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07-12-2013, 05:57 AM   #1
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DIY developing creativity

I am pretty new to film, started this year. My focus is family pics, mostly documentary / life pics.

I have successfully done 3 b&w rolls and 5 c41.... Pretty happy with the results so far.

In my learning, I have some stuff I want to try / have tried:

1. Over exposing and then developing normal time: tried this on tri-x and loved it. Shot at 200 and developed at 400. I think some shots were a bit too much so will probably settle on 300 when I want this look, at least on tri-x. Next up is portra 400 for this method.

2. Under exposing and then developing longer (a normal push): haven't done this yet on portra or trix but I accidentally shot some ektar @400. loved the look for beach shots but people i can do without. i do love the pushed film look. Will try it in b&w and portra 400 soon.

3. Normal pull: don't think I would try this as I like option 1 so much

4. Under exposing and developing normally: seems like my under exposed shots that were in a normally developed roll all look bad so I think I will stay away from this.

Any other ideas I should try? I am most excited to push the portra stuff but am I missing anything else from a developing / exposure standpoint?

I am super happy with film so far..... These forums have been very helpful. I will post up some pics eventually but most are my kids and I don't want them all over the Internet

07-12-2013, 07:24 AM   #2
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Are you developing these yourself? If you are doing the b&w film, I'd suggest an exercise I did in my class last spring. I took a 36 exposure roll of film, I think it was Tmax 100 but that really doesn't matter. If you set your camera on a tripod and point it towards a reasonably complicated subject (with lots of contrast and shadows), you take a series of of 6 images 6 times 2 stops under, 1 stop under, normal, 1 stop over, 2 stops over, and a blank with the lens cap on. Repeat that 6 times. Now comes the hard part, in the darkroom. you remove the film from the can and cut it into 3 equal lengths. Put each of those into a developing container. Then...using the same developer process one 50% under the normal developer time, one at the normal developer time, and one 50% over the developer time. When dry these negatives will provide at least one good 5 image strip showing the effects of under, normal, and over developing the same image / film + the affects of under/normal/over exposing as well all on the same subject.

Do you have to do this? No, but it can give you some insights on the way things work - shadows/hightlights etc.
07-12-2013, 07:34 AM   #3
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Good idea. I have a classic b&w photo book which does that same thing more or less so i can see what that looks like. What is a new twist in all this is how well do things scan and what latitude do I have in the digital workflow.

One of the main reasons I started into film was the alien skin software 'exposure'

The over exposed scans are super easy to work with after scanning, the under exposed are nearly useless....
07-12-2013, 08:13 AM   #4
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If you like overexposing coupled with normal development, you might like "stand" development. I've only tried this with Rodinal (or Rodinal alternative), but it works great, I couldn't believe it. Essentially you use a weak solution of developer, and just let it sit until it exhausts itself. 1:100 for one hour, or if you're brave 1:200 for two hours. Invert once every 30 minutes to prevent bromide drag. Then just stop and fix normally. You can use a water stop bath. I've been using Photo Formulary TF5 for my fixer, followed by Photo-Flo during the rinse.

07-12-2013, 12:53 PM   #5
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07-13-2013, 06:57 AM   #6
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Sorry my scanner is down at the moment, and I have a week's worth of digital photos to edit, but here's essentially the technique I'm using. I usually pull instead of push, but because the developer exhausts itself on the highlights, you don't have to worry about N+1 or N-1, it's all just the stand equivalent of "N". I think you get a bit more punch from traditional development, but stand works great for hybrid process, or you can correct with contrast filters in the darkroom.


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