It was Saturday, January 28th, 2012 when the first analog workshop took place in the lightGIANTS Studio. But until then, some groundwork had to be laid. First off, a concept of had to be developed, defining the actual learning content. For that matter, i had to think through what was technically possible in the studio (without a dark room) and what we materials we needed.
After creating a rough sketch of the possibilities it was clear that we were going to develop film. Since the process of color film development is rather complicated, i decided that it only made sense to develop “true” black & white film. As we do not have a dark room it would have been quite impossible to make true analog prints. So we stuck with the development process.
Once the goal was set i took on the workshops detailed planning. At first we determined the necessary materials with the help of Roland, a.k.a. ropmann. Then i ordered a first set of tools off eBay. After that we (Tom, Roland and me) dared to take our first baby steps…
We all met at the studio and roland brought most of the equipment with him. We went on developing, exposing film and back to developing until we were sure that “This is how it’s done!”. After that, things went pretty fast. I ordered the missing pieces off eBay, so everybody had their own developing tank to work with. Also, a date when the studio was vacant was found quickly and we had to get some participants. Since some people already said they’d be interested in the past Flickr Klub Karlsruhe meetings that was easy, too.
Saturday, a few weeks later. Scotty, Markus, Marco and Jannis showed up on time at the studio’s doorstep with their previously exposed film. A few things i auctioned off eBay arrived literally last-minute and so Alex a.k.a. andl helped us out with some parts of his tools. At this point, i want to say “Thank You” for that. We had the following equipment at our disposal:
- development tank,
- can opener,
- film clips,
- stripping tool,
- changing bag,
- nail scissors,
- egg timer,
- measuring cup,
- graduated cylinder,
- duct tape (wasn’t actually used, but you never know…)
We started at noon, as planned. First i gave out some technical basics, so that everyone had an understanding of the development process instead of just following a step-by-step manual.
After the relaxing part on the comfy couch, we started the process of “getting-the-film-into-the-tank”. I brought some film material as practicing material. Here we found out at which point it made sense to invest some money into good equipment and where you can help yourself with existing household material. Ultimately, the goal of the workshop was for the participants to be able to develop their next films themself.
With this training excercise behind us, we made a smooth transition into the “live” session. In the end, everyone managed to get their film into the tank. Some were faster, others took a little longer. Then, we had to mix the developer before we could continue and get to the actual development.
Eventually, everyone successfully processed their own film and hung the material into the special film-drying chamber (which, at first glance looks a lot like the studio’s changing room). Since the film was meant to dry for quite a while, we decided to call ends to Part One. We decided it was time for a late lunch and drove to a close-by american fast food franchise.
Back in the studio, we started to cut the film into smaller strips. Since Marco brought a scanner, we had the possibility to digitize our freshly developed shots. In the end, we took a group shot of the proud participants and their negatives. I hope everybody had as much fun as i did and that the workshop met or even exceeded their expectations.
For those of our readers who like what they just read and are keen to develop their own film, should check the lightGIANTS blog frequently, as we will announce upcoming workshops here soon.