Black and White develop 35mm film with Beer, ecologic and cheap. | Antonio Castello | Skillshare

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Black and White develop 35mm film with Beer, ecologic and cheap.

teacher avatar Antonio Castello, Experimental Photographer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Ingredients for the Developer Mix


    • 4.

      The Dark Part


    • 5.

      How to Load the Film


    • 6.

      The Beer Developing


    • 7.

      Sharing is Caring


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About This Class

This lesson will be free for the next 2 weeks (until the end of January)

Learn how to Develop your own black and white film with Dark Beer, washing soda and Vitamin C. For 35mm or 120mm film. This is a natural way of developing your film with out using those aggressive chemicals. It's. also an easy, fun and affordable process with material easy to find in your local store.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Antonio Castello

Experimental Photographer


Hello! I'm Antonio Castello and I'm  an experimental photographer, visual artist and Lomography Brand Ambassador (Director of Marketing and Online Media for Colombia).

I work as a freelancer artist for different media outlets and private companies, my work has been published in many sites and magazines around the world and my art has been exhibited in places like Moscow, Paris, Hong Kong, New York, Berlin... etc. Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, after working and leaving many years in NYC I now live in Berlin.

In my free time I like to draw, ride my bike around the city and play with videos and experimental photos.

Check my website, instagram and my youtube for more:

https://www... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: My name is Antonio Costello and I'm a visual artist and experimental photographer based in Berlin, Germany. I like to do street photography. I like to do fashion photography. But mainly what I like to do is portraits. For the last 10 years, analog photography has been a big part of my professional life. From shooting in places like the Berlinale Film Festival or the New York Fashion Week, to teach analog photography to John Keats and beginners alike. I began developing my own black and white film in university in like 15 years ago. However, I discovered the beer developing process just a couple of years ago when I just moved to Germany. Since then, I've been completely obsessed about it and I always try to develop all my film with beer. For me, developing my own film, keep the whole process completely analog while it gives me full control of my photos. On top of that, developing with beer and vitamin C is environmentally friendly and very affordable. The developing of black and white film versus the color film is quite different. It uses different chemicals. For home developing black-and-white film is way much easier. In this project, I will teach you everything you need to develop your own black and white film at home. I created this project for everyone who has never developed a film before or those who think this process is hard and expensive. On this course, I'll take you through the steps from preparing the chemicals all the way to scanning your film. At the end, you will have the confidence and knowledge to develop your own film at home. Let's get started. 2. Project: On this project, I want you to develop your own black and white film using dark beer and vitamin C. I'm going to show you what materials do you need and how to do it. At first, I want you to go outside, take a black and white film, take your camera, and shoot the whole roll. This is a really easy and affordable project to do on your own with the satisfaction of using just natural ingredients like dark beer, vitamin C, and [inaudible]. At the end, this is not good only for our environment, but it also gives you a really strong set of black and white pictures. At the end of this project, I want you to upload at least five photos from your self-developed film. If you don't have a film scanner, I will show you how to do it with your digital phone. 3. Ingredients for the Developer Mix: Before you start, I will tell you exactly what materials and ingredients do you need for this project. These are materials you can find in your local store and are really affordable. You can also find the list of materials on the class information. This list of materials is for one black and white 35-millimeter film. If you want to develop two, you can double the amount. The first thing you will need is a developer. To create your organic developer mix you will need 300 milliliters of dark beer. This is any black beer. I usually use the Dunkel beer, which is the one that you can find here in Germany and is really cheap but you can use any dark beer that you can find around your area. You will also need 18 grams of washing soda. This is a typical one you find in supermarkets and grocery stores. This is the washing soda you use to clean your clothes. Finally you will need six grams of vitamin C. You can find these in your local drug store or pharmacy, apothec. If you don't find normal vitamin C, you can also use this one that comes in effervescent tablets but with the time I realize it's better just to get the powder vitamin C. The second ingredient you need is a stop bath. To create a stop bath just mix 500 milliliters of water and two teaspoons of vinegar. This will help you to stop the developing process inside your tank. The third ingredient you need is the fixer. Unfortunately, we cannot create an organic fixer. We will need to buy a chemical one. This is the only part of the process that is not organic. To create your fixer solution just mix 900 milliliters of water and 100 milliliters of fixer. The good news is that you can always reuse the solution at least 10 times. That means you don't need to throw it away and it's not that bad for our planet. You can always find this product in a camera store or in any online shop. 4. The Dark Part: Now that you have your developing mix ready, you will need to do your process in the dark. For this, you will need at dark tank. I use the Paterson developing system, which is the easiest one to get, and it's also really affordable. Once you get your own tank, you will save a lot of money, as you can develop all your films at home and you don't have to drop them in the lab. The Paterson Super System Universal Developing Tank is probably the most popular and easy to get. It comes with all you need, it comes with two auto load reels. This is where you load your films, and you can develop on this tank a 35 millimeter film, two of them, or simply I choose the reels, and develop 126, 127, 120, and 220 millimeter film. The good thing about this kit is it also comes with a thermometer. They also have a bigger tank in case you are thinking of developing four or more films at the same time. Finally, and the most important part of this process, is to load the film into the dark. For this, you will need a dark room. If you don't have a dark room at home, but your bathroom doesn't have a window, then that's perfect. Just get yourself into a bathroom, make sure that there is no light coming in through the door. But, if you don't want to get into a dark room, they also sell these dark bags. These dark bags are really, really good as you can just change your films in the daylight, in your kitchen, in your living room. It's quite easy to use. Again, it's very affordable, and once you have one of these bags, you pretty much going to save a lot of money developing your own film. We're ready for developing now. 5. How to Load the Film: Now you have all your materials. You have shot your film and you're ready to develop. The first thing you need to do is to load your film into the reel, and then put it inside your direct tank. For some people, this can be easy, for some others it might be hard. The problem here is that you're going to do it in the dark, either because you do it in a dark room or inside the back, you're not seeing what you're doing, so why I suggest to play a couple of times with a test film on plain light. Just grab a test film, see how it works, see how to load it into a reel. That way when you're in the dark, you know exactly what to do. It's also important that you have all your materials ready before you start loading your film. You're going to need scissors and you're going to need something to open the canister with. I do it with a knife, but you can do it with a can opener. As of before going into the dark and opening your film canister, just let your eyes adapt to the dark. If you're inside of a dark room, just give a couple of minutes for your eyes to adapt. That way you can tell if there is any light leak that you have to fix before opening your canister. Once you are ready to go, the process is really easy. Open the rolled canister either with a can opener. I do it with a knife. I just introduce the knife inside the canister and pull a little bit up, then pull all the film out of the canister and with your scissors, cut the film out of it. Once you have your film free, just put it into the outer reel. The cool thing about these reels is that they're auto loading. That means once you have put the film inside, you just need to turn the knobs against each other and the film is going to roll on itself. Once you have finish, just lock your tank, be sure that there is no any possibilities of light leak coming in. That's it, you're ready to start. 6. The Beer Developing: We arrive at the fun part, playing with beer. Once you have your film inside a tank, you will create your developer mix using 300 milliliters of dark beer, 18 grams of washing soda, and six grams of Vitamin C. Before putting the mix, be sure to have your developer at the right temperature. You don't want the beer to cog, so be sure it's about 30 Celsius degree or 86 Fahrenheit. Check that is completely sealed, and shake for 45 seconds. After that, put the thank down and let it rest until your clock hit one minute and 30 seconds. You can then shake the tank twice every 30 seconds. Leave it alone in the meanwhile. You can give a couple of taps to the tank to get rid of any bubbles. At the end, pour developer out. This is an organic mix, remember, so you can get rid of it really easily. It's now time to stop the developing process. Just pour two spoons of vinegar into 500 milliliters of water. Pour the mix into your tank, and agitate constantly for one minute. The last step is the fixer. You usually do the fixer for about three minutes. But since we are using beer, it's better to play on the safe side, and we're going to do it for about six minutes. You want to do the same thing you did with the developer, 45 seconds agitation and two inversions every 30 seconds for a total of six minutes. Empty the tank and pour the fixer back in a bottle. This is a chemical, so you cannot just dispose it, but you can reuse this chemical for about 10 more times. Your film should be ready by now, and you can open the lid, and wash it with fresh water. There is many ways of doing this. I usually clean it just four times. I opened the tank, fill it with water, do five inversions, then 10 inversions, then 20 inversions, and so on. Finally, there is optional step and it's to clean the film with a Photo-Flo solution. This prevents water to make any kind of stain on your film at the end. This is a chemical, so if you are doing only organic development, you can skip this step. You have just developed your first film with beer. Now, it's time to see the results. 7. Sharing is Caring: Congratulations. If you're watching this video is because you successfully developed your own first black and white film with beer. You can now take your film and hang it to dry. I put it on my bathtub and I waited for about two hours until it's completely dry. You're going to see different colors from a regular film but it's because we're using beer for developing. That is going to be a really interesting set of colors. Maybe you used some really strong beer or the black is going to be really dark or quite the opposite. Now you can go and scan your film. I usually scan my film with a Epson V700, which is a special film scanner. You're going to scan your film in the regular way that you used to scan any other thing. However, if you don't have access to a film scanner, you can do it with your smartphone. Just go and google the word white. You're going to see a lot of white images. Click on any of them. Put your film against the screen and with the camera of your phone take a photo. Just be sure that the focus is on the actual image you want to scan. Upload the image to your computer and go to an image software like Photoshop. Open your image. Set your photo into grayscale. Play with the balance so you have a strong white and a skunk black. Go to images, adjust, invert. Now your photo is going to be exactly as you want it. You can now play with high levels, white balance, contrast, all that stuff to make your photo look better. Save the image and upload it to the project. I want to see your best photos. Good luck and thanks for watching. Remember you can follow me on all my social networks and check my website for regular updates.