Film Camera and Developing Film Processes

Process of using a Film Camera:

I used a Canon EOS 500 SLR film camera with 35-80mm lens to carry out a photoshoot for my continual professional development. This task was carried out in Blackburn town centre and Cathedral. I used a black and white Ilford HP5 400 ISO film with ISO 160, varied shutter speeds and varied apertures for the different lighting conditions. I used this ISO as films are designed to work in numerous conditions i.e. fast films designed for dark conditions and slow films are developed for bright conditions. I was shooting outside so I needed a faster ISO to accommodate this.

Both ISO and ASA can be found on cameras, with ASA usually being found on older camera as it is related to film speed but both are the same function;

ISO-International Standard Orginisation

ASA- American Standards Association

The film camera uses Celluloid Emulsion Film as the capture medium and film sizes varied from Super 8 to 35mm and Medium Format. Basically the larger the film the higher quality film it could capture, hence medium format being better resolution that standard 35mm film. It works by excitement of Silver Halide grains that react to the light hitting them to create the image. This was first stored in a negative format in the camera later being developed by projecting light through the negative onto silver nitrate paper to produce the final positive image

 

 

Pressing the shutter release on a film camera:

  • Aperture stops down to the pre-selected aperture size
  • The mirror flips up
  • The shutter opens
  • The film is exposed
  • As soon as the film is exposed, the shutter closes ceasing the exposure
  • The mirror flips down
  • And the aperture opens

 

 

Process of developing Negative Film Roll:

Once the film is full it is ready for developing in the dark room, which is completely dark allowing the processing of light sensitive materials. A red or green light can be used as this does not affect the development process, this does not react.

The process is completed by;

  • Set up the wet bench with the developer, stop (water), and fix placed into the correctly labelled trays.
  • Place the film roll into a light sealed bag, along with a plastic developing chamber, spool, film reel to roll the film onto and a metal cap remover.
  • Use the metal cap remover to release the film.
  • Use a pair of scissors to cut off the end of the film to make it easier to roll the film onto the reel.
  • Feel for the reel and find the two prongs to thread the film into, then gently and slowly roll the film onto the reel.
  • Place the reel into the developing chamber, with the spool ready to add the developing chemicals and closed the lid.
  • The film is now concealed in a light proof container, and can be removed from the bag.

This was all carried out without being able to see into the bag. This is so no light can reach the negatives as this would instantly spoil the film as it would react to the light causing ‘Fogging’. Once sealed in the light sensitive container I followed the following developing procedure;

 

  • Fill chamber with water to pre rinse the film and agitate for four minutes.
  • Empty the wash.
  • Fill chamber with developer and set the timer for six minutes. Agitate for the first thirty seconds. Then agitate for five seconds, rest for fifty five seconds and repeat this process for the full six minutes.
  • Pour the liquid back into developer bottle, always reuse chemicals until they are ready to be disposed of.
  • Fill chamber with Wash (water) and set the timer for Four minutes. Agitate for five seconds, rest for fifty five seconds and repeat this process for the full four minutes.
  • Empty the wash.
  • Fill chamber with Fixer and set the timer for five minutes. Agitate for five seconds, rest for fifty five seconds and repeat process for the full five minutes.
  • Add water and a tiny droplet of Wetting Agent into the chamber and rinse three times; agitate ten times, remove water and refill, agitate twenty times, remove water and refill, then agitate forty times and remove the water, this prevents any soap suds being able to remain on the negatives.
  • Release the film from the chamber and reel then place in the drying cabinet to dry.
  • Once dry (average time twenty minutes) cut negatives and place into sleeves.

Developer- converts the silver halide into metallic silver and makes the image visible.                                                                                                                                                        Wash– clean water.                                                                                                                      Fixer- dissolves any remaining silver halide to make the image permanent.

Negatives

Negatives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Process of developing Contact Prints:

  • Set up the wet bench with developer, stop (water), and fix in the correctly labelled trays.
  • Move into the dry area of the dark room, ensuring hands are clean and dry. Water or liquids not permitted in this area.
  • Turn on the enlarger and place the negatives in the glass guide on the enlarger board and adjust the height by moving the enlarger up or down with the crank handle so it fills the frame of the negatives with the light.
  • Adjust the focus with the focusing wheel.
  • Adjust the aperture by selecting the amount of light required, usually selecting the dimmest light plus one which is f/11.
  • Slide the ‘safe light filter’ over the light creating a red safe zone and turn the enlarger off.
  • Place light sensitive paper (Ilfords 8×10) in position (emulsion side up) in the glass guide laying the negatives on top (shiny side up), and close the lid, locking with the clip.
  • Remove the light safe filter.
  • Set timer to five seconds, x10.

The timer can be set to x1 which exposes in seconds, or x10 were each setting exposes for ten seconds rather than one second. I need to expose for up to forty seconds so I select the x10 option.

A test print must be completed to calculate the correct exposure time, this will give an indicator to the time required for the correct exposure in the segmented bands that are created by the cardboard. This is done by exposing sections of the paper for different times using the cardboard to cover up the sections. The procedure is as follows;

  • Expose the whole sheet of paper for five seconds.
  • Cover up 1/4 of the paper with the card and expose for five seconds.
  • Cover up 1/2 of the paper with the card and expose for  ten seconds.
  • Cover up 3/4 of the paper with the card and expose for twenty seconds.
  • Unlock glass guide and remove the paper from underneath the negatives.

Then develop the paper using the following procedure:

  • Place paper in developer tray (face down and then turn over) for one minute.
  • Place paper in wash (water) tray for thirty seconds.
  • Place paper in Fixer for two minutes.
  • Place paper in the wash sink to soak for twenty minutes.

Once this has been evaluated in the light the correct exposure time can be determined. I  follow the steps above exposing the whole of the contact sheet on a new piece of paper for the estimated time selected when evaluating the test print. Once exposed I then develop following the above steps and then place the prints in the drying racks to dry.

 

 

 

Process of developing an Enlarged Print:

The process of enlarging a print from a 35mm negative is as follows;

  • Hold the negative on the sides rather than the middle to avoid finger print smudges.
  • Pull the tray out of the enlarger ensuring not to scratch the sensitive sheet above, as this will effect images if it get scratched. Place the required negative in the tray (shiny side up), facing upside down with the chosen image entirely visible leaving no visible lines as they will show up black on the paper, when it should remain white. This enlarges the image onto the enlarger board and when the light is turned on with the image is upside down.
  • Close the tray.
  • Adjust focus with the focus ring to ensure the image is at its optimum sharpness.
  • Adjust density, usually set at zero.
  • Adjust aperture, usually down to the smallest point and open up by one.
  • Place the safe light filter over the light.
  • Place the easel onto the enlarger board.
  • Open up the top layer of the easel and place the paper in position, fixing under the line guide.
  • Close the top layer of the easel.
  • Choose the desired size and adjust the rulers (lifting them up when moving) to hold the paper in place ensuring there is a boarder, with the edges of the paper are visible.
  • Use the ‘grain finder’ to re check the focus and the amount of grain.
  • Turn the light of the enlarger off.
  • Remove the safe light filter.
  • Set the timer to five seconds, x10.

As with the other process it is important to produce a test strip to obtain the correct exposure. This is done by using a piece of cardboard to cover up sections of the image while exposing to the light. This is completed by following the remaining process;

  • Expose the whole sheet of paper for five seconds.
  • Cover up 1/4 of the paper with the card and expose for five seconds.
  • Cover up 1/2 of the paper with the card and expose for  ten seconds.
  • Cover up 3/4 of the paper with the card and expose for twenty seconds.

Then develop the paper using the following procedure:

  • Place paper in developer tray (face down and then turn over) for one minute.
  • Place paper in wash (water) tray for thirty seconds.
  • Place paper in Fixer for two minutes.
  • Place paper in the wash sink to soak for twenty minutes.

Once this has been evaluated in the light the correct exposure time can be determined. I  follow the steps above exposing the whole of the print on a new piece of paper for the estimated time selected when evaluating the test print. Once exposed I then develop following the above steps and then place the prints in the drying racks to dry.

Dodging– makes the image lighter, increasing the image exposure.

Burning-makes the image darker, decreasing the image exposure.

My first print appeared slightly too light meaning it was under exposed during the exposure time (exposure 15 seconds), so I decided to reprint the image to obtain a darker shadow of the tree (exposure 23 seconds). On evaluation I believe my image worked better after exposing for a longer period. The shadow from the tree on the wall is much more contrasted and bold in appearance. I learnt that a white boarder must be left around the edge of the image printing within the frame.

When adjusting the sizes for my second print on the enlarger I mistakenly forgot to refocus the image resulting in blurriness, so I printed the image again leaving a more accurate boarder around the image. I also cropped this image slightly as there was I minute distraction in the corner, this resulting two of the corners being rounded and two being square. I learnt not to crop my images at this early stage of developing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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