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Panorama of Alcatraz Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

19 March 2019

Our bus ride to Fort Mason last weekend afforded us some of the best views of Alcatraz we've had in a while. So we lined up a few shots with our Nikon D300 and 18-200mm Nikkor and fired away. Then we thought we'd shoot a panorama, taking three shots at 200mm as we panned the island.

Thumbnail. The final image, merged and cropped.

Scanning from left to right, you can see the Model Industries Building, New Industries Building, the Water Tower, the main building with the Dining Hall, Main Prison and Administration Block, the Lighthouse, the remains of the Warden's House and the heliport.

We merged the three images using Photoshop CC's Photomerge function. That left us with a DNG we subjected to some intense Camera Raw edits. White Balance was off a bit thanks to our circular polarizer and we had some sharpening to do with Clarify and Dehaze.

Our zoom shot at 100 percent is clear enough to read the warning sign posted on the rocks below the buildings as well as the tourists by the Administration Block.

To present the image here, we reduced it to a depth of 500 pixels, which still requires a width of 3389 pixels. So you'll have to scroll to see the buildings but you get a good deal more detail that we've been able to publish before.

The 500p Version. Scroll to see the whole image.

We wish we could show you the full resolution image. It's almost like being there.

And that might compensate you for not being able to visit the island in person. The National Historic Landmark is so popular you aren't likely to score a ticket unless you book well in advance of your visit.

Even committing a heinous crime won't get you in there any more. The prison itself was closed in 1963, although former mayor Ed Lee threatened to reopen it for the current resident of the White House as a sort of Mar-a-Lago of the West.

The Rock was named for its inhabitants by the Spanish who found it occupied by pelicans, among other seabirds. The cold winds and the strong currents make the location a lot less attractive than it appears in photos and more isolated than it appears from the mainland.

Bird or man, we can't fathom the attraction. But put a gift shop on anything and apparently people (and the birds following them) will flock to it.

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