May 20, 2016

Space Shuttle Endeavour, Los Angeles

Currently on display in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, Space Shuttle Endeavour was the fifth and final operational shuttle built by NASA. Between 1992 to 2011, Space Shuttle Endeavour spent a total of 296 days, 3 hours, 34 minutes, and 2 seconds in space over the course of 25 missions.

space shuttle endeavour california science center
Seeing a space shuttle up close is pretty awe-inspiring. Endeavour still wears the damage from her final re-entry through the Earth's atmosphere, which only further emphasizes the reality of standing in the same room with something that has left our planet and come back again. It's not only a technological marvel, but with the shuttle program now retired, Endeavour is symbolic of a prolific and bygone era in space travel and exploration. 

space shuttle endeavour california science center

space shuttle endeavour california science center

space shuttle endeavour california science center

space shuttle endeavour california science center
space shuttle endeavour california science center


space shuttle endeavour california science center
space shuttle endeavour california science center


space shuttle endeavour california science center
space shuttle endeavour california science center

space shuttle endeavour california science center

space shuttle endeavour california science center

space shuttle endeavour california science center

space shuttle endeavour california science center

space shuttle endeavour california science center

space shuttle endeavour california science center

space shuttle endeavour california science center

space shuttle endeavour california science center

space shuttle endeavour california science center

space shuttle endeavour california science center

space shuttle endeavour california science center
space shuttle endeavour california science center


space shuttle endeavour california science center

space shuttle endeavour california science center

space shuttle endeavour california science center

space shuttle endeavour california science center


space shuttle endeavour california science center

space shuttle endeavour california science center
space shuttle endeavour california science center



space shuttle endeavour california science center
space shuttle endeavour california science center

May 18, 2016

Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, California

Located in the San Francisco Bay, just 1.25 miles offshore from downtown San Francisco, California, Alcatraz is an island with a recorded history dating back to the late 1700s. Alcatraz has been home to the first operational lighthouse on the west coast, a military fortification, a military prison, a federal prison, and today, a popular tourist attraction and National Historic Landmark. 

alcatraz island tours san francisco
alcatraz island tours san francisco
In the 1850s Alcatraz began fortification. When the American Civil War broke out in 1861, Alcatraz was not only a military site, but it began housing Civil War prisoners, Confederate sympathizers, and privateers. In 1909 construction began on the central concrete prison block, which is still the main feature of the island today. By 1933 the military fortress was deactivated and the military prison was transferred to the Bureau of Prisons.

alcatraz island tours san francisco


The Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary was established in 1934, and was designed for high risk prisoners who continually caused trouble at other federal prisons. During its 29 years in operation, Alcatraz housed murderers, bank robbers, and the likes of Al Capone and Mickey Cohen. Due to the high cost of maintenance and structural erosion from salt water saturation, the prison was officially closed on March 21, 1963. 

alcatraz island tours san francisco
alcatraz island tours san francisco

alcatraz island tours san francisco
Alcatraz Island opened to outside visitors for the first time in 1973. Over 1.3 million people now visit Alcatraz Island every year to the tour the site and to peer into empty cell blocks. Stories about Alcatraz have captured our imaginations and appeared in pop culture for decades. From potential escapes to stories of those who spent their time here, there are few prisons that remain as iconic. Alcatraz was officially declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

alcatraz island tours san francisco



william g baker book alcatraz 1259
William G. Baker was a former prisoner at Alcatraz who happened to be there the day Mike and I visited. I purchased his book Alcatraz #1259 and he autographed it for me. I read it prior to editing these images I shot, and it provided great context for how the prison worked and what it was like to spend your time on Alcatraz. It was also one more thing that made the experience so memorable. The last time I visited Alcatraz I came away with a piece of the prison itself.
  


alcatraz island tours san francisco

alcatraz island tours san francisco

alcatraz island tours san francisco

alcatraz island tours san francisco
alcatraz island tours san francisco


Fortress dating back to the American Civil War.

alcatraz island tours san francisco


alcatraz island tours san francisco

alcatraz island tours san francisco





alcatraz island tours san francisco



alcatraz island tours san francisco
alcatraz island tours san francisco


alcatraz island tours san francisco


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