Dark room

The session in the darkroom was in loading and processing our 35mm films. Using Ilford HP4 we had previously exposed the film shooting a range of test subjects in an exercise in depth of field and selective focussing.

The process procedures to create the negatives from the exposed film involved first removing the film and loading it into the film reel and placing it into the developing tank all in absolute darkness. Making sure that the film leader was cut cleanly reduced the chances of the film jamming as you try to load it but even then I hit problems and had to switch to a new reel as the one I had wasn’t taking the film properly.

Using the spare reel I had with me I tried again. The film loaded properly this time and in the darkness I managed to load it into the processing tank.

Back in to the main darkroom and under normal lighting the chemicals were prepared according to the formulas. Developer – ID11 at full strength for HP5 film = a developing time of 7.30 minutes. Agitating the tank for the first minute ensured the developer gave a full wash over all the film evenly, then 10 seconds agitation on each minute ensured fresh chemicals interacted with the film ensuring an even development.

After the time was up the developer was poured back into storage to use again. Next was the stop bath. This arrested the development for the first chemical bath. Agitation for one minute and then again saved for future use.

Lastly was the fixer. Three minutes with the first minute a continuous agitation then 10 seconds agitation on each minute.

Then the film was washed flushing all the chemical residue from the tank. This was at least 10 minutes continuous wash or 10 changes of water. Finally the wetting agent was added which helps the film reject the water and dry without smears or scratches.

Hanging the now processed film up to dry over night in the drying cabinet and washing up the developing tank and reel was all that was left to do.


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