View Full Version : Eastern State Pen GTG

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06-19-2006, 11:51 AM
Steve- I think we're all set. Jim and I are going to carpool up there tomorrow. We'll see you at the pub at 11:30. I printed out the map you sent the link to. Looking forward to it!

06-19-2006, 12:07 PM
Im going to be at the pub @ 11am, just in case any of you drive like I do :D

06-21-2006, 06:57 AM
Steve- Big thanks for putting together the Eastern State outing. I know you had to cut out earlier than you'd have liked to, but everyone had a great time, and I think we'll have come away with some great images. We should make the Eastern State outing an annual event (and no, don't worry, you won't have to plan it every time!).

06-21-2006, 07:01 AM
Sorry I was not able to be there but happy to hear that everyone had a good time. I would have much rather been there than stuck in the office with auditors. Thanks to Steve for pulling this together.


06-21-2006, 07:36 AM
Thanks again for making it up this way. I again apologize for my early exit; but I was getting to the point of not being able to focus on the groundglass :D .
I believe it would be best next time to meet outside of the city, and carpool in. I think 90% of the hassle/time consumption dealt with having to drive into and through the city.
Im going to develop my negs today and see what becomes of them. I was somewhat disappointed that the areas where I was most interested in viewing (Death Row and the Hospital) weren't really open for access. Perhaps we'll be able to get our 'behind the scenes' deal later in the year.
On the plus side, It was nice having the interest of the tour guides; they did seem genuinely friendly and helpful. Plus, it seems that Jim also got the interest of a couple of ladies when he whipped out his camera :D .

Thanks again,

06-21-2006, 09:06 AM
I'll add my thanks to both Steve and Scott Davis for promoting this outing. I'll be going back there many times.

Tip: I believe that the first time one photographs at Eastern State Pen. one should use a small camera. The place is pregnant with so many images that the logistics of an 8x10 distract one from exploring. I made 3 8x10 negatives in the 3 or so hours we were there.

Had I gone in with the 4x5 I probably would have made a dozen. With the Hasselblad, at least 3 rolls. After developing and printing those and deciding from what part of the prison the best images came only then would I go back in with the 8x10.

Just one man's opinion.

06-21-2006, 09:28 AM
Steve- perhaps next time we could also just meet at the prison- there is a very handy (and not too expensive) pay lot across the street, and some rather interesting pubs/restaurants in the same block.

I'll also second Jim's comment about scanning the place first with another smaller camera before bringing in the 8x10. Eastern State is a very large building, and the choices for shooting are overwhelming. I would also recommend, whatever format you're shooting, to bring a faster rather than slower film, as some areas are quite dark, and Jim and Joe were getting 5-10 minute exposure times for some of their shots.

Eastern State is also a perfect place for semi-stand development of your film. You have either extremes of contrast, with little mid-tone, or very low native contrast, compensating for both of which semi-stand is good.

Travis Nunn
06-21-2006, 09:34 AM
Sounds like you guys had a good time. I look forward to seeing some of the shots.

06-21-2006, 09:50 AM
Sounds like you guys had a good time. I look forward to seeing some of the shots.

It'll be a while, but we'll post 'em.

06-21-2006, 09:54 AM
and Jim and Joe were getting 5-10 minute exposure times for some of their shots.

6 and 1/2 minutes on 400TMax. We were having trouble focussing it was so dark. Joe and I were commenting to each other how difficult it must have been for Steve Sherman in there with a 7x17. I have new found appreciation for his Eastern State photograph.

06-21-2006, 09:55 AM
Ya, I agree about the meeting, etc. Honestly it didn't seem like free parking was much of an issue, as there were quite a few spaces open (I parked 10yds from the front door).
I really didn't have any problems shooting a 4x5. Then again, I shyed away from the 'main' areas, and I spent a lot of time in places where I never saw anyone else.
As I said earlier, I used HP5, and my exposure times ranged from 8s-1/25th. The longest exposure I made was metered @ 16s; but this was in a dark corner of Death Row.
I think the place would take on a whole other persona had it been later in the year when they would have to light the inside. Perhaps we should plan our next trip in Mid-Late November ?
Did you guys make it to see the 'hole' ? The Sun/Moon chart that was created on the ceiling was astounding.

06-21-2006, 10:23 AM
I was unaware that it was accessible. I'd love to go down there to take a peek. I also wish they had a lens hole in the barrier screen that blocks your entrance to Cellblock 14 - the three-story cellblock with all the gratings between each floor, which is the only one you can't see down the entire length because it bends.

06-27-2006, 07:29 PM
I printed my negs from the meeting. I just made straight prints for the moment; but I will go back in tomorrow and try to make my improvements. Hopefully I'll get some scans to post.
Anyone else have any negs or prints done ?

06-27-2006, 08:06 PM
I developed the one TMax negative I shot in 510 Pyro with minimal agitation. Part of it is a little soft because I couldn't see well enough to discern that I needed some tilt. So my 8x10 may become a 4x10. I'll have to print it to see how bothersome the out of focus area will be.

Anyway, the negative gives me goose flesh so I'll wager that I can make a kickass print out of it. I batch up my negatives and only print when I have enough of them to justify using precious amidol. I'll develop another one tonight and hopefully print this weekend.

06-27-2006, 10:27 PM
I'm still waiting on my Pyrocat order from Bostick & Sullivan. GRRRRR.

06-28-2006, 06:19 AM
Sounds great - I can't wait to see it ! Im going to try to get some scans today.

Did they give you a tracking # ? At this rate, you can cancel your order, and order from PF before it would come in from B&S :D .

06-28-2006, 08:59 AM
Steve- I've thought about that, but the PF price on the pt/pd chems is significantly higher than the B&S price. I'll call them today to see what is up with it.

bill schwab
06-28-2006, 09:36 AM
This sounds as if it was a great outing. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you all got there.


06-28-2006, 10:38 AM
Steve- I've thought about that, but the PF price on the pt/pd chems is significantly higher than the B&S price. I'll call them today to see what is up with it.

Have you tried Artcraft? He's always been very quick for me.


06-28-2006, 12:26 PM
Well, I talked to the B&S folks and it went out last wednesday. It should be arriving today then. He said if it doesn't arrive today, call him back and he'll get a replacement set to me with faster shipping and a tracking # so they can verify progress.