I managed to get myself into gear on Sunday evening and finally develop some black and white film for the first time in what feels like (and probably is) months and months. Whew.
These are two rolls of Tri-X shot over a period of about six months prior to the end of 2011, so it’s kind of appropriate that there are some shots from around this time last year on there. I’ve hardly been shooting any black and white film over the past year or so because I’ve been focusing on colour film so much, but I’ve gotta say it’s a good feeling pulling the rolls of film out of my developing tank – it’s way more satisfying than getting rolls back from the lab.
Even though I know now that there’s a good likelihood that the film will be fine, I always get a bit nervous as I’m washing the film at the end of the developing process, since there have been many times where I’ve pulled out a roll of carefully shot film only to discover that it’s ruined due to light exposure, bad developing technique, or old chemicals. I’m way more militant now about the process of developing than I’ve ever been, and it’s helping me get more consistent results. Which is nice.
My go-to guys at the moment for B&W are Kodak Tri-X film shot at box speed (400iso), processed in Agfa Rodinal R09 developer at 1:50 dilution (that’s one part developer to 50 parts water, or 10mL per 500mL water), a water stop bath for two minutes, and then Ilford Rapid Fixer at 1:5 dilution (100mL fixer per 500mL water) for around 5-6 minutes. I’m adding a single drop of a drying solution that I think works a little like detergent does (messes with water’s surface tension) to help stop water droplet marks from forming on the film as it dries.
I’m really keen to do some more printing this winter so hopefully there will be a few shots on these rolls that are worth printing – if there are, I’ll post some shots of the prints when they’re done.