It’s been a while since I’ve gotten any photos developed.
The lack of photo updates (or any updates, really) are due to COVID-19 and its impact on creative endeavors.
Specifically for film photography, there were a couple reasons I haven’t gotten any new pics.
- Finances – Sending film to a lab for development is expensive, and its a luxury right now that I couldn’t prioritize
- Lab Closures – Some of the labs I regularly use are either currently closed or have limited availability
- Film stock availability – I’ve read about shortages of particular stock online, and after the price increases early in 2020, I’ve been dipping into my fridge stock rather than buying anything new to experiment with (See: #1)
Learning to Develop at Home
I’ve been shooting color film almost exclusively for the past few years. However, I started on B&W back in the day when I first took photography classes in high school (yes I’m old), and have been interested in getting back to it. I bought a used copy of Black & White Photography: A Basic Manual by Henry Horenstein on eBay, and it has been very inspiring. It’s available for less than $10 used, and I cannot recommend it enough. I plan to write up a full review of the book, because it’s an amazing resource.
I’m interested in coming up with an extremely budget-friendly workflow for black and white development. Most of my film photos ironically end up digital, but I’d like the final scans to be high enough quality to print on paper since I occasionally frame photos as gifts or home decor.
I’ve also been bringing my rangefinder out quite a bit lately, and everything I’ve read about the Yaschica Electro 35 says it truly excels when you load it with B&W film.
Creating The Workflow
I plan to build on this post long-term as I seek out and choose equipment to reach my goal, and I’ll try to update it with links to gear as I put together a kit. The focus will be on value, since I think a lot of film enthusiasts are on tighter budgets than usual during this pandemic. Film and photography equipment is a luxury for hobbyists like myself, but I’d like to be able to continue creating photos more regularly, in a DIY fashion instead of constantly scrimping and saving for lab services.
I’m also open to suggestions from any film photography blog followers, or film buffs who happen to run across this post. How do you develop B&W and has it made things more affordable? Let me know in the comments.