Shooting and Developing My Own Film

Did you know that film grain is made up of tiny specks of silver crystals? I became so fascinated (actually obsessed is a more accurate word) with this thought that it’s led me to this point – developing my own rolls, agitating with anxiety, unspooling, hanging the negatives to dry, carefully cutting them into strips, and waiting for the creeping bar of scanning to reach its finish line. Luckily, my dad had all the tools and the resolve to see the process through. Close to midnight, with confounding old tech giving us half scans, he told me we’ll get it eventually; we just have to get through the difficult part.

And with that, I kept on. It was past two when I finally completed scanning my two rolls.

There were some shots that were blurred, some frames under/overexposed that the scanner could not pick them up any longer. Some that were photographed poorly. I think I may actually send my negatives to be scanned by a professional because I was just eyeballing the settings.

But that’s ok. It’s all part of the process; I’ll get it eventually.

When I have some time, and maybe when I’ve tried developing again, I’ll type down some tips and learnings. I guess one quick tip is to set things up on a large table and do the whole process there. I don’t know why but I decided to do it on the floor of my attic room which was a huge hassle because I kept standing up and squatting down to get some things. I ended up tearing a large hole on my pants and got so sweaty in the process haha!

Hope you enjoyed the photos. If this encouraged you to try it on your own, do leave a comment! Or share some tips from your own developing journey/mishaps.


📷: Canon A-1
🎞: Ilford HP5 from @filmfolk_
Developed with Ilford Simplicity Kit, also from @filmfolk_
Shots during a photowalk in Binondo with @borninfilm

2 responses to “Shooting and Developing My Own Film”

  1. I haven’t developed my own film in a while due to being traumatised by a roll that came out blank. apparently my chemicals had been exhausted. next time I know to do a snip test if in doubt! I wish you the very best on your end and I hope you no longer rip any clothes in the process hahaha x

    1. This is my fear!!! Kaya so much anxiety throughout the process haha shucks sayang yung roll of photos 😦 I decided to develop B&W lang because it takes 2-3 weeks here but for the color film, will definitely keep sending to professional developers since turnaround time is faster. Looking forward to more of your photos!

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