Friday, August 28, 2009

Alcatraz...behind the scenes

A few months ago, Amanda and I were able to visit Alcatraz Island. It was an amazing visit and we were actually able to get a behind the scenes personal tour. It happened like this. When you are there, you have the option of a "guided tour" which essentially is a headset that you wear, and as you walk around it gives you a 'tour'. Amanda and I didn't think we would be able to do the tour, as we had to leave to get to an appointment before the 'tour' would be over. So we opted to just walk around and look on our own.

I have to say, it's a very strange experience to be walking around the old cells, with about a hundred or so other people, all of whom have the audio tour playing in their ears. The result is that no one talks, because they are all listening to their tours. So we are walking around this prison, with all these people, and all you can hear is the shuffling of their feet. Very strange indeed.

Okay, back to our behind the scenes tour. We were outside and I was taking pictures with one of my longer lenses, while Amanda hung back and enjoyed the scenery. When all of a sudden a man approached her and asked if I was with her. She said yes, and then he said "Do you think he would like to see some peeling paint?" Amanda thought for a second, and then said, "Actually yes. And he was taking pictures of some on a wall earlier". "Follow me" he said.

Amanda yelled down to me to come with them. He then took us to a locked jailhouse type door, took out a huge ring of keys and opened the door. We walked up this rickety old staircase and he brought us to areas of the jail that the general tours don't go to. He later mentioned that he thought that we would enjoy it because we were photographers. And he was right! He took us to the chapel area, above the general quarters where the guards would have patrolled, and then to the hospital area, where they preformed surgeries, dentistry, and kept some of the more interesting inmates. Inmates like the Birdman of Alcatraz and Al Capone. He also showed us where they filmed scenes from the movie The Rock staring Sean Connery.

It was an amazing adventure and we thank our great tour guide. He was fantastic! Here are some of the pictures from our special tour. Enjoy!

Taken from the dock where we landed.

One of the officers quarters.

This is "Broadway". They named each of the rows based on New York streets.

Very small living spaces.

In 1969 a group of Indians occupied the island. They were protesting a treaty, and remained on the island for 19 months. Since the island is a National Historic Site, none of the graffiti can be removed or changed.

Here is some of the graffiti in the Chapel room. It was eerie looking at it, and you can even see the date ('70) on the one wall.

This is the view towards the door leading to the Chapel. To the right behind the bars, is the staircase we came up.

This is the view looking down to the general population area. On the left you might be able to make out a person or two. That is where the regular tour was.

This is a view of the original cell doors. They changed the way they opened after guards were being hurt by the inmates. The inmates were able to push the doors as they opened outward and smash them into the guards. The new doors were designed to slide sideways, and were opened from a master control panel which was much safer for the guards.

There is the tour on 'Broadway'.

I loved this door. All the glass has been broken out, and it looks like there might have been a bullet hole in it.

Here is the operating room. I got chills standing in this room. The metal table was the creepiest part.

This is the cell that the Birdman of Alcatraz was in. They say he was a little crazy.

Love the rust on this door.

This is one of the cells that Capone was in during his time here. It was also a room that was used in The Rock. In fact there is still some fake blood on the ceiling from their filming.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chantal & Dave - Wedding

What a great day with Chantal and Dave at their wedding! These two are so in love and so adorably cute with eachother! Let's have a look at some of the images from their special day. Don't forget to register below to view their wedding images once they become available online.

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Chantal getting some final touches done at the salon. The wedding is only hours away!

Her gown was amazing!

Isn't Chantal beautiful? Look at those eyelashes!

The ceremony took place outside and the day couldn't have been better.

The lovely wedding party.

These guys have got a little secret.

That's right custom cuff-links! Superman, Batman, Transformers and Spiderman!

Thanks again for allowing us to be a part of your special day. Congratulations Chantal and Dave!

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Do You Tweet?

I must admit, I was late to the party when it comes to Twitter. With the huge number of social networking sites out there I was happy to stick to my old faithful Facebook account. Then I heard Wolf Blitzer talking about the Ashton Kutcher vs. CNN Twitter rivalry. What can I say? Wolf got me curious.

But now that I've discovered a new love for Twitter, how do I explain the benefits of it to others? What do I tell Chris about it, when he doesn't seemed interested in "one more thing to update"? He doesn't share my obsession with pop culture and television, so it would take more than finding celebrities online to get him interested.

Last week actress Alyssa Milano "tweeted" this great article "Explaining Twitter to Those Who Don't Get It". She's @alyssa_milano to those of you who follow her many Twitter updates. The article explains the site really well. Once you understand what Twitter is, it's easier to put it in the context of how it will benefit your business, as well as keep you informed, in touch and entertained. It's a fast and easy way to share with and learn from others, 140 characters at a time.

I hope you'll check out the article, then go find us on Twitter. We're @cb_photography and @amanda_76 - hope to see you there!