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Community (June 15-21, 2007)

Ingemar Bergmark


Landis Bennett

USP Alcatraz, D-Block

Alcatraz Island, GGNRA, San Francisco, California, USA

18 June 2007 - 17:30 PDT (UTC -7)

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© 2007 Landis Bennett, All Rights Reserved.



Break the rules and you go to prison.
Break the prison-rules and you go to Alcatraz.

Break the rules in Alcatraz and you go to D-Block.

When you didn't fit into any community, not even prison, you'd end up here. These cells were part of what was known as the "Treatment Block". This block consisted of 36 segregation cells, and, to the right, 6 solitary confinement cells. The solitary confinement cells with the large steel doors were nicknamed “The Hole”. The Hole cells contained a sink, a toilet, and a light bulb. Inmates could spend up to nineteen days here. The mattresses were taken away during the day and the inmates were left in a state of boredom and isolation.

Today, it's still not exactly a cheery place, but it is certainly bustling. Even though I've lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for most of my life, I'd never been to Alcatraz. The ferry is always booked at least a week in advance and I'm not fond of crowds. During the International VR Photography Conference we had planned a couple field trips to places that visitors, particularly photographers, would want to go. Alcatraz was on the top of my list.

The fog was covering the island, the wind was howling, and the gift shop was doing a brisk business in Alcatraz sweaters (they must literally bring them over by the boat-load). Once you get to the former US Penitentiary you have the option of getting an audio guide. A very well done production that has former guards and inmates narrating what you're seeing. The little girl in this panorama is listening to a particularly gripping description of life in the Treatment Block.
More panoramas taken during the International VR Photography Conference can be seen at the Conference Gallery website.

360Geographics - Panoramas from all over North America of tourist destinations and places off the beaten path.


Hardware: Nikon D200, Nikkor 10.5mm Lens, Kaidan QuickPan III Spherical
Software: PTGui/Mac, Photoshop CS2, CubicConverter

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