As long as we’re on the topic of San Francisco ( previous two posts), here’s another place you should take in – Alcatraz – and the ‘road’ trip becomes a boat trip.

Yeah i know, i am all for winging it, but this is one when winging it doesn’t work. Go to the website, make a reservation. There’s no other way to do it. It is almost always booked weeks in advance, don’t even bother showing up unless you make a reservation.

I’ve never been much for boats, or being on the water, i can’t swim worth a shit, so i feel a bit uncomfortable. But some gulls following the boat bring back old pleasant memories. 

I grew in Maine, and my parents took us to Pemaquid/Pemaquid Point, and the lighthouse there many times, where one could hold up a scrap of bread between two fingers while standing on the pier, and a gull would swoop down, outta fucking nowhere, and snatch it.

Gulls are the ocean version of crows – scavengers both, always opportunists, never miss a beat. It’s their livelihood.


Welcome to the rock.


There’s a lot of history to Alcatraz, and some legends, like the escape of 3 prisoners decades ago who dug thru walls, and dove into the bay. Bodies never found, never sure if they drowned or made it to the shore. Below, the guard tower and their  cell.



There is now a triathlete event/race once a year where people swim from the Rock to SF, then do two other ridiculously strenuous things.

So it is possible to survive the bay, and continue on.

What have i done w/ negs (what few there are) taken at Alcatraz?

This place largely defies much of any co-mingling with any other images, places.




It’s called ‘the rock’. Sitting in the SF bay, distinct from anything, anyplace else.


To tell ya the truth?..I’ve only done a couple of montage prints from Alcatraz negs, here’s one, done recently, far below.

Alcatraz is about being imprisoned –  this image, with some stair steps is about escape, which I am certain was on every prisoners mind.

Imagine being  imprisoned here, and occasionally getting to see the bay…

Below that, one of my my contact sheets, and one montage image.




 As the most infamous Hunter S. Thompson wrote: “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”