darkroom

developing a roll of film

Learning to develop black and white film was one of the best things that’s happened to me. I love shooting film, and have loved it for a while. Learning to develop it on my own made it so much more awesome.

Last semester I took Daniel Rodrigue’s News Photography I at Brookhaven College. I had cool assignments that weren’t really work, because taking photos is awesome and fun. My kind of class, for sure. I made a camera out of a can, I shot with instant film, and spent hours in the school darkroom. Brookhaven has a black and white photo lab, and all of the equipment and space you need for rolling film onto reels, pouring in the chemistry to develop the film, and making enlargements and prints of your photos.

One Thursday I was at the photo lab at Brookhaven, developing film. (Standing at a sink for an hour and shaking a film tank intermittently is not the most interesting thing it the world. It’s a little boring [except that you know that what you’re doing is making photos, so it’s worth it.] I have small hands, so my fingers cramp up from holding onto the film tank. Then there are chemicals spilling, and dripping onto your hands, and then drying just enough to make it uncomfortable. [I’m making this sound horrible. It’s not really this bad.])

So I was at the lab, developing film. I decided that I would instagram the different steps of developing film, just for fun, and for something to do while I wait. I decided that I would hashtag it all #photolabthursday to group all of the photos and tweets together.

And, now I’m going to share the film developing process with you, via my instagram posts. Just a fraction of all the photos that I posted though!

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the beauty of film

I’m discovering more and more just how much I love the analog medium. With fewer shots per roll/film pack, you have to think about the shot so much more – and that’s really teaching me to think much more about each shot.

I’m learning to be competent in the darkroom too: rolling the film, mixing the chemicals,  timing the processes, cutting the negatives, making contact sheets, using the enlarger, and, the best part, in my opinion – developing the prints. Gently sloshing the liquid in the tray, and watching the image grow on the paper is so magical.

A few collages of some recent film photos. 35mm color film, 35mm b&w film, 120 color, 120 b&w, 35mm color reversal, and The Impossible Project Polaroid film.

 

I’m now offering all-film photoshoots: color reversal film (slide film), true black and white, and polaroid instant film. Contact me about a booking!