Tag Archives: darkroom

IMG_0494

Breaking Film

For some reason I’ve been procrastinating about this week’s roll of film. I just wasn’t finding the motivation to develop it.  Yesterday Jake took a spin with Caffenol; today Beth and I were home alone with time to kill and an empty kitchen. A little home chemistry seemed in order.

IMG_0495.JPG

The ingredients are simple: cheap instant coffee, Vitamin C powder, and washing soda. Although they took a bit of work to get, my supplies of soda and C should last for years. The scale is a simple digital kitchen one ($20) which also has postal uses. The thermometer and timer are cheap kitchen items. The only specialized equipment is the developing tank.

I loaded the film in the tank. Beth measured, mixed, and developed under my supervision. All of the ingredients are non-toxic and can be dumped down the sink after use. We did use a standard photographic fixer, which should be saved for re-use and not released to the environment. We used the Delta-STD recipe, halved to make 500cc of deveoper.

IMG_0494.JPG

In less than half an hour from start to finish, we had images. The negatives are a bit thin, and I’m having a dust issue. I blame that on loading the reel with one hand in a cast.  I’m happy though. We may need to perfect this technique.

20140302LeicaM6001.jpg

Chai Lai

 

The scientific method

I’m not exactly happy with my results in the darkroom. My latest attempts at printing have been flat. I’m not having much luck boosting contrast to the levels I would like to see.

I have been saying that I’m experimenting with my photography, but I haven’t been organized. I’ve been playing with multiple new cameras and different films for the last two months. The results have been fun but not educational.

So starting tomorrow, I’m shooting a known camera (my Nikon FM2) and known film (Ilford HP5+ because it’s what I have that’s not expired.) Hopefully I can pay attention to my darkroom technique and figure out where I’m going wrong.

These are uncorrected scans from my last roll of HP5. They’re not too bad, but the boardwalk could use a boost. Hmmmm…