Well it’s happening, I’m now fully down the rabbit hole of B&W film development. It was inevitable really, as I continued to take more photos on film and especially on B&W, that I couldn’t resist trying out development for myself. I think firstly I have to say a massive thank you to Dave Beatty from …
I think the city council and mayor would probably want to kill me if they read the title of this article. To be clear, Reno Nevada at large is not declining. It’s a thriving small city that continues to attract businesses and people as it spreads its mcmansion infused tentacles into the adjoining valleys. While …
I’ve mostly had pretty good to medium luck using seaweed, bladderwrack specifically, as a film developer, but I live in Reno Nevada on the western edge of the Great Basin, bladderwrack for seaweed developer is just not that readily available out here.
I thought that maybe I should try to make developer out of something a little more ubiquitous than bladderwrack. Being on the edge of the Great Basin (near the foothills of the Sierras) sagebrush grows abundantly in these parts, it’s in vacant lots, in peoples yards and covers whole hillsides as you get away from the center of town.
Sometimes we spin so fast, that all that is left of us is a motion that can not be caught.
We, as part of an efficient society, do so much and naturally it has to be productive, effective, useful – both in our jobs and sometimes even in our private lifes. In these big cities of ours, where others are also spinning as successfully as we are, leaving after them nothing but a vortex made out of blurry colours and shapes. That is why it is so refreshing to see something done not for the sake of a time-efficient, comfortable and profitable result, but because it is done out of inspiration and creative thirst, when the process is approached as a slow and full immersion. This kind of an example we see in the second-in-the-world cyanotype music video “Wounded Angel” for the creation of which three artists united – musician godo yorke, french photographer Dan Hermouet and filmmaker Kotryna Daraškevičiūtė. Inspired, in fact, by the first Cyanotype music video by Edd Carr, which was also featured here on 35mmc.
Recently, I was lucky enough to be invited to contribute to a project that was started by Dave Whenham (@elland_in) and John Martin (@TEMLIGHTIMAGES). The project is passing a homemade 4×5 pinhole camera around some invited contributors, who each use the camera and submit the results as content for a zine.
When I agreed to do this, about a year ago, it all seemed a bit far in the future. As the camera landed on my doorstep things got real, very quickly. I’d had a year to work out my plan of attack and I’d put it into the back of my mind. The first weekend I wasted by being frozen with panic. I was going to look like a real fool.
In a fit of JFDI (Just Flippin’ Do It) I loaded a couple of sheets of Adox CHS 100 II film and shot a frame of a Kraken Rum Bottle and a vase of plastic flowers.
I am not a person, with whom the term “brilliant” is associated, however I do have the odd flash of inspiration. This came in the form of not having any Kodak D23 made up or chemicals to do so. The only developer that I’d got was Ilford PQ Universal. I also had an unopened box of Fotospeed ST10 Sepia Toner. What if I tried a reversal process using the Sepia Toner?
The theory goes that you develop the film in a strong dilution of paper developer, then use the toner from the ST10 kit and then use the bleach from the ST10 kit you will carry out reversal of the image.