27 Frames

Grant Ellis

We sent 27 single use cameras out to some of our favorite photographers, they shot stuff with it, then mailed it back to us. We developed the film and are sharing the results with you (and the photographers) now. In this instant, digital age, we want to pay homage to a snapshot photo process we grew up with ourselves — waiting for the film to develop and being surprised by the results. These 27 Frames belong to Grant Ellis.

Who are you? Tell us a little about yourself.

Grant Ellis, Photo Editor of Surfer Magazine.

How did you first get into photography?

I borrowed my mom’s camera and took a class, I got hooked developing my first black and white prints. 

Film or digital?

I love both film and digital for different projects. I think film has a certain dimensional quality to it that is lost with digital however, the incredible files digital cameras produce today can be so easily manipulated to create a really beautiful feel. I love all the choices we have right now it’s fun to play with. It was a lot easier to manipulate your image with film than it is the digital because of the many different directions you can take digital in.

When was the last time you used a single use (disposable) camera?

I took a few shots with one at a friends wedding.

What did you decide to shoot with your camera for this project?

I didn’t have a big plan, I just thought I would shoot a shot or two around any trip or project I had going on in the second half of the year. But that time was mostly spent in the office. 

Did you have any interesting experiences along the way?

I had a few really great family trips which are always interesting when you have a two year old and a six month old on a road trip. 

What was the biggest challenge (if any) you had with the project?

The biggest challenge was not being totally sure if you had the image framed right and not being sure you got the shot. We get so caught up in the instant gratification nowadays. Also putting your photos out there without seeing or editing out the junk is always a huge stress for a photographer even for a fun project like this.

What was your favorite image from the roll?

I have two favorites: the Burch portrait and the shipwrecks sign.

Check out more of Grant’s work here:



Special thanks to Dexter’s Camera in Ventura for developing all of the film for the 27 Frames project. If you are a photographer who loves film and have never visited their shop, go there now, they’re the best. Also, please join us for the 27 Frames group art show featuring the best photos from the series, Thursday 1/12/2017 at Think Tank Gallery in DTLA. The show is sponsored by Zico Coconut Water and all sales will go to the Surfrider FoundationRSVP here.

Matt Titone

A goofy-footed graphic designer who hails from the first state, Delaware. After attending Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL then graduating from SCAD in Savannah, GA with a BFA in Graphic Design and Illustration, Matt moved to NYC and found work as a freelance designer and art director. In 2006 he moved west to Venice, CA where he co-founded ITAL/C Studio and now resides a bit further north in Oxnard.

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