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Daily Photo – Alcatraz in the Dusk

Today’s photo was taken recently in San Francisco.  That tower you see there in the mid-distance is Coit Tower.  Just beyond that, in the middle of the bay, you can see Alcatraz.

I’ve never made it out to Alcatraz to take photos, but it is on my list.  I wonder how much freedom (!) I would have out there to roam around with my tripod.  Have any of you gotten out there?

HDR Photo

  • I’ve never been to Alcatraz, but Angel Island is a good spot- out in the bay like Alcatraz, but easier to take a ferry there because of the lack of crowds (ferry might leave from Sausalito?). Nice for hiking and seeing new views of the bay. I love the colors of the street lights too. And have you ever explored the backside of Coit Tower? It’s the best place in the City for me, and it’s got some unique views of the bay bridge and such too. Gorgeous garden path.

  • I didn’t bring my tripod when I was there last (about 3 years ago). Your free to roam around the paths of course, but if I remember correctly, some of it is roped off because it’s rotting away. I don’t remember it crawling with security so maybe you can sneak around.

    Watch out for tourists though.

  • Mark Tyler

    Beautiful shot Trey, and an unusual vertical composition! I have been to Alcatraz, and there is a lot of freedom to wander. You can go just about everywhere … only a few buildings and areas are closed off. We were advised to take the first boat of the day, so we made reservations well in advance, and it was good advice. The crowd increased significantly, and quickly as more boats arrived. I suppose late in the day would be good as well, except you’d be hustled along to get on the last boat. Also be careful about the boat company – only one company has the Park Service franchise to dock at the island. Other boats just circle around.

  • I’ve shot there a few times. Tripods are welcome. No restrictions of any kind on photography. The only challenge is the crowds. Hard to get shots without unwanted people. If you go on the very first boat of the day, you can get a head start up the hill. If you want to shoot in the cell block area and you’re on the first boat, you can bypass the audio tour to beat the crowd by a few minutes. Take your f/2.8 glass (or faster). It’s dark in there. I was lucky enough to go for a private shoot with just 40 people and Joe McNally in September.

  • I have also been there, and Doug is spot on with his advice!! I didn’t have a problem shooting with my tripod.

  • Andy Bird

    All I can think about right now is Sean Connery in ‘The Rock’ – terrfific film! I would love to visit there too one day…..

  • This is beautiful!

  • Trey, no problem with a tripod…but you just have to dodge the tourists! See ya Saturday nite!

  • Susan

    Wow! Awesome shot – I’ve never seen it from this angle before! I didn’t get my newsletter! Will tune into the vidcast tonight!

  • Hey Trey, I’ve never actually been on the island. My wife and I rented a small sailboat and sailed around it but I would love to actually go shoot there. After looking at you shot I had to go back to one of mine of Coit tower to see if I could see Alcatraz but it’s just to the left of frame.

  • I just went there for the first time in October. Here are a few HDR shots I got of Alcatraz and SF:[email protected]/6347764085/in/set-72157628135984670

    Like others said the crouds made alot of shots difficult, and it seems like more and more is being closed off to the public, but definately still worth a visit!

  • I went about 5 years ago. I went on the evening tour- which has some special stuff, and great light! I walked around taking pics all over. They run you through a little tour and then let you go nuts. If you went earlier, you might be able to stay longer and catch a later boat back.

  • Thanks everyone…

    sounds like I gotta get out to Alcatraz! 🙂

  • What a great photo.
    I don’t post here as often as I feel like I should.
    #1 – I don’t think you need me telling you’re awesome.
    #2 – I’m not a gushy guy. But when I say “Wow!” I mean it.

    Your work never fails to keep me shaking my head Trey.
    You are undefeated.. still.

  • I have totally wanted to get to Alcatraz myself and never really made it either!

  • Excellent view!

    Where in SF were you when you made this shot?

  • paulk

    Was this taken from the Mandarin Oriental hotel with a telephoto lens? If not, please say where, I live here and would like to get this shot.

  • That shot does not seem natural. Did you photoshop alcatraz in, pretty sure you can’t see it from that look at coit tower.

  • I have been to Alcatraz a few times and to coit tower, but could not remember, so I looked it up.
    It is very easy to get pictures everywhere, tourist will even walk around (I am a amateur without thousands of pictures, and they even step away for me). I hope all you that want to visit do it soon.
    Here are the tours

  • Nice view, very colorful. I’d recommend you check out the view from the Randall Museum hilltop. Just spent the weekend in SF and got some great views/shots there! 

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