Tuesday, 11 February 2014

How I learned to stop worrying and try out film development. (Part 1)

Nope, I haven't started my own meth lab (yet), but rather as I briefly mentioned in my last post, I finally got round to purchasing all the equipment and chemicals needed to develop photographic film. I'm hoping this is going to add another  level of creativity to the whole photographic process by giving me complete control from start to finish, rather than relying on someone else to do the job for me. Sending film off to a lab to get developed is a fun process in a peculiar way, but I've been missing out on the entirety of the middle process and all the variables I can further apply to directly effect how my photographs look. For example, now I can safely shoot at higher ISO knowing I can increase development time myself to compensate for the underexposure. Lots more experimentation and lots more opportunities for interesting stuff to happen. On the downside, a lot more can go wrong but at least it will be my own fault. Results soon, disasters included.

The film is tightly light sealed in that red-lidded container. All the other stuff is for mixing chemicals to exact specifications. 

Chemicals!

Hang on a sec. That's a pot of pi.. Stop!

You have to reasonably precise with timing otherwise you can screw up the development fairly easy. However, the whole process is quite straightforward and even an idiot like myself can do it without botching things up too much.

This is after all the chemicals have been applied and the film is being washed off. The film is on that reel. At this point, I still don't know if it has worked or not...

...but by some photographic miracle of science, negatives appear and they look OK. Wow! Next job will be making contacts sheets and then scanning them in proper. 

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