Saturday, May 21, 2011

Film Photography & Developing color film(C-41).

After reading the Book UNSEEN VOGUE, I got inspired by the old time fashion photographers. Before the digital photography, photographers used 35mm film and 120 films on fashion photography and I told my self how can I call my self photographer if I don't know how to Develop color films. So I decided to learn developing color films. I borrowed Nikon FM2 with 50mm 1.2 lens from my school and take photos in the weekend. So far I developed  9 rolls of 35mm color film and will develop 4 more by next Monday.

Developing color films is not as hard as it sounds.
In my schools darkroom all the chemicals are ready in the tanks and set with the temperatures.
The chemical tanks are big enough that I can develop 12 of 35mm films or 9 of 120 (medium format) films in one go.

1st chemical is Develop: Agitate for first min then stop for 30 sec than agitate for 30 sec do this for 3min and 15 sec.

2nd chemical is Bleach: Before you start anything oxygenate the bleach for 5 to 10 min (this applies if the bleach is already in a special tank for developing and has been there for a while) this is the first thing you should do when you enter the darkroom while the lights are actually on in the dark room. Agitate for the first minute than wait for 30 sec than agitate again for 30 sec, do this for 3min and 30 sec.

3rd chemical is  1st Wash  which is just water (H2O): Wash doesn't have to be in 100°f , and if you are in dark room after the bleach when you put the film tray in to first wash you can turn the lights on. 2min in first wash, there is no need to agitate but you can fiddle.

4th chemical is Fix: Agitate for the first min than stop for 30 sec, agitate for 30 sec and do this for 3min 30 sec .

5th chemical is 2nd wash which is just water(H2O): just like the first wash it doesn't have to be in 100°f. keep the film tray in for 2min there is no need to agitate but you can fiddle.

6th chemical is Stabliser: Keep the film tray in for 1min and 30 sec. There is no need to agitate but you can fiddle.

After the Stabiliser take the films to drying cabin hang them and put a clip weight on bottom so they stay straight.

A photo of me taken by my friend Shin Ru Lu in the darkroom.

All the chemicals in order, the 1st and 2nd chemical has a little mark that glows at dark so I can see where to begin in darkroom, those glow marks don't affect the negatives unless you literally put the negatives on them. (many people might think there is red safety light here but there is no red safety light, once the lights are out you are no different than a blind person)

From left to right, Develop, bleach, 1st wash, fix, 2nd wash, stabilizer.

 This is the film loading area in the darkroom.
I will write more about the darkroom after October 2011.


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