Equipment and Materials used – The Chemicals

KODAK HC-110 AND AGFA NEUTOL WA

There are not too many options when it comes to chemicals, or should I say developers. A small amount of research, especially now there is so much information available on the internet will tell you which chemicals are available. Most of them have reasonably specific properties and characteristics and work in certain combinations with certain films or papers.

I chose HC-110 to develop my film because it was apparently slightly more forgiving and flexible, increased the contrast slightly and also the grain. It really is a case I think of finding one that works for you and sticking with it and learning all about its foibles and characteristics. Especially with film developers – you can’t redo it if it goes wrong.

I tend to use mine at between 21° and 23° centigrade and keep it in for about eight minutes, depending on the nature of the photographs I am developing. For example if I am photographing in the snow I tend to like my negatives slightly heavier than normal. Or if it was low light and I know I am a couple of stops under exposed I will keep them in for up to perhaps fifteen minutes. On the whole though, I rarely go above nine minutes or below seven and a half.

I shake the film in the chemicals vigorously for the first minute or so, then for about thirty seconds every minute after that. The more vigorous you are the greater the contrast and grain in the film. Apparently. Though this also depends on the music I am listening to and, strange as it sounds, I try to just follow my nose and instincts rather than a strict set formula. Which is why I use such forgiving chemicals and materials.

The paper developer, Agfa Neutol WA, is known for encouraging the warm tones in the papers which is something I like, so for me it was a simple choice. The main three papers I use or have used (Agfa Record Rapid, Kodak Ektalure and Fomatone 532-II) are all warm toned and are well suited to Neutol. Again, it’s worth getting to know a chemical’s characteristics rather than chopping and changing it all the time. I can now sense the Neutol’s development curve, when to take it out for the best effect and how it works when it is warmer or cooler.

As far as the fixatives are concerned, I think they are all pretty much the same. I use Ilford Hypam, but I am sure any will do the job. The same applies for stop baths. In theory you can just use lemon juice, but the main thing is you keep the stop fresh and change it regularly. I do not use a stop bath for film, I just rinse it four or five times in water.

Finally, with both paper and film, the longer you rinse them in running water the better.

Latest

Blog_Cover_Swarm_500x345

Swarm

It was as simple as ‘get to the top of Finland and turn left’.  At least that is

Blog_Odadahraun_Desert_Iceland_Aug_2015

Blink and you’ll miss it

Iceland. Never has the essence of a country so closely resembled the way in which I see the

F01-33D_blog_cover

Under the Stars in Madagascar

There are times when writing about memories from as far back as my eighteenth year feels wrong. How

Blog_Viewpoints_Cover

Viewpoints

The Rooftop Collective exhibition edition VI Tempus Fugit. So they say. Here we are again, another Rooftop Collective

Memories

Blog_Odadahraun_Desert_Iceland_Aug_2015

Blink and you’ll miss it

Iceland. Never has the essence of a country so closely resembled the way in which I see the

Blog_F25-16B

Choreographed Papal baby blessings

The day of the Pope’s visit to London was all about the protests and marches for us. That

Summer_Evenings

Summer Evenings in the Pub

A couple of weeks ago I was working at Celtic Manor Golf Course – the venue for the

University_of_Brighton_Logo

Revolution in the air

Three years at art college would not be complete without some politics, squatting and clashes with the police.

Randomly Selected

Still_from_Exhibition_2213

Welcome

Written for ‘Skills, Smells and Spells’, an exhibition held at the Strand Gallery in central London: Each image

IPhone_&_Enlarger_India

Creativity born of both impatience and technology

Every now and again happy accidents happen. Just back from India, in the middle of developing the negatives,

Twitter logo

Toby Deveson on Social Media

You can follow me on various Social Media and photography platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Flickr. Please

Blog_Arte_Fotografica_81

Arte Fotográfica #81

Following on from the ten page spread in issue #67 back in 2014, Arte Fotográfica have published a