& Publications Photography Essay, Research Paper
Basics of film developing
This step, basics of film developing, is very important that can make a person
becomes a great photography. After knowing how to use the camera and how
to take the pictures, the next step is learning how to develop the film.
Although the person has a good negative; but a person doesn’t have a good
develop’s skill ,or doesn’t know the right way about developing, how can that
person makes a good picture. He/she should know how to develop film and
how to roll the film. Basic things about how to develop the film are listed in
the book entitled, INTRODUCTORY & PUBLICATIONS PHOTOGRAPHY
written by Dr.C. Wm. Horrell and Robert A.Steffes. That is
1. Turn off all the lights in the darkroom and unwind the film. (Roll
film, except 35 mm, must be separated from the protective paper). And then
unroll the paper until the end of the film is reached which is not attached to
the paper and will, therefore, form its own roll when separated.
2. Unroll until the other end is reached, which is attached to the paper
by tape. Tear film gently from the paper when loading the film onto a reel or
into a plastic apron.
3. At this point, handle film by the edges to avoid fingerprints on the
film’s picture area.
4. Fingerprints inflicted by pressure or moist fingers may show up on
the negative and in the finished print.
5. To remove the film from a 35 mm cartridge, pop off the retaining
ring with a bottle opener, allowing the roll to be removed.
6. The film is now loaded on a reel. This procedure is the best learned
by practicing with a film provided for this purpose, or an uncut, discarded
strip of negetive. Cut the leader of 35mm film square with scissors before
7. Some tanks use plastic aprons instead of reels.
8. With the reel or plastic apron now placed in the tank, and the cover
secure, turn on the lights and proceed to develop the film. needed chemicals
and equipment are pictured below.
9. Determine the temperature of the developer, then in turn determine
the time in minutes necessary to develop the film using a time-temperature
development chart. Set timer for recommended time.
10. Start the timer running. Then pour the developer into the tank. Tilt
the tank slightly so that air may escape. Don’t let an air-lock mislead into
thinking the tank is full when it isn’t.
11. Agitate the tank vigorously for the first 15 seconds. Then agitate
for about 5 seconds during each 30 seconds of development thereafter.
12. After developing time has elapsed, pour developer back into the
bottle. Do not pour it into the sink unless using a ” one-shot ” developer.
13. Immediately fill the tank with a short stop rinse and agitate for
about 30 seconds to a minute. When acid rinse is omitted, the film should be
rinsed in running water for about 30 seconds.
14. If acid rinse is to be re-used, pour it back into the bottle; otherwise,
pour it into the sink.
15. Fill tank with fixing bath solution and agitate vigorously for about
15 seconds. The lid may now be removed from the tank. The film should be
left on the reel in the tank for twice the time it takes to clear the film of its
16. This illustration shows the milky appearance of a film just after it is
placed in the fixer. The film is opaque, and all of this mildness must be
dissolved out for proper fixation. Any hint of mildness, general or localized,
is a positive indication the film is insufficiently fixed. If the film takes too
much time to clear, the fixer is exhausted.
17. When properly fixed, the film is transparent and clear, as shown
18. The fixer is then poured back into the bottle. Do not pour it into the
19. Place the tank under a cold water faucet or insert a hose into the
center of the tank and wash for 15 or 20 minutes. If the wash water is colder
than 65 degrees, it is advisable to treat the films in a hypo clearing agent
20. After the film has been thoroughly washed, place about one drop of
a wetting agent in the tank of water. Agitate gently for about a minute. The
wetting agent will help prevent the formation of water marks on the film and
speed up drying time. Empty the tank of water and remove film from reel.
Wash the wetting agent off the tank, reel, or apron by rinsing thoroughly with
21. Attach a film clip to each end of the film and hang up to dry in a
dust-free area. Using a windshield wiper as a squeegee, make two wipes
down the film on each side before hanging up to dry. Warm forced air will
speed film drying. Ordinary electric fans or hair dryers are suitable in the
absence of film drying equipment. (Horrell 15)
The steps taken to improve the product
After knowing how to use the camera,then it’s time trying developing the
film. The person should do it many times until he/she is sure that he/she
knows how to do it in the right way. It’s good to ask the mantel or the
professer or someone that knows how to develop the film to help at the first
time doing it. Because he/she can advise and tell what that person is doing
wron, so that a person will not make a serious mistake or break the
equipment. The first time it’s hard to make a good picture, but if that person
does it again and again, that person will have more skill and get better. It
takes a long time to be a good film developer.The more times he/she does it,
the more skill he/she will have. Here are 15 hints for better film processing
which was written by Dr. C. Wm. Horrell and Robert A.Steffes in the book
called, Introductory & Publications Photography.
1. Although the temperature of the developer is a critical matter, it is
not necessary to keep all processing solutions at the same temperature.
However, avoid temperature differences as great as 10 degrees. A sudden
change in temperature between developer and rinse, for example, may result
in reticlation of the negatives. Reticulation is a wrinkling or puckering of the
emulsion which may ruin the image.
2. When film is wet, the emulsion is soft and delicate. Avoid touching
the image area, or allowing it to scrape along the bottom of sinks.
3. Agitation recommendations should be folllowed carefully. Don’t
place your films in the developer and take a break while they are in the
“soup”. Stay with them and agitate at regular intervals.
4. A simple but effective method of altering the temperature of the
developer is to place the container in a pan cold, or hot water, stirring with a
thermometer to constantly check on it is change. If it is impractical to alter the
temperature, which is roughly between 65 and 75 degrees, the developing
time can be altered to compensate for the deviation from the optimum 65
degrees. Consult the time and temperature chart which accompanies the film.
The following is a typical time and temperature chart.
A typical time-temperature chart. Other film and developer
combinations may have time-temperature characteristics which differ sharply
with this one, thus the need for consulting the data sheet packed with film
which usually contains such a chart.
In using the above chart, if the temperature of the developer was 68
degrees, developing time would be 8 minutes. At 75 degrees, it would be 6
minutes. Caution! Development at too high temperatures may cuause the
emulsion to slide off the film base. If necessary to develop film above 75
degrees, a prehardener is required with most film-developer combinations.
5. Negatives accidentally placed in the acid rinse instead of the
developer may be transferred to the developer without serious harm if the
acid rinse is thoroughly washed out of the film. Likewise, negatives
assidentally placed in water first may be transferred to the developer without
damage. But if he/she accidentally immerse the film first in hypo, that person
is almost sure to ruin the film.
6. When pouring developer into daylight developing tanks, tip the tank
slightly to allow air to escape, otherwise an air pocket inside the tank may
prevent the tank from filling. It may appear the tank is filled when actually it
isn’t. This will result in uneven development, or complete lack of
development in some areas.
7. When pouring solutions back into stock bottles, be certain pouring
into the proper bottle. If fixer is poured into developer, the latter is ruined and
should be discarded immediately. Developer poured into fixer is less fatal to
film, but fixer thus weakened should also be discarded.
8. Label all chemical bottles clearly, and read this label each time using
the bottle. If a solution is accidentally contaminated, inform the instructor.
Failure to do this may cause a person to ruin valuable negatives.
9. Check the level of the solutions in cut film developing tanks by
inserting and emptying the hanger in the tank to be certain the level is above
the hanger bar.
10. When developing a quantity of cut films, count them when placing
them in the developer. Finding an undeveloped piece of film on the loading
bench after turning on the white lights
11. If the negatives are consistently flat or thin even under well-
controlled conditions, the cause may be in development. With care and some
experimentation he/she should either increase the developing time beyond the
recommendations or add additional replenisher to the developer.
12. If negatives are consistently contrasted, decrease the developing
time or dilute the developer with water generally no more than 25%
additional water, however.
13. A safelight is safe only when used with caution. Consult film data
sheets for safelight inspection recommendations.
14. Developers are generally most economical and effectivve when
used with replenishers. When used without replenishers, developers rapidly
lose their strength, and unless a systematic increase in developing time is
observed, each subsequent film processed will become thinner and flatter.
15. When developing particularly important negatives, it may be wise
to process just one sheet of film first as a check on procedures and
chemicals. With roll film, some photograghers shoot the last one or two
exposures as test shots, taken under same conditions as the previsious
exposures. This portion of the roll and developed first. Should such a test
reveal a thin negative, some compensation can be made when developing the
remainder of the roll. (Horrell 19)
Practicing is the most important thing in becoming a good photographer
or film developer. Besides that willing to be what that person wants to be is
also important. A person can’t be a good photography or film developer if that
person doesn’t love it. Everyone has the own dream. So don’t give up making
the dream come true!
Bruce, Helen Finn. Your Guide To Photography. New York: Barnes &
Noble, Inc., 1965.
Goodwin, Karma. Personal interviews. March and April 1997.
Horrell, Dr. C. Wm. and Robert A. Steffes. Introductory & Publications
Photography. Wisconsin: American Yearbook Company, 1972.
“Photography”. Internet site www.search.yahoo.com
Science and Technology Illustrated Volume 19. The World Around U.S.
Encyclopaedia Britannica,Inc., 1768