Learning to process film

An artistic adventure…

Gisborne City Beach

I have finally got round to something that I have been wanting to do for a while and process my own film. Over the midterm break I headed out with my fathers-in-law’s old Cosina CT-1G, equipped with a 50mm Pentax lens. The camera is a well-travelled number, and in its day has been to Antartica and back. For film I used Ilford HP5 Plus.


Now I’m no expert at this, so please do not see this as a guide. I managed to mix the chemicals and followed a set of instructions found online. My wardrobe was emptied and turned into a dark room for the fiddly part (getting the film out the camera and into the developing tank). Once the film was inside the tank, which is basically a light sealed pot, I ran through the process of adding four different chemicals to develop and ‘set’ the film.

Mixing the old school with new school, I scanned the negatives and edited the photos in Lightroom. Maybe one day I will go through the whole process in a dark room and skip the computer completely. Click on the images below to see them in full.

Ditching Digital

I am probably NOT going to be ditching my trusty Sony anytime soon. However, this experience was fun, slowed me down, and taught me something new. I really like the final images, flaws and all. Having a fully manual camera certainly made the experience a challenge and is certainly something I will keep working at. As they say, practice makes perfect! Please feel free to leave a comment.

Take care and keep clicking, Chris

Many thanks Ross for the camera. It is still working its magic.

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