In college, if I wasn't hanging out in the band hall or music building, the other place I could be found was in the darkroom. I spent more hours then I could count smelling like vinegar and seeing a red light. It was calming and a place that I could go to get away from life. It was also a place that memories were made and a creepy phone that used to ring for no reason.
With that being said, after I graduated college, the darkroom was something that became a thing of the past with not having access to it everyday. It has been 9 years since I have developed film and I've missed it. There's magic in not knowing what a photo looks likes instantly. In a digital world, it's refreshing to take a moment to slow down, compose a photo, then actually process it yourself. It leaves a little mystery of what's to come.
A couple weeks ago, I began going through all my film cameras to see if they work. I had bought color film and found a lab to send them too for processing. But having to wait 2 weeks to receive everything back kind of sucked. Then one of my friends said she had read about this process called Caffenol developing. I'd never heard of it, so we started researching it and bought all the ingredients to try it out. I had some extra black and white film from school so out we went to shoot a couple rolls.
I got everything set out after finding a recipe: (This only works for one roll of black and white film at a time!)
2 containers with 6 ounces of water in each
Mix in one container: 5 teaspoons coffee & 1/2 teaspoon Vitamin C Mix in second container: 3 1/2 teaspoons washing soda
Pour both mixtures in one container and stir
Set timer for 9 mins • Agitate for first minute then 10 seconds at every minute
Pour out caffenol (developer) and pour in water. Agitate 3 times and repeat 3 washes.
Pour in fixer mixture and set timer for 5 minutes. Agitate for first minute then 10 secs at every minute.
Pour out fixer and pour in water. Agitate 3 times and repeat 3 washes.