How to Develop your own B&W film (Offer, One to One)

14 views
Skip to first unread message

Akki

unread,
Nov 4, 2011, 3:36:12 PM11/4/11
to London Hackspace
Hi everyone,

After a bit of discussion on the IRC channel, I've taken it upon
myself to offer one to one How to Develop Your Own B&W Film tuition.
The reasons for this is two-fold - first, it'll hopefully renew
interest in the wet room/darkroom development and also give us a
better idea of numbers of potential users. Secondly, I can work on my
interpersonal and teaching skills :) Also if people have negatives to
print, they'll be more motivated to have a darkroom. It's a carrot to
get things moving.

What I have:
2 Paterson tanks, each can take one 120 (medium format) film or 2 35mm
films
many reels
thermometer
measuring stuff (jugs and graduated cylinders)
changing bag so we don't need no steeekin' darkroom (yet!)
Rodinal (film developer)
Rapid fix
(I don't use stop bath for film because I'm cheap and I don't like
having more bottles of stuff sitting around)
clothes pegs
and can bring some sort of string/line to string up temporarily to
hang up film to dry... and on reflection will sort this out somehow
before hand if I get any takers for my crazy plan.
negative files (these are clear plastic PrintFile sleeves you put your
dry negatives in)

What I need from you:
* A time & date to meet at the space. I anticipate this will take no
more than 90minutes, although this may be changed once I get my first
guinea pig and see how hard it is. I learned in school in a 1-2
45minute timeslots. We'll see.
Generally, I *can't* do Mondays during the day and I can't be at the
space any later than 11pm or else I turn into a pumpkin**
-AND-
* 1 exposed film of your choice, please email me what size (120 or
35mm) and the kind (like... Kodak Tri-X, Ilford HP5+, FP4, etc.) This
is so I can look up the developing times on the Massive Dev Chart.
Obviously, I mean exposed as in it's been shot in a camera of some
sort. Don't expect anything but a black film if you just rip all the
film out of the cassette/roll and expose it to the light. And if it's
not exposed at all, you'll just get pretty film edge markings.

What you'll get:
* a new skill
* a roll of developed film in a nice sleeve to take home after it's
dried

These sessions will be free until I find myself spending loads of
money on supplies (which probably won't happen). Feel free to donate
money to the space, obviously.

If you've read all of the above, you win a gold star!

I could possibly work with 2 people at once. Note that my list of
supplies above will not be left at the space. If it's all popular,
other people can donate stuff to help out.
I MAY be able to offer free (scummy flatbed scanner) film scanning at
web-size resolution, depending on time/popularity.
I MAY be able to offer lessons in caffenol but I'm not very well
versed in this and, honestly, it's a really hit-or-miss developer -
you might get images or you might not. This is why I'm offering
rodinal to start with.

Let the games begin!

~Heather (Akki14)

** no, not really, I just miss my train back home and then I'll be
cross.

tom

unread,
Nov 5, 2011, 6:59:30 AM11/5/11
to London Hackspace
can we try building our own cameras too? Its something i've always
wanted to try :)

Tom

Akki

unread,
Nov 5, 2011, 5:12:30 PM11/5/11
to London Hackspace
I'd like to do that too, actually, but I'm not sure if we have enough
strong, thing wood around for that? I guess we could make a wooden box
pinhole camera or something for 5x4 sheet film...
But today's woodworking project made me realise my woodworking skills
aren't that awesome :) Not awful but possibly not up to building a
field camera yet.

Katie Sutton

unread,
Nov 5, 2011, 5:18:36 PM11/5/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com

I've made a pinhole camera from a cardboard box, a safety pin and a fold of duct tape before. Very easy!

--
Sent from my mobile. Please excuse top-posting, typos and brevity.

Katie Sutton

unread,
Nov 5, 2011, 5:22:05 PM11/5/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com

Of course, for that you really need an enlarger. You put unused photographic paper into the camera, release the duct tape covering the hole for x seconds, cover the hole again. Once in the darkroom, remove paper from box... from there, it's all a bit fuzzy.

But I'd be happy to do the research again, and  once the darkroom is set up teach a workshop on it, if people are interested.

--
Sent from my mobile. Please excuse top-posting, typos and brevity.

Akki

unread,
Nov 5, 2011, 7:41:37 PM11/5/11
to London Hackspace
Well yes but I'd like to build something more robust than a cardboard
box :)

Actually in fancier pin hole photography, they use laser cut
pinholes... Is the space's laser cutter up to something that fine and
tiny? A quick google suggests 0.1mm - 0.5mm diameter holes is what
this company offers http://www.pinholesolutions.co.uk/pinhole_factory.html

You don't need to make paper negatives (or paper direct positives as
Ilford/Harman Technologies now produce that) - you could make 4x5
sheet film negatives instead and contact print instead of enlarge.
Once you have the daylight developing tanks for sheet film, it's much
more simple to contact print that than having to enlarge tiny film...
at least in my opinion as I've been too lazy to set up my own darkroom
since moving several months ago but still shoot sheet film, develop it
and print it in various alt processes without a darkroom.

The above is all kind of off topic anyway...

On Nov 5, 9:22 pm, Katie Sutton <ka...@tajasel.org> wrote:
> Of course, for that you really need an enlarger. You put unused
> photographic paper into the camera, release the duct tape covering the hole
> for x seconds, cover the hole again. Once in the darkroom, remove paper
> from box... from there, it's all a bit fuzzy.
>
> But I'd be happy to do the research again, and  once the darkroom is set up
> teach a workshop on it, if people are interested.
>
> --
> Sent from my mobile. Please excuse top-posting, typos and brevity.
> On Nov 5, 2011 9:18 PM, "Katie Sutton" <ka...@tajasel.org> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > I've made a pinhole camera from a cardboard box, a safety pin and a fold
> > of duct tape before. Very easy!
>
> > --
> > Sent from my mobile. Please excuse top-posting, typos and brevity.

Katie Sutton

unread,
Nov 5, 2011, 7:59:26 PM11/5/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
On 5 November 2011 23:41, Akki <beloved...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Well yes but I'd like to build something more robust than a cardboard
> box :)
>
> Actually in fancier pin hole photography, they use laser cut
> pinholes... Is the space's laser cutter up to something that fine and
> tiny? A quick google suggests 0.1mm - 0.5mm diameter holes is what
> this company offers http://www.pinholesolutions.co.uk/pinhole_factory.html
>
> You don't need to make paper negatives (or paper direct positives as
> Ilford/Harman Technologies now produce that) - you could make 4x5
> sheet film negatives instead and contact print instead of enlarge.
> Once you have the daylight developing tanks for sheet film, it's much
> more simple to contact print that than having to enlarge tiny film...
> at least in my opinion as I've been too lazy to set up my own darkroom
> since moving several months ago but still shoot sheet film, develop it
> and print it in various alt processes without a darkroom.
>
> The above is all kind of off topic anyway...

I guess it depends what level of DIY-ness/upcycling you're after. I
found it really pleasing to take the old materials and turn them into
a new camera, liked the wide open aperture effect achieved with a
literal pin-hole and *loved* playing about with enlargers for hours.
I spent 13hrs in the darkroom at uni one day before being firmly told
to go home and eat by one of my tutors.

Different methods of doing things have different complexities, sure,
but they also have different end effects, and it depends what you're
after. My whole year group thought I was bonkers when I decided to
develop film in coffee, but they all loved the results I produced.

--
Katie Sutton
http://tajasel.org

"The ‘Net is a waste of time, and that’s exactly what’s right about
it." ~ William Gibson

Mark Lomas

unread,
Nov 5, 2011, 8:16:49 PM11/5/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
On Sat, Nov 5, 2011 at 11:41 PM, Akki <beloved...@gmail.com> wrote:


The above is all kind of off topic anyway...


I'm finding it really interesting.
I've done darkroom processing in the past, so I didn't feel that I needed a course in basic developing, but I'm interested in the way the conversation has turned to making simple cameras, and making larger format negs or positives.
The hackspace has all the tools to make sturdy boxes - I suppose lenses are the only thing that couldn't be made there.
It would be interesting to know what digital improvements (metering, timing...) could be made to an analog Victorian-style box camera...
Cheers
Mark

Fuzzy Dunlop

unread,
Nov 6, 2011, 5:48:24 AM11/6/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
I definitely be interested in a darkroom and continuing to shoot on film. I also have darkroom stuff to donate.

I would also be interested in experimenting in older forms of photography, ie; creating our our own film/paper.

Please copy me in.

Kevan

Bernard Tyers

unread,
Nov 18, 2011, 11:56:44 AM11/18/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com

On 4 Nov 2011, at 19:36, Akki wrote:

> Hi everyone,
>
> After a bit of discussion on the IRC channel, I've taken it upon
> myself to offer one to one How to Develop Your Own B&W Film tuition.
> The reasons for this is two-fold - first, it'll hopefully renew
> interest in the wet room/darkroom development and also give us a
> better idea of numbers of potential users. Secondly, I can work on my
> interpersonal and teaching skills :) Also if people have negatives to
> print, they'll be more motivated to have a darkroom. It's a carrot to
> get things moving.
>

Hea,

Did this get off the ground? I'd be interested in learning too.. I have plenty of rolls of 120N film to print, and would be willing to use some as...."experiments"...

If anything needs to be bought, I'd be willing to chip in for developer, fixer etc...

thanks,
Bernard

=====
Bernard / bluboxthief / ei8fdb
IO91XM / www.ei8fdb.org

Akki

unread,
Nov 18, 2011, 5:09:55 PM11/18/11
to London Hackspace
Well the wet room isn't sorted out for darkroom useage yet so no B&W
prints. Possibly could do cyanotypes, though.

If you have some exposed 120 B&W film you'd like to learn to develop,
I could teach you how to at the space. Maybe people will get curious
and interested (and motivated...). When's a good time/date for you?
I'm probably unable to go to the space between 24-28 November (family
visiting) and Monday mornings, but any other time is cool with me.

~Akki

Bernard Tyers

unread,
Nov 19, 2011, 6:24:45 AM11/19/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com

On 18 Nov 2011, at 22:09, Akki wrote:

> Well the wet room isn't sorted out for darkroom useage yet so no B&W
> prints. Possibly could do cyanotypes, though.
>
> If you have some exposed 120 B&W film you'd like to learn to develop,
> I could teach you how to at the space. Maybe people will get curious
> and interested (and motivated...). When's a good time/date for you?
> I'm probably unable to go to the space between 24-28 November (family
> visiting) and Monday mornings, but any other time is cool with me.


Hi Akki,

Yeah, I'd love to learn from you. At the moment the best are either a) late-ish Friday evenings 7-8PM, or b) the weekend as I am working away from London during the week.

What about next Saturday evening, or maybe Sunday morning? Following weekend is out as I have a uni project to hand in for Dec 5th.

I have a number of rolls I have shot, but also some new rolls I would be happy to donate as experiments. Whats the score on chemicals? Are there any available or do we need to make/buy some?

thanks,
B

====

atom

unread,
Nov 19, 2011, 7:50:54 PM11/19/11
to London Hackspace
Hi

Not sure if I am late to the party or not!

My name is Ollie, and i'm just about to start getting involved with
Hackspace. I'm a member of Occupy London - and i am also a practicing
freelance photographer, with 5 years of studies under my belt. 3 of
those were film/darkroom based, and i've been dreaming of working in a
darkroom again since i finished 2 years ago!

I'm not the most knowledgeable in the subject by any means but am
classically trained in darkroom use. I can bring along some tanks I
have, a few trays, some boxes of ilford paper, and myself.

I'll be moving to london on the 5th of december so would love to get
involved with any other photographers/learners/hobbyists in hackspace,
feel I can bring a lot to the table and also learn a lot from all of
you too :)

Is there a page on the wiki for the photography/wet room? What does
anyone think about having a regular darkroom thing every week?

Cheers for now

atom
ollie

Akki

unread,
Nov 21, 2011, 4:11:26 PM11/21/11
to London Hackspace
Bernard,

Hm if I understand you correctly, you've picked dates I can't make :)
How about we look at sometime past 5 Dec. then?
As far as chemicals, I can bring my bottle of Rodinal and some pre-
mixed rapid fix to make things easier/faster to work with.

Best wishes,
~Akki

Bernard Tyers

unread,
Nov 21, 2011, 7:21:45 PM11/21/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com

On 21 Nov 2011, at 21:11, Akki wrote:

> Bernard,
>
> Hm if I understand you correctly, you've picked dates I can't make :)
> How about we look at sometime past 5 Dec. then?
> As far as chemicals, I can bring my bottle of Rodinal and some pre-
> mixed rapid fix to make things easier/faster to work with.


Hi Akki

Hah, yes...after re-reading your mail (or one may say...after reading your mail)..maybe after 5th Dec is best!

Ollie was interested to, so hows after Dec 5th Ollie?

Lets revisit things next week..

thanks,
Bernard

=====

atom

unread,
Nov 24, 2011, 4:54:22 AM11/24/11
to London Hackspace
Hi

Sometime past December the 5th is best for me - I'm moving up to
London that weekend, and will be situatied between Hackspace/
OccupyLondon full time.

I know how to dev film but could do with a run through again, it's
been years. Got my own tank and spools.

Here is my mobile numbers - 07516023653 / 07840027300

I'm also going to be slightly working on making the wet bio room/
photography room a real darkroom, over the next few weeks, if I can do
so with encroaching upon people's current use of the room!

ollie

Bernard Tyers

unread,
Nov 24, 2011, 10:34:30 AM11/24/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com

On 24 Nov 2011, at 09:54, atom wrote:

>
> I'm also going to be slightly working on making the wet bio room/
> photography room a real darkroom, over the next few weeks, if I can do
> so with encroaching upon people's current use of the room!

Hi Ollie,

I'd be interested in helping out with that if I have time, after the 5th the weekends are ok, during the week, no too sure. But we can discuss. My number is 07805 917621.

Bernard Tyers

unread,
Nov 24, 2011, 10:48:30 AM11/24/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1


On 24 Nov 2011, at 09:54, atom wrote:

>
> I'm also going to be slightly working on making the wet bio room/
> photography room a real darkroom, over the next few weeks, if I can do
> so with encroaching upon people's current use of the room!

Hi Ollie,

I'd be interested in helping out with that if I have time, after the 5th the weekends are ok, during the week, no too sure. But we can discuss. My number is 07805 917621.

thanks,
Bernard

=====
Bernard / bluboxthief / ei8fdb
IO91XM / www.ei8fdb.org

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG/MacGPG2 v2.0.17 (Darwin)
Comment: GPGTools - http://gpgtools.org

iQEcBAEBAgAGBQJOzmdOAAoJENsz1IO7MIrrKKoIALaKtf4U+Uv8tis6/g+/R9zv
ppChP6pHr2yDUdvI7qY5FRdDKWUxPHHDgBLDiTVyufacoF84HRE8MLs68Y7J01SP
sG64dloIT9s8iBb47YKYaf+LLJQj6pO4OjGn06rIEJK2ZkEPgcT4dhPzT6ZtQcP7
JYEQQGIkHTQzve4aZCaWR7CuttLQtZiZSMdQ3hCEiyttcO3lxMQTgob5PR4BcVwo
wb3x82zYUlTKgPEJaEV7qPy6PyhdRVPboWKvPt3o4c52xuNUvTC5ddSAR2emgBxX
BwNOBNLlkhRAJ7dBNZl51eH7I85xad5q0wOKDd1FEOeNyf0NjJ2qa+kk00Ts6WQ=
=HT02
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

Alex Pounds

unread,
Nov 24, 2011, 12:42:21 PM11/24/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
On Thu, Nov 24, 2011 at 01:54:22AM -0800, atom wrote:
> I'm also going to be slightly working on making the wet bio room/
> photography room a real darkroom, over the next few weeks, if I can do
> so with encroaching upon people's current use of the room!

It's good to hear there's still enthusiasm for this project. I was
co-ordinating it as best I could, but life's tricky for me at the moment
and I haven't been able to make it to the space for a couple of months.
It's probably best if others step in to get it working.

There's a page for it on the Wiki here, though I suspect it needs
updating: http://wiki.london.hackspace.org.uk/view/Project:Darkroom

We've had plenty of offers for equipment so far, and film developing
equipment's easy to get cheaply from eBay etc. Because this is the easiest
bit of the project, I'd recommend holding off gathering equipment until
the infrastructure (power, plumbing, ventilation, etc) is in place.


Best wishes,

--
Alex Pounds .~. http://www.alexpounds.com/
/V\ http://www.ethicsgirls.com/
// \\
"Variables won't; Constants aren't" /( )\
^`~'^

George Buckenham

unread,
Nov 24, 2011, 2:34:43 PM11/24/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com

I am enthusiastically awaiting infrastructure to get sorted. Which is a bit useless, but there we go. I did B&W dev at Uni, have given brief training on it before, but am far from an expert. Happy to help how I can.

- g

atom

unread,
Nov 25, 2011, 8:48:14 AM11/25/11
to London Hackspace
Great - good to know there is solid enthuiasm for it!

There are a number of plumbers/sparks located at Occupy London - i'm
sure if we provided them with the materials, and multiple cups of tea
and a meal, they could do the work if it is not too hetic. I'll look
into it

ollie

On Nov 24, 7:34 pm, George Buckenham <v.twenty....@gmail.com> wrote:
> I am enthusiastically awaiting infrastructure to get sorted. Which is a bit
> useless, but there we go. I did B&W dev at Uni, have given brief training
> on it before, but am far from an expert. Happy to help how I can.
>
> - g
>

> On 24 Nov 2011 17:42, "Alex Pounds" <a...@alexpounds.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On Thu, Nov 24, 2011 at 01:54:22AM -0800, atom wrote:
> > > I'm also going to be slightly working on making the wet bio room/
> > > photography room a real darkroom, over the next few weeks, if I can do
> > > so with encroaching upon people's current use of the room!
>
> > It's good to hear there's still enthusiasm for this project. I was
> > co-ordinating it as best I could, but life's tricky for me at the moment
> > and I haven't been able to make it to the space for a couple of months.
> > It's probably best if others step in to get it working.
>
> > There's a page for it on the Wiki here, though I suspect it needs
> > updating:http://wiki.london.hackspace.org.uk/view/Project:Darkroom
>
> > We've had plenty of offers for equipment so far, and film developing
> > equipment's easy to get cheaply from eBay etc. Because this is the easiest
> > bit of the project, I'd recommend holding off gathering equipment until
> > the infrastructure (power, plumbing, ventilation, etc) is in place.
>
> > Best wishes,
>
> > --
> > Alex Pounds                             .~.    http://www.alexpounds.com/
> >                                        /V\    http://www.ethicsgirls.com/
> >                                       // \\
> > "Variables won't; Constants aren't"   /(   )\

> >                                       ^`~'^- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

Laura

unread,
Nov 25, 2011, 8:58:19 AM11/25/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
Really good to see the enthusiasm kicking up again for the darkroom project.

I mentioned before that I had a fair bit of kit that the space can
use. I've had to give up my studio space recently, so all my darkroom
kit is in storage just now. Once the plumbing etc is sorted, I'm
happy for my kit to be used.

Laura

Akki

unread,
Dec 6, 2011, 3:41:36 AM12/6/11
to London Hackspace
Hi all,

Sorry for the lack of replies, life's gotten a bit hectic with the
holidays lately so not so sure about time to do tutitions :(

Vaguely related: I'll be showing alecjw how to do cyanotypes
(hopefully, we'll see how it goes) tonight (6 Dec, social night) if
anyone wants to pop along tonight to have an oogle.

~Heather(Akki)

On Nov 25, 1:58 pm, Laura <shoo...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Really good to see the enthusiasm kicking up again for the darkroom project.
>
> I mentioned before that I had a fair bit of kit that the space can
> use.  I've had to give up my studio space recently, so all my darkroom
> kit is in storage just now.  Once the plumbing etc is sorted, I'm
> happy for my kit to be used.
>
> Laura
>

Pajo

unread,
Dec 26, 2011, 11:36:03 AM12/26/11
to London Hackspace
Hi Heather,

I've done a bit of BW developing and printing sometime ago but I guess
a little guidance would probably keep me from ruining my own negs.
I shoot mostly with tmax or tri x 400.
Any help is much welcomed.
I don't mind buying my own developers and stuff.

In any case would you know whether is there in space in london where I
could take my own negs and try to develop them myself?

Many thanks,

P

Bernard Tyers

unread,
Jan 12, 2012, 5:13:13 PM1/12/12
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
Hi Heather and all,

I'm still interested in learning, if possible! I am home this weekend if your about the space (I live 10 mins from the space).

I do still have a bunch of 400 film rolls to use as experiments.

thanks,
Bernard

On 26 Dec 2011, at 16:36, Pajo wrote:

> Hi Heather,
>
> I've done a bit of BW developing and printing sometime ago but I guess
> a little guidance would probably keep me from ruining my own negs.
> I shoot mostly with tmax or tri x 400.
> Any help is much welcomed.
> I don't mind buying my own developers and stuff.
>
> In any case would you know whether is there in space in london where I
> could take my own negs and try to develop them myself?
>
> Many thanks,
>

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages