Ugly is Beautiful, or is it?
I am a commercial photographer, mostly in the commercial architectural field. In my photographs I’m constantly retouching out things the client doesn’t want to see. This could be just about anything that makes their property look unappealing. Telephone wires, signage, cars, dirty blacktop are the most common fixes. Because of this, I tend to say, “removing the ugly in reality is my specialty”. That is all good in the commercial world, but in the fine art world, maybe not all ugly is undesirable. Old, decrepit, aging and deteriorating are interesting effects on subjects for photography. Many times this can make something that was a plain and boring subject, much more interesting. On my first visit to Alcatraz Penitentiary I was intrigued by some of the aging buildings. It’s a bit difficult to photograph with all of the visitors. And really, I’m sure there are some fantastic subjects you don’t get to see. I’d really like to get a behind the scenes look. I could probably photograph all day long, with a free access pass.
This is in the main kitchen and dining area of the former prison. The penitentiary closed in 1963 and became a national recreation area in 1972. Over the years the surrounding salt water and lack of maintenance has created this decrepit, decaying subject, shown here. There is a little photoshop work to help with the window exposures and a little color enhancement, to bring the photo to what I saw when I was there.
This image and many other San Francisco photographs are available here
Rustic Details Collection here