Tuesday 9th March
Tonight we develop!
And not before time some Anthropologists might claim.
Despite yet another Fire Drill spent trapped in the car park, still without an escape exit we did manage to get into the darkroom eventually.
After an initial briefing by Marc as to how to go about developing the rolls of 35mm we shot last week and had left stored in their respective development tanks,
we trooped off to the darkroom, donned our safety goggles and protective aprons – you cant be too safe!
Health & Safety Notes:-
Photographic chemicals should be handled with reasonable care.
Try to avoid getting chemicals onto and/or into your body.
If at any point, you get chemicals on you, into your body or there is a chemical spill, it is important to take of the incident immediately, including washing the chemical off, and letting the instructor and/or lab instructor know to assist immediately for the safety of yourself and others in the lab.
If you do get chemicals on your skin, wash immediately.
Avoid Getting Chemicals Into Eyes.
If you do get chemicals in your eye, wash immediately with cool running water from the nearest source, faucet or eyewash station for 15 minutes.
Get immediate medical attention after washing eye.
Avoid Getting Chemicals Into Mouth
Wash hands after working with chemicals in both the film processing rooms and darkrooms, especially before eating.
Clean up any chemical spills as soon as possible.
If a spill occurs it is important to contain the spill and notify the instructor and/or lab technician immediately to determine how the spill should be cleaned up.
Clean your clothing and shoes if they come into contact with the chemical.
Disposal of photographic chemicals
With the exception of the fixer, it is environmentally safe to dispose the film developing chemistry down the sink.
As per college and local environmental regulations, you are required to dispose of the fixer in the provided recycling container.
Developing Our Films
Firstly it might be worth looking into why we need to develop these films – well once you have taken your shots and the image has been exposed in the camera onto the film, the picture has been made, but nothing shows on the film.
The image is there, but it is what is referred to as a latent image.
This latent image is formed by the changes to the silver halide crystals within the film’s emulsion upon exposure to light.
This image will only become visible after chemical development takes place.
We checked out the manufacturers specification sheets for the Developer and Fixer we were using in order to obtain the correct development time and mixing ratio`s which for the developer in this case was 6 minutes 30 sec @ 20degree C. developing time and mixed at 9:1 (18 fl. oz. water / 2 fl. oz. developer).
The fixer needed to be mixed at a ratio of 4:1 (16 fl. oz. water / 4 fl. oz. fix) and should remain in the tank for 3 X the developing time (18 minutes).
We filled one graduated measuring cylinder to the 18fl oz mark with a mixture of hot & cold (to get the temperature to 20 deg. C) and added the required 2 fl. oz. of developer. Taking another graduate we filled this with 16 fl. oz. of water and added 4 fl. oz. of Hypam.
(note: If you consistantly use 2 differing sized graduated cylinders for your developer and fixer it will reduce the risk of mixing them up and possibly ruining your film by adding fixer first! – This is NOT A GOOD THING!)
We were now ready to begin so ensuring the clock was set to 6 + 1/2 minutes the developer was swiftly added to the developing tank and with the lid swiftly replaced I agitated the tank for the first full minute and then for 10 seconds on every minute thereafter. This is needed to ensure a consistent covering of all the film and to try to prevent bubbles or streaks forming on the emulsion.
After the required developing time you must remove the lid and drain the developer rapidly from the tank before rinsing thoughroughly with water and then swiftly pouring in the fixer and agitating the tank again – as per the previous timings.
It was whilst we were in the process of draining the developer from one of the two tanks we were developing on this particular evening when this weeks disaster struck, upon inverting one of the tanks the light tight funnel fell out into the sink!
Without panicking the funnel was very swiftly re-inserted into the tank but everyone feared the worst, the 2 rolls of film were probably ruined, having been fogged by the darkroom lights. Without much hope we continued to fix both tanks and then after draining out the fixer (back into the storage tank as it can be re-used) we left the two tanks rinsing under running cold water taps for 15 minutes or so.
After rinsing thoughroughly we removed the funnels from our two tanks and removed the spirals to inspect the films and by some miracle all four rolls of film had been developed perfectly! Even the two which had the funnel fall out! This was amazing, and good news indeed.
Next week – contact printing