About Ellie

Runner and fitness enthusiast, slowly learning how to cook and always training for the next OCR. I also love photography.

Out of Massachusetts: the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia

As a birthday gift to myself, I took a weekend trip to Philadelphia with Brian to visit my uncle, aunt and cousin, who I haven’t seen in about a year and a half. My uncle’s house is in the perfect location for all the things we wanted to see and do — everything was within a 30-minute walk. The first full day we were there, we visited the Eastern State Penitentiary. I’d been wanting to see it for a long time, ever since taking a class on prisons and related literature when I was in college. There’s a lot of history behind those walls; it was the first big prison built in the United States, was built slowly over a period of decades (with some sections even built using prisoner labor) and you can clearly see the differences in the ways different cell blocks we’re put together. The place was cold the day we visited, almost a veritable wind tunnel, which further demonstrates the conditions in which the prisoners lived as the structure didn’t have heat while it was operational.



Kids with Cameras: Superbowl 2014 Party

I’m not much of a sports fan (well, I like hockey, but it’s pretty much the only sport I can watch without getting bored), so when we were invited to a Superbowl party at Brian’s friends’ house earlier this month, I got more excited about doodling and running around with the kids I knew would be there with their parents. Knowing that Sage and Mona, two of my favorite little girls on this earth, would be there, I brought a few cameras for them to have some fun with (along with some nail polish since they love painting everyone’s nails). It took a few weeks to find the time to get these rolls done, but I love their shots.

Winter in Westfield

Our town was recently hit by a few halfway problematic snowstorms. I had a day off during one of them and went for a walk when the snow stopped. I’m not 100% pleased with how these photos came out, but I was stuck with a different film than I usually use with a slower speed, and I don’t know much about the difference between film speeds but I feel like it had something to do with it.

Experimenting: 35mm film in a Holga 120N

I’ve had a Holga 120N laying around for almost three years now. I originally bought it because I desperately wanted to play around with medium format photography and the Holga was the cheapest 120 camera I was able to find. One of the biggest issues I had with it wound up being the accessibility (or lack thereof) of local places where I could get the 120 film developed. When I bought the camera, there was a place nearby that would send the photos out and have them back to me within a week. After moving, I no longer have access to such a place, and I have always lacked the patience to wait an entire week to see my results.

I’d read about a few hacks that would allow for use of 25mm film in the Holga 120N, so today I decided to give it a shot. I found this tutorial on YouTube:

Altering the camera was easy enough and took less than five minutes. I did make one near-fatal error in my attempt, though: I didn’t cover up the little red window on the back of the Holga sufficiently enough, so when my photos came out, there was a big red block on all of them. I shot the roll in color film, but in post-processing I opted to adjust the saturation of the red in each photo and then convert them to black and white (with the exception of one photo of Minu, which had only a little bit of reddish interference that I was able to mostly edit away). For my second go at it, I made sure to cover up the window completely. Another post with those photos will be up within the next week or so.

These were my results:

I was able to eliminate most of the red from this photo, but you can still see hints of it in Minu's fur.

I was able to eliminate most of the red from this photo, but you can still see hints of it in Minu’s fur.

Disposable Days: NYE

This New Year’s Eve, Brian and I had a couple of disposable cameras on us when we went out to one of our favorite local bars. We decided to do a little social experiment and take selfies with strangers, our justification being “hey, it’s New Year’s, so like, why not?” This logic gave us a 100% success rate and not a single person turned us down. We also got a cute photo of the two of us.

The only downside of this experiment was that we gave one of our cameras to a group of girls we met there. They agreed to give the camera back at the end of the night but wound up taking it home, so we only got half of what we were supposed to get in terms of photographs.