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March 7, 2016 / Aware of the Void

TETENAL C-41Colour Development

Its been awhile since I processed my own colour film at home. The dates on the bottles on the darkroom shelf suggest that I last made a fresh batch more than a year ago. I shot a lot of 120 colour film on my recent trip to the far east and since I have been a little disappointed with the results of my local labs the last few times I used them I decided that I would process this lot myself. I bought the C-41 kit about 6 months ago and since it is shipped as a concentrate it has a long shelf life until to mix it.

In this video I am just showing how easy it is to mix up the working solution for development. Its pretty simple but from reading posts on various websites this is one aspect of the process that seems to trouble people. Over the weekend I processed 8 rolls of Portra 160 and I’m pretty pleased with the results.

If you develop your own black and white film this process is very similar. The temperature for the chemistry is just a little warmer.
Poulnabrone Dolmen - Pinhole//


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  1. edmooneyphotography / Mar 7 2016 12:20 pm

    Nice little tutorial there Brendan. Im always fascinated by film and the development techniques. All of which I missed out on with the arrival of digital. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Aware of the Void / Mar 7 2016 12:22 pm

      If you ever fancy giving it a try let me know. I live in Raheny which I think from memory is local for your work. Coffee and film dev is a nice way to pass an evening after work

  2. Moni / Mar 7 2016 3:08 pm

    Very nice! This is the next thing I need to try. The local lab won’t develop the dishwasher film Inge gave me so I’ll have to do it myself

    • Aware of the Void / Mar 7 2016 3:10 pm

      Just go for it! I kinda have a bit of a mental block about it everytime before I do it. Then I do it and think – why was I overthinking this. My scanning skills have also improved. That was always the most difficult part of the colour process. The lab done a nice job in the past (massive saturation)

      • Moni / Mar 7 2016 3:18 pm

        Your results are very good! And the chemistry mixing looks easy. For some reason I obsess about how do I manage the temperature- but there are probably many ways to do that.

      • Aware of the Void / Mar 7 2016 3:26 pm

        Well here is what I done, I have a basin (you might call it a dish bowl) and I but the 3 bottles of chemistry sitting in that. I boil my kettle and pour two full kettle loads of water into into the basin. Science takes over and the chemicals get to the right temperature more or less. I have s few more rolls to do tonight so will try and post about it if this is not clear.

      • Moni / Mar 7 2016 3:28 pm

        Thanks! That’s exactly what I had in mind to do.

      • Aware of the Void / Mar 7 2016 3:34 pm

        It seems to work well enough. I was using a much more elaborate method before and achieved the same results only with the added fun of over heating my darkroom 🙂

      • Moni / Mar 7 2016 3:49 pm

        awesome! Seems easy enough. I will have to try it at some point. hopefully soon.

      • Aware of the Void / Mar 7 2016 3:27 pm

        The chemistry stayed warm enough in the “water bath” using this method to allow me to process 8 rolls on Saturday night.


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