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.