Developing black and white film with kidsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread
I am making pinhole cameras out of coke cans with my cub group. I have the camera bit sorted out. But I don't know anything about processing the film afterwards. Can someone give me idiot proof instructions?
-- Rowena Naylor (Rowena.Naylor@hri.ac.uk), March 14, 2001
The most idiot-proof way for you to develop the film is to have someone else who has experience do it for you. If you are planning on using color film, you might have a problem finding anyone who could process small pieces of film used in coke cans. But, in the case of B&W film, if you can find almost anyone with a reasonable amount of experience, they should be able to help you.
Processing B&W film is not extremely complicated, but there are a number of variables that have to be controlled. It is almost ineveitable that, without experience, something will go wrong and the film will be ruined. It happened to all of us when we first started out.
You might want to consider starting out teaching the scouts about B&W film processing. That way you too can learn the methods and process steps required. There are a number of books available covering only the basics of procedure and equipment. This would be a good starting point for both you and the scouts. Check with a local camera store, book store, or library.
-- Ken Burns (email@example.com), March 14, 2001.
You could also think about using b&w RC paper in the cameras, and make paper negs. This way you could develop them rather easily under a safelight, and to get prints, just contact onto another piece of paper. I've messed around with pinhole cameras in the past this way, and have found it to be pretty effective. There's also polaroid material, but this won't fit into a coke can, and it also gets pretty expensive. You might want to check out the alternative photography forums for suggestions as well.
-- DK Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 14, 2001.
I agree with DK. You should be thinking of using RC paper instead of film. For one thing, you than can handle the loading and unloading under a safe light.
You need a darkroom, developing trays, chemicals, timer, beakers & etc for this. So, if you don't have ANY of this stuff and have never done it before, this is a bit of a complex undertaking. In any event, you should be thoroughly familiar with it yourself before you bring the kids into this. Otherwise they will be turned off, because 'it doesn't work."
-- Christian Harkness (email@example.com), March 15, 2001.
Wow! We didn't have this when I was in cubs! Rather than learning the processing end yourself and then teaching it to the cubs, try contacting a local community college. See if they have a photography class. Ask the instructor if he and his class would be willing to handle the processing end for you (gives the students good practice and it is good community volunteer work). You can go over with your cubs what it takes to do processing without having to do it. If they are really interested, you might be able to arrange a field trip to the local community college and have the instructor give a demonstration.
This project sounds like a one time thing (or maybe once a year). Holding the attention of cubs for a long time is a challenge as well as the time constraints (once a week for two hours or so). Whet their appetites and if they want more, they will surely let you know!
-- Johnny Motown (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 15, 2001.
I've been thinking about photography with youth for some time now, although I haven't tried it with cub scouts. I definately would go for it. I think you have a lot of options. One is to buy some orthochromatic sheet film, it's not red sensitive, so you could process at night in a darkened room, using only red flashlight filters. This way the images could be pulled when processing in an old dish when complete. Don't worry about temperature, just keep the chemistry at room temperature, it'll work fine.
Or you could just process the film in the coke cans. I'm sure a weaker solution of D76 that would fill the can would be sufficient to develop the film. Over development is fine. Then stop in water, and fix. I've read that you can process film in strong coffee, but haven't tried it.
Investigate POP paper, Azo might work I don't know. Printing Out Paper needs sunlight to expose the image. You put the film on the paper and hold it down with a piece of glass, check on it at regular intervals to see if it's "done". Then fix.
I think there are a lot of possibilities that the cubs could do themselves. After all, the kids won't be into image quality so it won't bother them if the image isn't exposed or printed perfectly. Just make it fun :-)
Send me private email if you want more ideas.
-- Doug McFarland (email@example.com), March 16, 2001.
Well, Azo is a developing out paper (needs developer to form the image). Something like Centennial (POP) would probably work for printing, maybe even making a paper neg., but, talk about being slow, for a neg. Regular photo paper is slow enough in a pinhole. I think you can get Centennial in RC as well, though I'm not 100% positive on this. RC paper is pretty durable and easy to use in a pinhole. I agree with the others though about keeping it as simple as possible.
-- DK Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 16, 2001.