One of the most well known prisons in American history, perhaps even the world, Alcatraz has a vibe unlike any other tourist destination in the city. The federal prison on Alcatraz Island in the chilly waters of California's San Francisco Bay housed some of America's most difficult and dangerous felons during its years of operation from 1934 to 1963.
Among those who served time at the maximum-security facility were the notorious gangster Al "Scarface" Capone (1899-1947) and murderer Robert "Birdman of Alcatraz" Stroud (1890-1963). No inmate ever successfully escaped The Rock, as the prison was nicknamed, although more than a dozen known attempts were made over the years.
Taking a look through a camera, one of the daunting things about this facility are the light conditions…although I’d much rather deal with that, over having to actually spend time locked up in this concrete and steel box!? I’ve attempted to bring out some of the detail in the darker areas, which exposed a lot more of the digital noise. I’ve intentionally left that aspect untouched, I feel it adds to the raw and gritty nature of this location.
With yesterdays posted picture in mind, I thought I’d put together a few shots featuring perspectives…and this long row of tiers felt to have a view fitting that idea.
Thanks for taking a look.
Critiques | Translate
timecapturer (36978) 2013-06-10 4:11
did this tour a long time ago and it is an amazing experience. Losing colour is an effective way to convey the atmosphere and melancholy of this place. Superb composition and presentation. Excellent work!
Have a great week - Brian.
Sergiom (45308) 2013-06-10 4:34
Cette prison mythique est superbement exposée dans cette composition.La symétrie est parfaite et donne beaucoup de profondeur à l'ensemble.Les visiteurs fournissent une belle relation dimensionnelle. Le noir et blanc donne une allure vintage.
CPD66 (752) 2013-06-10 4:37
i have seen this shot in so many films, some of them were in B&W as well. i know prison isn't supposed to be a nice place to be but this looks really bleak. none of the in cell toilets or the other amenities afforded in mates in modern prisons.
ikeharel (43903) 2013-06-10 8:15
For some unexplained reason, I avoided a visit to this place, back in 8/1978.
Your choice of B&W gave grace to the place, to my humble opinion.
Good DOF along the corridor, handled well the difficult light.
danos (78040) 2013-06-10 11:42
nice the B/W scene from one of the corridors of the prison,this of Alcatraz.I like the created atmosphere with the visitors to make the image more humane.
jemaflor (74044) 2013-06-10 12:33
Interesting depth and perspective with these lines, good visual impact and contrast in b&w.
ACL1978 (6497) 2013-06-10 12:42
Hey Jason - You're absolutely right that the gritty, noisy feel here suits the subject perfectly, as does your B&W treatment. In this perspective the cells seem to stretch out forever, and I'm sure that's often how it felt for the criminals who were incarcerated in this horrible place. The tourists with you also enhance that perspective, especially the two walking at right.
Alcatraz has certainly had a fascinating career - a military encampment, a prison, the subject of the Red Power takeover in the 70s, and now a national historic site and common tourist destination. You give us bits of that history here. Thanks!
adidas5nb (2863) 2013-06-10 19:51
that is a very nice shot enhanced and supported by your note.great choice for b n w and even i dont mind the grains.really nicely managed light and the pov and depth are fantastic.
macjake (45574) 2013-06-10 20:55
Oh...Alcatraz!! I remember this spot very well.
It was SO hard to photograph in this Prison, so hard!
I came back and was very disappointed in my shots....you?
good shot with the long perspective lines, and depth. I also like the guy directly in the middle of the scene - pretty cool.
well done, and thanks for the memories.
Royaldevon (21379) 2013-06-11 0:19
Your strong viewpoint processes us rapidly through the very austere, mind-blowing repetitiveness of the block. There is an atmosphere; even the focal couple have a sombre air.
I think it was a good decision to go for b&w, it promotes the sense of age, of sensory deprivation.
Have a good day,
krzychu30 (12605) 2013-06-11 3:16
B&W conveys really well the atmosphere of Alcatraz.Amazing when we think about so many "famous residents" like Al Capone,who were locked up here.
I agree also with you about the gritty look of the image-in combination with monochrome color scheme it intensify only this scary and cold atmosphere of this place.I like also the long perspective created so excellently by the upper tier.
Magnificent and very atmospheric shot my friend!
Wish You a nice day
Noel_Byrne (13234) 2013-06-14 10:53
This is a place I have always admired from afar (nothing to do with building it in Sim City, I swear!!), and this is a unique shot of it. While normally, I would try a shot like this with no people, I have to say, the people work wonderfully in this, as they seem almost ethereal and ghost like in this shot, almost visions of the past. The long lead in of the straight lines enforces the harshness of this place, and the black and white was a perfect choice!
Fascinating shot of a rather unsettling place, nicely done.
serp2000 (33061) 2013-06-17 2:39
this is very familiar view, I remember this (or similar) cooridor as a scene of the numerous movies. ( and "No One Like You" too)
I don't want to talk about prisoners and their lifes today, but this is good presentation of the legend. Clever b&w version. I think there is not so rich colors indeed.Best wishes from sunny hot Ural,We have +30 C and this is enough for me here )))
delpeoples (48576) 2013-06-17 4:40
A shot that makes an impact. There is something really menacing about this photo, I'm not sure whether it's just the history of the place, or whether it's your choice of B&W and the effect of the strong sunlight in the top half of the image. The human presence is absolutely necessary, adding that extra element to add to the interest. Superb symmetry and perspective created by the radiating lines. A cleverly composed and well-judged shot. Congratulations.
have a lovely day
kordinator (14795) 2013-07-01 0:29
Nice view on one of the most well known prisons.
Interesting black & white composition.
Excellent perspective, and contrast.
Good work, nice place shown.