Thursday, April 22, 2010

Alcatraz #1

Rain. Lots of it. It was pouring, and yet we were booked to go to Alcatraz on the first ferry of the day. Therefore, we went!

Although people were getting soaked waiting in line for the ferry at Pier 33, and then were destined to get wet again walking from the dock on Alcatraz up to the main building, nevertheless the boat seemed full. In addition, it's clearly a popular spot for photographers on a Sunday morning because we weren't the only ones toting backpacks and tripods.

Upon landing, our photo group headed straight to the main cell block to begin shooting in the prison showers, which is basically the place where the tours start from. Given that it was wet then the normal course of events - tourists collect right on the dock where the boat lands to hear an introductory docent talk - wasn't really followed and it was clear that there would very soon be a lot of people milling around the buildings. Therefore, I headed off to photograph the main cell block before there were too many visitors a'visitin'. I found the above spiral staircase at the end of the block and spent quite some time shooting it from all angles, but liked the one above (and maybe one other I'll post too), even though it's a very functional, square-on sort of shot. To me, it's interesting because of its basic symmetry, offset by the mirror reflecting the prison cells in the adjacent corridor. Note, too, the difference between areas worn dark by the passage of countless footfalls in and those bits of floor, under the staircase, for example, where the stone looks much more pristine.

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