Saturday, October 17, 2015

100 Days of Black and White Photos: Day 78

This photo represents me getting back into shooting film. It also represents the first time I developed film by myself, it represents the first time I developed color film, and it is also the first time I cross-processed slide film. Last but not least, it represents the patience needed when loading film onto the spool to be developed.
A few weeks ago, around the beginning of this project, I bought an Olympus OM-2 film SLR camera. I already had a Diana Mini camera, which is a 35mm toy or lomo camera. I wanted a better camera with manual controls so I could (re-)learn film photography. I decided I also wanted to finally learn how to develop film on my own. I did research for weeks. When I was ready, I had six rolls of film to develop. One or two of the rolls I shot back in 2011 and four of the rolls I shot during lunch time and after work. The photo above was in the last batch.

The spools work best when they are dry, but I only had one pair. I had to reuse them right after developing the previous batch, so it made it increasingly difficult to get the film on the spool. It was close to mid-night, I was frustrated and tired, so I just wrapped the film in a circle around the spool. When I finished developing that batch, I saw that some of the film never got developed. I lost a couple of photos, while some of them were half processed. The photo above is the color version. There are color shifts in the photo because it was slide film that was processed as color negative, hence the term cross-processed. 

Since then, I processed some black and white film and I understand why they say black and white film is much easier. Black and White film uses diluted chemicals at room temperature, where as C-41 processing had to be done at 102°F using the full stock of its chemicals.

I found a photo lab that is relatively close by and has been in business for years. The I am going to send my next batch of color film to them and see how well they process film. I like supporting local businesses, so I'll probably continue developing black and white by myself and sending my color film in to a professional photo lab to get developed.

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