February 5, 2016 Testing the Washing Soda

posted 2 Nov 2016, 11:02 by Dawn George   [ updated 2 Nov 2016, 11:03 ]

Washing Soda Test

Today I am testing out my Washing Soda.

If it is truly washing soda it will not loose a lot of weight when baked and I need washing soda.

 

Method:

Baked 50g soda in a pre-heated 120°C or 250°F oven for 25 minutes.

 

Results:

End measure was 47g

 

Woohoo! I have washing soda!!

January 26, 2016

posted 2 Nov 2016, 10:56 by Dawn George   [ updated 2 Nov 2016, 11:16 ]

Met with Herb yesterday.  He is super excited about this project and very supportive. We talked a lot about process and safety.  "Eco" and "organic" does not necessarily mean "safe" - think about how hot pepper or an onion can really effect you physically.  A well ventilated area (or N95 respirator mask) is essential, also eye protection, gloves, and a smock would also help.

He also suggested that before I begin experimenting with plants that I start filming with super 8mm and do some hand/bucket processing with Caffenol.  Caffenol is made up of instant coffee, vitamin C, washing soda, salt and water.  He says that I can develop film this way but will most likely need a conventional fixer to make the image last; without the fixer the image would quickly fade. 
These are all great ideas as it will give me a base to work from and also because  it is winter and the plants really start to come out until April/May. 

Herb also clued me into a lot of cool blogs and websites to check out and begin doing some research.  Here are some of them:


History of Caffenol

            https://people.rit.edu/andpph/text-coffee.html

 

Caffenol Cookbook

            http://www.caffenol-cookbook.com/

 

Caffenol Wiki

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffenol

 

Caffenol Blog Spot

            http://www.caffenol.org/

            http://caffenol.blogspot.ca/


Apil 14, 2016 Bracket Tests

posted 1 Nov 2016, 11:16 by Dawn George   [ updated 2 Nov 2016, 12:04 ]

A Bracket Test is when you expose one frame of film at various increasing or decreasing F-stops.

I used the 8mm film I developed
After the bracket tests have been developed, the results will help you to determine at which F-stop you should expose your entire roll of film at.
A slight problem with this method when hand-processing is that because temperature can drop and caffenol (and weedoll) are not exceptionally stable, there will always be some slight inconsistencies.


A Bracket Test is still the best method.  Below are the tests I did.  You will notice the word "filter" or "no filter".  The "filter" is a piece of fogged glass placed between the image and the light source on the optical printer.

Today I did bracket tests for:

1   Caffenol no filter
2   Caffenol with filter
TestTwo1b
TQ
TestTwo1A
  1.  

    1. Cafenol no filter eye piece open.

    2. Cafenol no filter eye piece closed.

  2. Caffenol with filter (from here on in I always closed the eye piece on the optical printer).

  3. Grass and Kale no diffusion

  4. Grass and Kale with diffusion

 

Here is my recipe and process:

Standard Cafenol Recipe @15 minutes at 21°C


Results

 

April 12, 2016

posted 1 Nov 2016, 10:55 by Dawn George   [ updated 1 Nov 2016, 11:04 ]

I processed my first test from the Optical Printer in cafenol at 22 degrees.  I only developed, washed, fixed, and washed.  No need for the other steps as this is just a test. The washes were a little on the temperature warm side.  Next time I will ensure that the washes are at the same temperature as the developer and fixer.

 

Cafenol Recipe:

1 Litre Water

40 g Instant coffee

16 g Vitamin C

54 g Washing Soda

Method:

 Test #

 Cafenol

Water/Stop

Fixer 

Water/Stop 

Lights On    

Hypo-Clear 

Rinse 

Photo-Flo 

 1

 Time                 Temp

 

 Time                 Temp 

 

 

 Time                 Temp 

 

 Time                 Temp

 

15 min.              22°C

3 min. 

6 min.                19°C 

3 min. 

  

 3 min.                19°C

 10 min.

1 min.                19°C 




Results:
The film was washed-out, thin, and light (very low contrast). But WHY?

Reason:
The results mean it was underdeveloped but was it because it wasn't agitated enough or because of the exposure? 
Recording the F-stop would have been handy bit of information to have for this test, wouldn't it?

May 18, 2016

posted 1 Nov 2016, 09:52 by Dawn George   [ updated 2 Nov 2016, 11:26 ]

I love bucket processing!! It is so fun and easy.  Because it has been difficult to eliminate all of the light that enters my bathroom/darkroom,  I have decide to do bucket processing at night.  The room is absolutely dark this way, I cannot even see my hand in front of my face, at first it is a little unnerving to be in that much darkness, but the more I do it the more I find a peace in the darkness and in a way I can “see” by feeling. 

 

I shot and processed two roles, one of colt's foot and one of dandelions and processed them both.  I decided to make a new batch of cafenol for each role as I have read that Cafenol is not as stable the second time it is used.

 

I am also refining my process.  I am measuring the ingredients into little bowels first (instead of measuring them directly on the scale) as it is much easier to control the integrity of the ingredients and its also easier to clean.

 

Bucket processing is empowering. 


April 11 , 2016 Plans Change and the JK Optical Printer

posted 31 Oct 2016, 11:55 by Dawn George   [ updated 1 Nov 2016, 10:39 ]

Optical Printer 1 

After much deliberation, consultation, and reading I have decided to change the way this project is going to be conducted.  Because of the variable in weed quality and the availability of weeds, I have decided to process the super 8 footage with caffenol first and then transfer the negative footage to 16mm.  The, I will process the 16mm in the weedoll (my pet name for the weed mixture) and get the positive, hopefully the characteristics of the weed or its "essence" will still be conveyed on the 16mm film. 

 

This project is already presenting some challenges as the weeds are only around for a finite period of time (to film and develop with).  Developing in this way I can at least ensure that I get the negative image filmed, as caffenol is predictable.

 

I only have a finite amount of funding for this project, so I have decided to still use nine rolls of film but six will be black and white super-8 tri-x and the other three will be 16mm ORWO black and white stock.


Because I am transferring 8mm to 16mm I need to learn how to use the JK Optical Printer.  Today Herb provided me instruction on this fun piece of machinery. The optical printer has many cool features that I can see will lend itself to some exciting possibilities but for right now I will be using it just to transfer 8mm to 16mm.





I have also discovered more about the chemistry of the this whole process. 

Phenols are the basis of development part of the process, phenols are found in pretty much every plant, some plants have more, but all plants have them (coffee - a plant).  So what happens when you chop up a plant and boil it down is that you are releasing the phenols which assist in the development process.

Vitamin C helps with the contrast and is a hyperadditive to the phenols. I have been buy a big bottle of it from the health food store.

Washing Soda maks the solution alkaline which is important for activating the developing agents.

Notes on Potassium bromide or salt - So, I am not using either of these, I heard you can use one to eliminate the "fog" on your film but I haven't found it to be a problem yet and therefore I do not use it.








March 22, 2016 Test 2 - Grass and Kale

posted 31 Oct 2016, 11:34 by Dawn George   [ updated 1 Nov 2016, 10:42 ]

Grrr… Shot some really cool stuff in the snow but my Sankyo  Super 8 Camera does not like the cold and the cartridge froze up and I could not get it unjammed.  I ended up loosing about ¾ of a role.  I did manage to get a little bit of film shot from this role and developed.  Also, I saved a tiny bit from the last role I shot which I also developed.  For this test I used a grass and kale mix.  I thought kale would be fun because I know it turns super green!

 

Recipe:

1 Litre Water (with boiled down grass and kale)

40 g Vitamin C

100 g Washing Soda

 18 minutes at 30°C


Method:

 Test #

 Cafenol

Water/Stop

Fixer 

Water/Stop 

Lights On    

Hypo-Clear 

Rinse 

Photo-Flo 

 2

 Time                 Temp

 

 Time                 Temp 

 

 

 Time                 Temp 

 

 Time                 Temp

 

18 min.              30°C

3 min. 

6 min.                19°C 

3 min. 

  

 3 min.                19°C

 10 min.

1 min.                19°C 



Results:

Everything has a greenish hue which is kind of cool.  A little greenish, this is good.  But very dark, not a lot of contrast the next time try processing it for LESS time maybe actually at 15 or 14 minutes.  There is not as much contrast as with the cafenol. 

 

Here is what I learned:

Kale was NOT the best choice to mix with the grass.  I found out kale has extra special qualities that react in very special ways with film rather than just grass. There are so many variables in these experiments - temperature, agitation, amount of weeds in water, evaporation of water, even the time of year a weed is harvested can effect the results.  I will try very hard going further to modify only one variable, or at the very least keep things consistent, this is going to be a challenge.  I also need to find out more "chemically" what I am doing, what exactly is the science behind this process anyway? 


Here is what else I learned:

Boil the ingredients before you set up the dark room, then as your setting up the dark room let it cool.  Cooling down the mixture to the right temperature was a bit tricky this time and I was impatient.  I did wait until it got to 33 and then blocked off the rest of the dark room and did the final prep before it cooled down to 30 degrees.  Also, make sure the timer app is super loud and on "voice".  Always test the multitimer first!!  The phone did well but it could have been louder.

Room is blacked out more but light still comes in.  I still freak out in the dark and need to take more time before beginning the developing process to just get comfortable in the dark.







February 10, 2016 Test 1 - Cafenol

posted 31 Oct 2016, 11:14 by Dawn George   [ updated 31 Oct 2016, 11:41 ]

I did it! I did it!  I developed my first role of super 8 black and white film!

I found a great multi-timer app that speaks in a voice and vibrates.

“WASH ONE COMPLETE BEGIN FIXER, WASH ONE COMPLETE BEGIN FIXER!”

So fun!

 

I decided to develop the film in bathroom.

  1. It has running water.
  2. It’s an easy room to black out (sort of see notes below)
  3. It’s well ventilated this is important – even though I was using cafenol the fixer is still pretty toxic.
Herb suggested that I first develop with Cafenol to get the feel for what I am doing.  Great idea! 

I gave myself 10 minutes to break open the film and divide it up. Ample time, though braking open a Super 8 cartridge in the dark with hammer is slightly scary.  Decided to use running water to rinse the film only for the last two minutes because water running for 10 minutes just seems wasteful.  I was a little harsh in my agitation of the film, next time I need to be more gentle, I can see large  bits of silver washed off too much in some places.

 

My biggest obstacle was darkening my bathroom.  I read instructions about blacking out rooms and then sitting in the blacked out room for five minutes to ensure it is dark enough.   I thought I had it blacked out completely but I DID NOT!  After about 6 minutes I could see the buckets, the toilet, the sink.  Luckily, I thought on my feet and quickly sunk the film into the bucket and covered it with one of the towels I was using underneath the buckets (for spillage).  This quick submerging of the film meant that I could not divide it up evenly as wanted to but that is okay.  I also put it in the developer earlier so I think I may have developed for 16-17 minutes rather than the original 15 minutes. 

 

Cafenol Recipe:

1 Litre Water

40 g Instant coffee

16 g Vitamin C

54 g Washing Soda

Method:

 Test #

 Cafenol

Water/Stop

Fixer 

Water/Stop 

Lights On    

Hypo-Clear 

Rinse 

Photo-Flo 

 1

 Time                 Temp

 

 Time                 Temp 

 

 

 Time                 Temp 

 

 Time                 Temp

 

17 min.              21°C

3 min. 

6 min.                19°C 

3 min. 

  

 3 min.                19°C

 10 min.

1 min.                19°C 




Feb 4, 2016 Supplies

posted 31 Oct 2016, 10:42 by Dawn George   [ updated 2 Nov 2016, 11:15 ]

Funding – check (thanks Afcoop)

Mentor (the fabulous Herb Theriault) check.                                            Supplies

 

Supplies

7 buckets various sizes

1 set of neoprene chemical resistant gloves   
Safety Glasses 
Smock
N95 Respirator                        

Funnels

Stir sticks or plastic slotted spoon

4 Litre Measuring cup

Tarp or junky towels

Scale

Thermometer

Vitamin C

Crappy instant coffee (is there any other kind)

Washing soda

Check

 

Fixer, Hypo Clear, and Photo Flo and 9 rolls of tri-x black and white super 8mm film - courtesy of Afcoop - check

 

All of this cost me about $80 some of it I got at the dollar store.  The most expensive thing was the thermometer.
Some of it I had around my house like the respirator and smock and junky towels. I was told once these materials are used for film developing they are ONLY EVER used for film developing.
No cross contamination of household items and film supplies please.

 

 


 

January 19, 2016

posted 31 Oct 2016, 10:36 by Dawn George   [ updated 2 Nov 2016, 10:31 ]

See Weeds Still 01
Woohoo!  Just received word that I am the successful recipient of the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative’s  (Afcoop) Celluloid Creation Grant to make my next project  See Weeds! 

 

“See Weeds” is a five minute examination of three weeds and each weed’s direct effects on film stock via hand-processing.  The film aims to not only reveal the visual characteristic of plants but also of filmic qualities that each plant will impart on the film stock.  I plan to film three plants easily accessible Nova Scotia – Colt’s Foot, Dandelion, and Goldenrod each with two rolls of tri-x black and white super-8 and develop them in their own essence (boiled down greens and flowers) .  A special thank you to Dagie Brundart, my inspiration for all of this!

 

I love film I really do! I love the look, the texture, the quality, and especially the tactility.  What I don’t really like is the environmental impact.  One could, argue at nauseam, the environmental impacts of digital vs analogue in image creation but chemically it just feels wrong; it also smells wrong this liquidy goo to develop film, not to mention the fact that I have to transport it by plane to Toronto (and back) to get a developed image.  Did I mention that it is also expensive?  Welcome to the log of my experiments to find a more environmentally developer and perhaps more affordable way to process film.  A the very least it will be a fun experiment, at the best I’ll make a groundbreaking film!

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