It’s all about the chemistry

I have a few friends who are very passionate about photography and like to play with it as much as I do. I think getting together with like minded people is one of the best ways of learning and I always find that we can inspire each other to try things in a slightly different way than we might normally think to alone. I’m very lucky to have a good friend who likes using film as much as I do and we spent some time recently shooting loads of film and developing loads of film.

Developing film is so exciting. Unlike developing my pinhole negatives which can be done under a red light because I use photographic paper (and therefore can be watched closely as images appear in the developer), film has to do its work alone in the dark. Well, of course, you do also have to help it along and make your hands work alone in the dark too…! Seeing the strips of film as they hang to dry is just a wonderful thing and often really surprising. Particularly so with the 6×7 negatives which are so large they make for beautiful objects of themselves. Portraits and landscapes alike just look a dream with this wonderful beast of a camera.

Home scans aren’t always perfect, due to some types of film lying rather flatter in the negative holders for the scanner than others, but I’m extremely pleased with how these have turned out nonetheless. I’m very new to developing film myself and I got a slight light leak in one roll during the process but hey ho, that’s how you learn not to make the same mistakes again of course. Some have a particularly gorgeous tone due to scanning them in colour rather than monochrome. Here are some of my favourites from the 6×7.


I also had a little cross processing fun with some 35mm. I had some C41 black and white film which really requires different processing to a standard black and white film, but I developed it as a regular black and white film anyway just to see what would happen. Some of them were totally bonkers, but I rather like them.

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