Eastern State Penitentiary @ Philly, PA - 8.9.08 (3)

Eastern State Penitentiary @ Philly, PA – 8.9.08

August 11, 2008 | Day Trips, Photography

I’ve been meaning to take a trip to Eastern State Penitentiary every since I saw it on the episode of Ghost Hunters. It just looked like a cool place with a lot of history and looked like it would be great to take pictures of as well. That certainly was the case since a lot of people at the prison had a good camera. I went down to Philly with my girlfriend Kristen, my twin brother Matt and we met up with our friend Jim to take us around the city and be our tour guide.

We started the day off by getting up early and driving from NY. Ate some donuts, ate some Burger King breakfast, it was going to be a big time cheat day with food that’s for sure. You can’t go to Philly without getting a Philly Cheesesteak. Anyway, after that, we sat in traffic going into Philly so we weren’t going to be able to do everything on our trip that day. We wanted to go to Fort Mifflin (also seen on Ghost Hunters) but there wasn’t enough time. It closed at 4pm and we got to ESP around noon.

There were a lot of people there already, and I wished I had the place to myself. I would have goofed off more with friends and taken a lot more photos. I’m sure all the photos I got are common but whatever; it was still fun to shoot there. Since I had my hat on, it was hard to put the audio tour headphones on. I did listen to it a little but and it sounded informative. Steve Buscemi was the narrator, and there were interviews with inmates and stuff like that as well. I was mainly concentrating on getting some cool photos and playing around with HDR images for the first time. I didn’t have my tripod with me (it cost 15 bucks to bring it in the prison) but I tried to take the pictures the quickest I could. I managed to get a few good ones after playing around with them in Photomatix Pro. Besides going down all the cellblocks and listening to the audio tour, you can go to Al Capone’s cell. The notorious gangster got arrested in Philly for a concealed weapon charge and spent 8 months there. His cell has all these fancy lights and beds there, well fancy for that time period.

If you ever get the chance to go to the prison, do it! It’s a really cool prison with lots of history. The place is setup like a museum and even has some art installations in there as well. The installations aren’t really that great but they are there. I eventually want to go back to Eastern State Pen with a small group and do a private ghost hunting tour. Only thing is its 100 bucks for a few hours so not sure if it will be worth it. But if you like old rundown buildings, Eastern State Penitentiary is a place to visit!

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