Today the class worked with four different 35mm film stocks to shoot some images for a macabre "Broken Hearts" valentine contest at the Dunlop Art Gallery/RPL, taking into consideration some of the approaches of Joel Witkin. While this was rather rushed (and admittedly uninspired) of a shoot, I wanted the images shot quickly so that we could process the film right way. I kept the first image from each roll (see first four images below) and the rest were given to the eight students in the course to manipulate through scratching or composite printing to create a more evocative image.
To process, we used coffee and washing soda rather than traditional developers. We used the Roger Bunting method (which is not the method that uses vitamin C) because I’d had success with this before and because he wrote an amazing book about 25 years ago, “The Chemistry of Photography”. One other online recipe indicated that the solution should be used within 30 minutes. This will explain why second batches have always failed for me in the past. All rolls were shot overexposing by one stop.
Initial results:
Black and white film: success (low contrast)
Colour negative film (Kodak 200 iso): success (monochromatic)
Colour reversal film (Kodak Ektachrome 100 iso): success (low contrast, black and white)
Kodachrome; failure. The emulsion just oozed off when we pulled it out after the fix. I’d like to try this again and let it dry without agitation to see if there were any images there, but running a finger over it after it came out of the water resulted in complete deletion of any image that might have been there.
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Black and white film developed with coffee (scanned from negative and digitally reversed)


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Colour negative film developed with coffee (scanned from negative and digitally reversed)


coffee_ektachrome.jpg
Ektachrome colour reversal film developed with coffee (scanned from negative and digitally reversed)
coffee_kodachrome.jpg
Kodachrome colour reversal film developed with coffee.

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Kodak black and white photographic paper developed in coffee. As the solution was frighteningly dark, it is difficult to watch the image appear. I had expected it to emerge slowly but it actually came up as quickly as the dectol and I think I over-developed it slightly. This was a contact print created with three negative transparencies. The tone, as it appears in this scan, is accurate to the actual print.