Tip#4-A little about film and developing.
I use Tri-X film and Kodack Hc110 developer.Both are getting to be rare, highly elusive and much sought after Retro Relics!
•Choose a room that you can make completely dark.
•Or, you could use a light proof changing bag.With this you would put the film and developing tank in the bag.Open the film and insert it into the developing tank.
•It is a good idea to practice with a ‘throw away’ roll of film in the daylight.You can see and get the feel of loading the reel.
•Stainless steel tanks are best. You can get a gadget called a film loader- it snaps on the reel,cups the film and it guides it into the spirals of the reel.
•I always pre soak the film in plain water-68°, it helps to give even development and removes any dust that may be in the tank or in the spirals. Agitate tank..tap it a few times- then pour the water out.
•Follow manufacturers directions for your chemicals.
•Add developer…time it..drain.
•Add stop bath..agitate about a minute…drain.
•Add fixer …agitate about 20 sec…left and right inversions…about 5 minutes…pour fixer back in it’s bottle.
•You can now take the cover off the developing tank!
•Next ..wash in 68° water…let it flow in and out the tank.
• Remove film from spool..hang it on a clip.
Gently wipe the film from top to bottom with Photo Flo.
•Leave it to dry overnight.
• Next we will do a strip print test..wooo-hooo!
• Set your enlarger for an 8×10 print.
•Put negative in the enlarger. Set enlarger to F/8 or F/11 and the timer to 3 seconds.
•Place your print paper on the easel..give 3 sec. exposure.
•Cover about an inch..starting at the right side of the paper..use an 8 x 10 cardboard or paper.
•Expose 3 sec. again.
• Move the cardboard over another inch and give 3 sec. exposure.
•Repeat this until the end of the paper.Try for 8 to 10 strips. Each will be 3 seconds more than the preceding strip.
•Develop for 2 minutes, stop and fix. Fix for about 30 seconds …then turn on the white lights…look for the 1st. Strip that has the darkest black…probably in the center of the paper.
•If it is before the 3rd. Strip(9 sec.) close the lens 1 stop..repeat exposures.
•If it’s after the 8 th strip (24 sec.) ..open lens 1 stop and repeat.
• Develop, fix,wash and dry.After print is completely dry – again find the first black strip. Let’s say it is the 4th. Strip – 12 sec…put the neg.back in the enlarger and another print paper on the easel.
•Cover 1/2 the paper..the give 4- 3 second exposure strips (as above).Develop as before.• Print-Develop.and dry as above.
•Examine the tones..it will be darker than previous print but, a portion should be pure white…If you see no difference – the negative was overdeveloped. Develop a second roll(that matched your first roll…notes that you kept..and shot at the same scene.) Develop this roll at 25% less time.Then during printing give it 12 sec. Exposure time.
•If you see way more than a little difference…like maybe grey where white should be… the negative was underdeveloped….develop the second roll at 25% longer time..repeat the previous test.
With this all done – you should have a great negative to make a great print!!
Good going on all the work you just did!
Enjoy it – you earned it!
Remember – if you change cameras,films,etc. Repeat tests :-). Keep on having fun with it.!
Tip#5- What about the proof? ….Say Whhaaat?
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“Memories feed the soul,
photos back it up!”