Black & White Film Processing Week 1

Tuesday 2nd MarchTonight we all practiced loading developming tank spirals before getting down and very dark in the college darkroom.

Loading A Developing Tank Spiral


But first we were given a Vivitar SLR film camera and shown the controls, how to set the ISO (in our case 400 as we were using rolls of some new black and white film from a manufacturer I have never heard of, Kentmere? Anyone come across this before?

Vivitar SLR Camera


Anyway it was a joy to see and hear the comments from certain (younger members who had never seen a film camera before!) whilst Marc ran through the controls and theory behind using a film camera. We were shown how to adjust both aperture size and shutter speeds in order to get the built in exposure meter to give us the nod that we had managed to get a combination of speed and aperture that would give us the correct exposure – keep looking for the green light Susan.

Then it was off into the studio where we all tried desperately, and somewhat chaotically, to shoot 24 exposures each. All semblance of photographic discipline seemed to go out the window and a free for all portrait shoot of each other seemed to evolve, still no one asked for prize winning images!

Finally we all went into the darkroom and tried to load our dev tank spirals, remove the film cannister and place 2 loaded spirals in each development tank correctly befor fitting the light fast funnel and finally light tight lids. As we had run out of time we labelled these tanks with what was loaded and put them away to be developed next week. WATCH THIS SPACE FOR THE RESULTS!


About Steve

Originally trained in graphic art at a time when the only apples you could buy were locally grown and sold in pounds and ounces!, or were made from black vinyl and usually featured Paul Mcartney on vocals. Back then we too had cutting edge technology such as Lettraset and Cow Gum, anyone here remember those? And amazing tools like Rotring pens and French curves. I originally worked in the printing industry for several years and we would doodle away in our state of the art Litho studio producing all manner of four colour separation artwork whilst listening to the still operating Letterpress machines thumping away two floors down and wondering if and when the management would eventually see the light and revert totally to Litho printing, alas I never did see that day as, against everyones wishes, I gave up my position in the studio for a dusty, smelly 8 foot square shed in a boatbuilding yard and thus began a 25 year sojourn, designing, building and generally mucking about with offshore raceboats and production sportsboats. I kept my interest in graphics throughout those years and taught myself to drive adobe creative suites and so on but, unfortunately on PC not Macs. I have now got the boating thing out of my system and am aiming to get back into the graphics business once again, just not sure how yet!
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2 Responses to Black & White Film Processing Week 1

  1. I’m hoping to get some equipment together to do my own black and white processing soon. Got a big shopping list but it shouldn’t take long to get the bits and pieces.

    • Steve says:

      Hi Richard,
      Thanks for the comment, I see you were off to the NEC on Wednesday I live only about 25 miles West of there but did not have the time to visit the show myself. I trust you got one or two good ideas and maybe competitive quotes for your new processing gear. Keep me posted as I may end up going down that route too once I no longer have the colleges facilities to hand.
      All the best,

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