Getting to the Print – Part 1 Developing

This past semester I had the opportunity to take a black and white photography class at NMSU. It’s their introduction class as far as photography goes and I really enjoyed it! For those of you that have never developed film or printed in a dark room it’s a pretty neat experience and I wanted to share this with you.

This will be a  two part post on how you make a print – starting with with developing film:)

First of all you have to go shoot!

This is dad's camera. It's a bridge camera, meaning it's not fully manual. I'm very excited he let me use it:)
This is dad’s camera. It’s a bridge camera, meaning it’s not fully manual. I’m very excited he let me use it:)

Then you have to develop your film. The first step of developing your film is to load your film. This must happen in complete darkness: IE why there’s not a photo. You start by opening your films canister (we used a basic can opener) and very gently load it onto the reel for that particular size of film. Next you place it inside the size of metal container specific to how many rolls of film you’re developing and place the lid on top.

Here's one of the reels
here’s one of the reels

Next you make the developer solution. 1 part water to 1 part developer (and with the container I was using 4 oz’s of each if you want to get technical). You take the temperature of the water before mixing and index the water temp with the film brand/type to find the correct developing time.

the lovely thermometer to take the temp with
the lovely thermometer to take the temp with
temp chart
temp chart
and the clock we use as a timer (it glows in the dark too!)
and the clock we use as a timer (it glows in the dark too!)

Then you pour the developer into the metal container and agitate every 30 seconds for  5 seconds during the time distinguished by the chart.

developer - yum
developer – yum

Then you’ll rinse it and pour the developer down the drain (it’s diluted). Next you introduce the other chemicals individually.

Stop bath for 30 seconds (agitate) and return to container. Rinse. Fixer for 5 minutes (agitate every 30 seconds). Return to container. HCA for 1 minute (agitate). Return to container.
Stop bath for 30 seconds (agitate) and return to container. Rinse. Fixer for 5 minutes (agitate every 30 seconds). Return to container. HCA for 1 minute (agitate). Return to container.

After all these chemicals you place your reels and developed film into the washer for a final wash.

this takes 10 minutes
this takes 10 minutes

Then you dunk the film in photo flo and squeegee as you remove it from the reel.

the film is safe to be exposed to light now
the film is safe to be exposed to light now
rolls of film on the reels
rolls of film on the reels
wet film unwound from reel
wet film unwound from reel
now you've got to clip the film with weights on one end and wait to dry
now you’ve got to clip the film with weights on one end and wait to dry

Please realize that the information expressed on how to develop in this setting is strictly for this setting. There are different versions of chemicals and they take different environmental conditions to work properly (time). The steps should be the same though:)

Be sure to tune in later this week for the second part of “Getting the Print” to see the final product!

As always thanks for reading!

-Lauren

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