pacman inkee

radioactive island

radioactive ir 2, originally uploaded by hep.

we are going over to nullcherri's house for a party in about 10 seconds, but i wanted to post these ir images i shot today on treasure island. they are super spooky and creepy and i love them.

back in the day treasure island was a naval base. it's a man-made island mostly comprised of bay fill and highway debris. over the years as a naval base, lots of spooky stuff happened there and/or was stored there. whole parts of the island are closed to humans and covered in radioactive warnings. once it was closed and decommissioned, it became a good deal on cheap housing in close proximity to downtown. but it used to be an especially incredible deal to computer type people, because the island isn't metered for electricity which means according to state law they cannot charge you for it. so completely unmetered power caused hundreds of hackers and other tech people to move to the island in the mid-90s/early2000s earning it the nickname "haxxor island".

of the hackers i know, probably about 20% lived on the island at one point or another. it was frequently the scene of giant parties because there is only a small staff of police on the island, usually busy those days chasing down trespassers and skateboarding kids who bussed over from sf. there are plenty of awesome abandoned buildings still on the island, over half of it is either unused or mostly empty.

lots of families live on there now, presumnably the radiation warning signs are mostly for show and they cleaned up whatever they spilled all over? one hopes. the top two shots here are from one of the areas that is entirely closed off and strewn with radiation signs and "special clothing required" warnings. however just past the signs there was wildlife living relatively normative appearing existences so there really is hope for the future, etc. still worried about those 60+ radioactive barrels that are MIA in the bay tho.

Very cool pictures! I like the story as well. Something about radioactive hacker islands just proves that truth can in fact be stranger than fiction.

Have fun tonight!
by party she means video games and redbull and I will get drunk and be an asshole
I lived on TI for a year! It was awesome. Very much a party atmosphere.
I visited that place just before 9/11/2001 with my uncle who had worked there while he was in the navy; my first thought was how long I could squat there before genetic mutation or arrest took effect. It's a lovely place.
you know, I've always wondered what it was like there.. I pass by the exit every time i come see you. sometime i'll have to come down with no agenda other than playing tourist.
Ah my beloved TI! You're on quite the magenta kick lately, no? I think it works esp. well with the palm trees.

"lots of families live on there now, presumnably the radiation warning signs are mostly for show and they cleaned up whatever they spilled all over?"

lol, no not at all! Childrens and pets are not supposed to play in the dirt, and the apts have asbestos, I believe, and mold I know for sure. I had bloody snot the whole time I lived there. But the free electricity was nice.

Actually it's getting empty again. My former neighbors said they aren't renting places that get left, and our old apt isn't rented. So crime is up, etc. Pity.

Did Erik ever tell you about the bench he got them to put for me on the perimeter path? I wanted a bench by our court, facing Angel Island, he convinced the city, and there it was. Not there anymore, alas. But what a prez! ;-)
awe no he never told me! that is the sweetest present.

and yeah, it seemed emptier than usual of residents, but more full of academy of art students shooting movies. hehe! also the doggy diner heads are still there, i gave them a hug as i rode by!
awe don't be scared! i never use my powers for evil unless someone else was evil first. but i DO know a ton of shady characters with little to no moral code. so there is that. thats more of scary for me tho if they think i did something to piss them off rather than for anyone else.

and i love abandoned buildings too. i dunno what it is about them, but i have been fascinated my whole life. i don't even like to disturb things i find in them, i just want to document it and leave it as is. there is something about the forgotten detritus of humanity tho that has an incredible beauty sometimes.
Re: Free electricity?
pretty sure it is. they have yet to meter the island and it's illegal to divvy up electricity without having it metered per unit.
don't do it! well maybe do it depending on what you wanna do. my roomate got me a pack of zykkor infrared filters, and they work incredibly well. you have to shoot super blind, and you have to dial your focus in by reviewing the image in the lcd for clarity, but it's super fun and you can still shoot normal on the camera. however, using filters means you are pretty restricted on your exposure times because ir filter in the camera + filters to do ir = long exposure times. usually at LEAST 2sec+ if not a full 20sec. removing the internal filter means you can expose way quicker, which is super important if you want to shoot people. t12 has a sick olympus ir slr rig that i think was pretty cheap considering. it really comes down to if you want to shoot people or things. if you want to shoot things, you can get away with long exposures, but if you want to shoot people you need realistic exposure times.