Educate Me

Photographers Will Understand…

Blue Jellyfish

Today, I did something far from brilliant in my photography class.

I rewound the film I finished shooting this morning. I took the film out of my camera. I went into the loading room, which is completely black because film is sensitive to all light, and loaded it onto a spool and put it into a developing tank. I went back out into the classroom, and I got the first chemical ready to process the film.

Considering the process is called “developing,” a normal person would use developer to develop their film.

Today, I used the stop bath.

The stop bath is a chemical that stops the developer from developing. It is not what you should use for the first step. Doh!

Fortunately, stop bath doesn’t do much of anything if it doesn’t have developer to work on. I was greatly relieved to learn that rinsing my film several times and starting over with the developer would probably work out just fine – and everything was ok in the end. I figure that there is some sort of statistic that would show that for every “x” numbers of rolls of film you develop, you are bound to do something really stupid. I’ve developed a lot of film over the years, and this is the first time for me on doing something so foolish. I guess it was bound to happen.

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

6 replies on “Photographers Will Understand…”

I’ve never actually done that, but that’s probably because of my way overly anal nature. I lay out all the chemicals in the proper order before I start (and check at least twice).

And people I know think I’m a perfectionist. 😉 Whatever gave them that idea?

Jaya, as a closet perfectionist, I can relate. In hindsight, I’m somewhat surprised that I’ve probably developed 40-50 rolls of film myself and never done something so silly.

I blame it on both chemicals being in brown bottles. I *swear* I read the one I used and it said developer at first. Never mind the fact that developer is clear and stop bath is yellow. (Now I know that and I’ll never make the same mistake again!)

Thanks Amy! I love taking photos down at the aquarium in Galveston!

First time I ever went to develop film, it was a terrible disaster of mixed up steps. For one, I forgot to agitate the developper for the first 4-5 minutes. I frantically tried to overcompensate for this for the next 5 minutes.

Then, I totally forgot the stop bath. Just skipped it entirely. In went the fixer. I thought I had ruined my first negatives and would have to reshoot, but I decided to see the rest of the process through anyways.

I only later learned you could get away with skipping the stop bath (it just exhausts your fixer super fast.) My first shots came out fine, and I was quite happy. Later on, ironically, I would use this knowledge when we genuinely ran out of stop bath and I really needed to get the negatives done.

I love the Jellyfish photo! Aren’t they incredible? What a great lesson you learned. I bet money you will never do that again. I had a darkroom in my bathroom when I was 16 – but because I couldn’t afford an enlarger, I never got anything but contact prints. Kinda took all the fun out of it for me. Haven’t done anything like is since then. I’m strictly digital point and shoot now. I admire your talent.

Oh, Sean! That is so good to know about the stop bath – I had no idea that you could skip it!

Julia, when we bought our house – well, before we bought it, the first time we looked at it – I pointed out the bathroom with no windows to Mike and informed him that it would make a great darkroom. I’ve been thinking about trying to find an enlarger so that when my class is over I can continue playing in the darkroom. I love the amazement of it all!

If nothing else, I could develop film and contact sheets, plus photograms… I would just need trays for that!

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