Taken with Nikon D40 near Alcatraz, California on January 26, 2008. Aperture Exposure Mode, 30mm, 1/125 sec f/4.5, ISO 200, Nikon Raw Format. Edited in Lightroom 2.0.
I’m pulling another photo from our trip to Alcatraz today. There was just so much material to shoot, so many emotions, and so much history that everything became totally fascinating. As we cruised in on the “double decker” boat most of the visitors congregated on the upper deck (open air) while Julie and I stayed on the lower deck. The upper deck was extremely packed which really hinders the photographic process; the lower deck however, was almost empty (good start), and best of all, some of the windows could be opened! So I camped out at an island-side window and prepared to shoot.
We first passed the west side of the island which didn’t look to disarming in the nice and warm light of sunset. We circled the island and came back to the port on the south east side. The east side (shrouded in shadow) is where the eerie and scary feel of the island really jumps out at you.
As we passed by I made this exposure of the the old chapel and sally port (GPS Lat 37.827, Long -122.422). To be honest, I didn’t realize what I had until I got this photo into Lightroom and started playing with it. I increased the contrast and mid-tone sharpening to bring out the texture, blew out the light clouds in the sky using the adjustments brush, did some split-toning to slightly bring out the yellows and greens (split-toning adds a color cast to the shadows and/or highlights), and gave a slight blur (in Photoshop) and vignette to the edges of the shot.
These changes help share the eerie feeling that I had as we cruised past this part of the island. It was a great experience that you all should take if you are even in San Francisco. Remember to take the night tour and bring a fast lens. Anyway, that all for this week. Enjoy yourself behind the lens and happy shooting!