Film Developing refers to the process of turning a piece of film into a printed photograph. The way in which film is developed depends on the type of film being processed. While Polaroids develop instantly, other film needs to be developed in a darkroom with an enlarger and chemical treatment.
By developing film, a photographer turns his film into a permanent, visible image that is unaffected by light. Whether film is developed commercially or by the photographer himself, the film goes through the following process:
- The film is dipped into three different bathes (a developer, a stop bath and a bath with fixer fluid).
- The film is then washed with pure water;.
- The film is dipped into a solution that hardens the solution (usually a mix of water, alcohol and formaldehyde).
- Finally, the film is dried and cut.
If you are developing film for black and white prints, you will need to add two additional steps to this process. The first step is to bleach the film after it is dipped into the developing bath. Then it is exposed to light (or chemically treated). The rest of the steps for developing film are the same.
While a photographer can develop his own film in a darkroom, many pharmacies and camera store chains also offer film-developing services. Similarly, you can also mail your film out to be developed (many of these services are listed on the internet).
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