Today I learnt how to develop film in the dark room and it was so much fun! Last week I was given a film camera with black and white film in. Unfortunately the weather was grey and rainy all week so some of the photos were a bit dull but good enough to use to learn the process.
The first stage is to unroll the film in complete darkness and put it into a film spiral. This in then placed into a development tank which once shut doesn’t let any light inside of it. Next you add diluted developer and swirl the tank around every minute for 10 minutes. Pour out the developer and pour in some film stop for 30 seconds. After put the film stop back in its bottle as this can be reused. Pour film fixer into the development tank and leave for about 5 minutes. The final stage is to wash out the tank with water to remove any left over chemicals from the film and dip the film in wetting agent.
Once dry I created a contact sheet from my negatives. This helped me choose which images I would like to develop. To develop photos from the negatives I placed the image I wanted to develop into the projector and then did a test strip onto the photo paper. To create the test strip I exposed the photo paper in 2 second bursts covering up more of the photo paper each time. This gives you a stripy kind of image from light to dark that helps you choose the best amount of time to expose the photo paper to light for.
Once I had exposed my photo paper for the right amount of time for my image I took it over to the tray with developer in it. It is best to leave it in the developer for around 2 minutes whilst gently moving the tray around. Next I placed the photo into the film stop, then the film fixer. After I thoroughly washed off the photo and left it to dry. I developed quite a few of my photos, some of them were a bit grey and flat but a few of them came out really well! I really enjoyed this process and will definitely do it again, I’ve got another roll of black and white film to use already!