171031: Home Development

Home Development

I developed film in community college. But that was about 10 years ago. And the dark room was set up by the school, so, though I was comfortable with the process, I just went through the motions.

Buying chemicals was intimidating enough to justify about six months of procrastination despite the plentiful amount of information and support available. I used B&H's study guide to order most of what I needed. It took, like, a month. One week was spent waiting for ordering to be enabled on B&H's website. Another week and a half was spent waiting for the developer I wanted to be restocked. I finally just chose another developer to get the order sent out. I'll go into the more technical stuff below these images of Raksha.

film smudge Reading Book No. 062 Book Floor Table Silhouette

My Experience

My favorite image from the images of Raksha was the first in that list. Ironically, it had the worst results from developing. I think the chemical-stained looking smudges resulted from the rushing at the end of the day. There was tacky tape sticking to everything and the plastic warped from trying to get the film on the reel. Again, it's been about 10 years.

I was careful with the first roll that yielded the image below of the woman sitting with the sign. To get a practice roll, I just shot random frames to practice with a real roll before I got to the images of Raksha that I wanted to turn out well. That first practice roll turned out perfect. I got a little tired by the second and third rolls and ended up with some scuffs and dust (I dropped two wet rolls on my dirty floor). I originally thought I could and would avoid those kinds of mistakes. One issue was the chemical staining. And another was physical stress on the film during the reeling process that came out as white marks shown in this image.

phone Chemical Lineup Success Cass St.

Gear & The Process

This is an image of the complete list of what I ordered. Everything shipped to my apartment. I was worried that the chemicals would be an issue. And I found that I didn't need some things.

Here's the list for what I used:

  1. Developer
  2. The developer that I wanted was out of stock. It was better for long-term usage and lower-speed films. I went with the "DD-X" model. It said it was better for higher-speed films and is only one-time use. But, it developed my film. So, I was happy.

  3. Fixer
  4. This fixer can supposedly be reused for six months. I mixed the whole bottle in a one-gallon container.

  5. Tank & Reels
  6. I used one of these tanks in college. It's been about ten years. So, I expected a little unfamiliarity. But I think medium-format film was more difficult to load than the 35mm I used back in the day. But, the tank is the same and was still easy to use.

  7. Graduated Cylinder
  8. I enjoyed having a 1,000 ml size. I found it accurate enough to make the tiny 100 ml version unnecessary.

  9. Film Clips
  10. I was going to skip buying these and go for clothes pins. But I'm happy I bought them. They're strong. They have nice hooks for hanging. They're built for the task. I found them worth it.

  11. Gallon Jug
  12. I put the fixer mix in this.

  13. Smaller, 32oz Bottle
  14. I used this for the developer. I just mixed up individual batches since it was a one-time use developer.

Unnecessary Mentions:

I think the thermometer and photo flo will be used in the future. They were inexpensive, so I'm happy to have them. But room-temperature consistency and photo flo not being necessary to the development process left the two respectively unused during this first at-home development session.

Next Steps:

I ordered more film and negative sleeves. And I have some ideas for the next couple of shoots. I've been meaning to go camping for a bit and would like to shoot some more fashion/portrait shots. Shout out to Van vs Wild for inspiring me to pursue film and its development again. More soon.