Since December last year I have been developing color film at home, so far without major issues. This time however, I made a big mistake. I don’t know exactly why, I guess I was too tired to properly focus on the task. I was developing two rolls, one roll of Kodak Ektar which I shot in Oisterwijk, and one roll of Kodak Colorplus 200 shot around my house. But apparently I didn’t have my wits about me…

You see I don’t have a dark room in my house. I use a changing bag to prepare the film and a Patterson light-proof tank for the development. The total process consists of several steps:

  1. Soak the film (to get the film to the same temperature as the chemicals)
  2. Develop
  3. Bleach
  4. Wash
  5. Fix
  6. Wash
  7. Stabilize

This time after the first step, soaking, I took off the lid (or it fell of, I don’t remember) while draining the water from the tank. Then even the two reels with film fell out of the tank! As the film was not yet developed, the light did some serious harm. I quickly realised the mistake and put the reels back in the tank and put the lid on, but the film must have gotten a few seconds in the light. I continued the development because you never know, but with little hope. Indeed, the negatives looked very dark, I could hardly see where one frame ends and the next begins, and the film type and frame numbers on the side were not visible anymore.

But I could see a few silhouettes of trees and flowers, so I put the negatives on the scanner. To my surprise some frames were actually quite interesting. So I decided to share them here. As a person I have an intrinsic fear (or was it education?) for mistakes. I always try to do my best to avoid them. But these results show that sometimes mistakes can bring surprising results, or start a new idea.

What I like about these photos is that they almost seem like double exposures (well, technically of course they are). The negatives were not uniformly exposed to light, but while they were on the reels. This has led to some interesting patterns overlaying the original image. Of course there are some consequences of the added exposure, there is more grain, the negatives are so dark that the scanner struggles to get light through it, leading to noise, and the colors are less fresh, a bit muddy here and there. But I was pleasantly surprised, after almost giving up on the film entirely. I hope you enjoy them too.

Some images were converted to black and white in Lightroom, mostly because I liked the patterns but not the colours.

Kodak Ektar 100
Kodak Ektar 100
Kodak Ektar 100
Kodak Ektar 100
Kodak Ektar 100

For the next image I couldn’t decide between color and monochrome, I like them both. Also, the form factor is quite different here, as the sides of the frame were unusable.

Kodak Ektar 100, Processed in LR to black and white.
Kodak Colorplus 200
Kodak Colorplus 200
Kodak Colorplus 200, Processed in Lightroom to black and white.
Kodak Colorplus 200
Kodak Colorplus 200
Kodak Colorplus 200
Kodak Colorplus 200
Kodak Colorplus 200
Kodak Colorplus 200

Thanks for reading!

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