Knowing how long to develop film for is easy if you use popular films and developers, but what if you want to use some obscure combination that isn’t well documented? If that’s you, check out the Photocritic Film Development Database. It’s a simple service that outputs development times for 1440 different film/developer combinations. For combinations that aren’t officially published, creator Haje Jan Kamps has come with a formula that estimates the time — a formula that he says is surprisingly accurate.
Here’s a step-by-step video tutorial teaching how to develop your B&W film using instant coffee and powdered vitamin C instead of actual developer. You’ll still need some darkroom gear and some fixer, but it’s a neat way to experiment with film photography. Photo geeks call this solution Caffenol, and there’s even a special Flickr group dedicated to making homebrew developer.
If you’ve never learned how to process film, this is also a great introduction to how it’s done.
Redscale is a technique where film is exposed on the wrong side — rather than having the light hit the emulsion directly, you expose the film through the non-sensitive side.
The name “redscale” comes because there is a strong color shift to red due to the red-sensitive layer of the film being exposed first, rather than last (the red layer is normally the bottom layer in C-41 (color print) film). All layers are sensitive to blue light, so normally the blue layer is on top, followed by a filter. In this technique, blue light exposes the layers containing red and green dyes, but the layer containing blue dye is left unexposed due to the filter. [#]
The two main ways for doing this are loading the film upside down (if your camera allows it), or by purchasing film that has been “converted” already. A third way is to make DIY redscale film by going into a darkroom, pulling out the film, cutting it, flipping it, taping it back together, and then winding it back into the canister. Messy, but it works! Read more…
Here’s a rare behind-the-scenes look into Ansel Adams’ home in Carmel, California and the custom built darkroom in which most of Adams’ famous prints were created. It’s pretty amazing how much editing Adams’ did in transforming the plain negatives into the beautiful works of art hanging on walls around the world.
The negative is comparable to the composer’s score and the print to its performance. Each performance differs in subtle ways.
– Ansel Adams
Michael Adams, Ansel’s son and the “tour guide” in this video, also shares some of Ansel’s tools, techniques, and tricks.
Here’s a short video by The Guardian looking at the rapid demise of photographic darkrooms and photographer Richard Nicholson’s project of capturing these spaces across London before they become just another chapter in photographic history.
Mugtug Darkroom is a new browser-based photo editor that uses HTML5 rather than Flash. It was presented at the Google I/O web developer conference yesterday to show off what’s possible with HTML5, the proposed next version of HTML that’s gaining steam.
Web apps taking advantage of HTML can take advantage of new scripting APIs that allow such things as offline data storage and drag and drop functionality.
The app is indeed impressive, but only worked in Firefox 3.6 for us. It might or might not work for you depending on what browser you’re using.
After loading up an image via upload, URL, Flickr, or Picasa, you can do many of the basic edits you might do on a photo in more advanced programs like Photoshop.
Looks like there’s big improvements coming to our internet experience in the very near future.
SwankoLab is an image editing app for the iPhone and iPod that features a complete darkroom simulator with chemicals, timers, and the whole shebang.
Rather than offering simple filters to customize the look and feel of your photographs, you process your digital photos using chemicals combined into custom formulas, giving you a large degree of control over how your photos turn out. You can even save successful formulas in a Formula Notebook built into the app.
The app is by the makers of Hipstamatic, and is set to be released in early April 2010. There’s currently no word on pricing, but an additional 9 chemicals will be available for $1.99.