Developing film at home

Developing film at home

April 05 2020

I've been planning on developing film at home for a while now. Xavier and I took a trip to Berkeley's local salvage yard for developing tanks and spent a day in Santa Cruz, where I picked up a scanner I found on Facebook Marketplace. We painted on the boardwalk, hiked in the Big Basin Redwoods, played mini golf, and checked out some flea markets. Undoubtedly the best day of the year so far.

After getting the proper chemicals, we decided to freestyle the development process. My goal was to learn by doing and get a feel for the process rather than to meticulously follow each technical detail.

There's a reason why film is so interesting, and it's that there are so many variables and ways for a photographer to inject their identity into the photos. I've spent the past few years developing my style, and this was a much needed step towards that.

The negatives were underdeveloped, which resulted in many lost shots but also an interesting sheen in some of the salvageable shots. There's also an obscene amount of grain, but I'm happy with what I learned and the photos I got from this experiment. I included them in my photo book SALT, which is a culmination of my uni days.

Next time, I need to practice loading film into reels and getting development timings right.