Processing of Black and White Film

Published: 2021-07-02 01:15:34
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Category: Photography, Camera, Force, hobbies

Type of paper: Essay

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Today, we have contact with photography ubiquitously. But, do you realize that what you see has been created by photography? People have drawn and painted the world that surrounded them since ancient times. However, the first recording of a negative image on a light-sensitive material was first achieved by Frenchman, J. Niepce in 1826. He made the first permanent photograph with a camera “obscura”. Although, the exposure took eight hours, he wanted to find a different process. Another pioneer of photography was the British inventor William Talbot.
He invented a special process named calotype or talbotype that created negative images from which a positive could be printed. On the other hand, in 1884, George Eastman invented the dry gel, which required paper or film. He developed the technology of film; and the same technology is used by film cameras today. A few years later, in June 1888, Eastman Kodak introduced to the public the first film camera. By the 1901, photography began to be available to the public. Today, the developing of black and white negative is almost obsolete. With new digital technology, almost nobody uses film cameras, except for some professional photographers.
What do you need to develop your film? First, you need to go outside and take some pictures. Once you have the film ready to be developed you need some materials to process the film. To start developing your own film you need to have a room that is light proof, a metal or plastic film tank, reel, a can opener, scissors, chemicals, darkroom timer, a sink, and a thermometer. One of the places where you can find equipment that you need for your dark room and to process your film is B&H photo (http://www. bhphotovideo. com). B&H photo is an online store for professional photographers where they offer affordable prices and used equipment.

For example, a roll of 24 roll of TMAX 400 cost about $3. 50 plus shipping cost. Moreover, you can also research if you have any photo stores where you live. Last semester I took a photo class at school. I check frequently the bulletin board, where students posted equipment for sale. However, there are important steps to follow to process of black and white film. The first step is that you need to load the film on the reel. Before you do that I suggest you to prepare the equipment that you will need. Next, lay the tools in front of you; you will need scissors, a can opener, and a film tank.
Remember that the negative is light sensitive and even a small amount of light will destroy the film. When you are ready, you can turn off the light and use the can opener to separate the film from the cassette. Next, unwind the film and cut the end with scissors. Now you are ready to load the film on the plastic or metal reel. I prefer the metal reel; because it is much to use. You need to gently slide the film into the slot and roll the film slowly on the reel until is loaded. When you are done, you can place the loaded reel in the film tank. When the negative is secure in the tank, you can turn on the light.
The next step is to prepare the chemicals. It is also important to know what kid of film you use. I use TRIMAX400 most of the time. Although, you know the type of the film, it is time to get ready the developer. You might ask what kind of developer is the best. There are so many to choose from. I use Kodak D-76 developer. It is a fine-grain general-purpose developer. The measurements are 4 ounces of the developer mixed with 4 ounces of water. The next step is to check the temperature. Remember, to always rinse your thermometer before you use it and after you done.
It is very important to check the temperature chart. For example, if the thermometer shows 68°F, the developing time is 6 minutes. The chemicals should be at least 68°F, because some chemicals do not respond to temperatures lower than 65°F. Now you are ready to set the darkroom timer for 6 minutes. Time is a very important factor in developing the film. Warning: if you keep the film too long in the developer the film will turn out overexposed or if you finish early the negative is going to be underexposed. After you pour the developer into the film tank, you need to agitate the tank every minute for 15 seconds.
It is very important to agitate the film, because this removes air bubbles from the film. Once the time is up you need to pour the developer into the sink. The following step is to rinse the film tank at least twice. Another important step is to add fixer. The fixer is the chemical used in the final step to stabilize the image. Fixing time takes 4 minutes. Do not forget to set your darkroom timer for 4 minutes. You need to remember also to agitate the tank every minute for 15 seconds. After the time is up you need to pour the fixer back into the container. When you done, the film is fixed and it is ready to be exposed to the light.
But, before that you have to rinse the tank few times with fresh water. It is very important to wash your negative, to remove the exhausted chemicals. Warning: If you do not wash your negative enough you could permanently damage the image. The last step is to add a few drops of photoflow to the tank film and keep it for 30 seconds. Do not agitate the tank film while the bath stop is in the tank. You need that to prevent the water from spotting the film as it dries. The remaining step is a final wash in the running water for at least 20 minutes. Afterward, the film is ready to hang and dry.
Carefully handle one end of the film and lift the film from the reel. Remember, the negatives are extremely fragile so handle them carefully. Make sure the negatives do not to touch anything. Also, do not forget to slide gently the negative between your fingers. After the film is dry, you are ready to cut the negative and go to the dark room to make the prints. Store each negative in separate negative sleeve. Although this process is almost obsolete, some professional photographers and hobbyists are still developing their film and make prints in the dark room. Black and white photography is considered a fine art.
With growing popularity of digital technology, the hobby is not as popular as before. To make sure your film is developed accurate you have to absolutely follow the step that I present above. This process of your own film will give you a greater enjoyment and understanding of the true art of photography. I took a photo class last semester and I enjoyed every minute I spent in the dark room to develop my film and then made my prints. I also learned about lighting and shadows. Black and white photography divulged different feelings and shows different emotions than color film.

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