rule breaking tourists.

While listening to the rules and regs of the island, my mind started to wonder and i happened to gaze over to see this site. I thought it was a cool scene and a great picture to represent new new inhabitants of the Island. Seagulls own this island as they are perched everywhere there is a ledge.

Walking up to the prison's main entrance I saw this little obscure room/shed that almost looks part of the surrounding landscape. When I looked into the room through severly scratched up plexiglass, I had a chill run up my spine. I did not realize this was the prison's morgue until I saw a little worn out sign hanging on the door.

I totally missed the opportunity to take pictures of the sunset due to trying to capture a shoot inside that just didn't work as well as I wanted. The spiral staircase is really cool looking in person but i was unable to capture it the way I wanted in a photo. Maybe next time

The rest of the shots here are ones from the private tour of the dungeon area that the nice park ranger took us on.

These last couple were took in the medical ward

So there it is. A few pictures from two hours of shooting in one of the most famous prison's in the world.

I hope you enjoy the pics and stories as much as i enjoyed shooting with some very talented photographers.

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