Last Sunday the Melbourne Silver Mine Inc and Melbourne Flickr group held a meet at Albert Park Lake where some of the more experienced members demonstrated how easy it was to develop your own B & W film with a few chemicals and fairly simple equipment. They started by loading exposed B & W film onto a reel to be placed in a developing tank. This was done in a light-proof bag. Then the developing solution was added to the tank and the tank was gently agitated at regular intervals to get proper coverage of solution over the film. Once the prescribed time for development was up (in this case 13min with Rodinal, but this varies with different developers and dilution etc.) the developer was poured out and the film rinsed, still in the tank with tap water a few times to remove any residual developer. Then fixer was added and the gentle, regular agitation process was repeated, this time for a shorter time. After that, the fixer was poured out, the top of the tank was removed and the film was rinsed in water a few times again. What we had then was a fully developed & fixed negative, just like one you would get from a lab. (note that I thought I had some images of the chemical jiggery in the development tank, but I didn’t. I shouldn’t have drunk that wine Ziz kindly offered me) The guys even went further to make a viable contact print cleverly using a light box and photographic paper. It was so easy even I managed to do it! I exposed a roll of Kodak Tri X 400 that afternoon and even managed to produce recognisable images after developing the film myself (with help and guidance from Rhys, Rob and Zaeem from the Silvermine). Thanks Guys!
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