Results of a first time developer

Discussion in 'Photographic Aesthetics and Composition' started by Odot, Oct 27, 2016.

  1. Odot

    Odot Member

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    I have several questions and i dont know if this is the right section but here it is nonetheless

    I noticed that all of my photos have these "scratches" - why is that? The lenses are squeaky clean, i have put brand new sealings inside the camera (AE-1) and have blown out all the possible dust out the camera with an air spray.

    [​IMG]img147 by odotpap, on Flickr


    This one has some ugly dots (top left) - is this from developing? What mistake did i make?

    [​IMG]img155 by odotpap, on Flickr

    And this one here was shot on the same roll of film but its greytones are so much different than the rest - why?

    [​IMG]img148 by odotpap, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
  2. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    your links don't work.
    are you sure your flickr photos are public?
     
  3. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    it's usually much better to post images of the negatives without inverting them if you're hoping to troubleshoot problems, and better still to have an image of the
    negatives that include the rebates.
     
  4. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I can see them. The first image looks like a dirty scan. If the second image is from a scanned print I would say you have eithe small air bubbles adhearing to your film during processing or dirt getting on the film in your camera.

    Hard to say without more info from you.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Odot

    Odot Member

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    Hey, what infos do you need? All images are scans from negatives, not the images themselves. As far as dirt, the possibility is nearly zero that the negative has had some extra dirt.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Odot

    Odot Member

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    I didnt develop any images and am not planing on either for the moment since scanning them is good enough for me. And what exactly do you mean by rebates? English is my fourth language so the only rebates i know are discounts :D
     
  7. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Check your scanner for dirt on and under the glass. Have you looked at the negs with a magnifying glass to see if you can see what might be causing the blemishes? If you can not see anything on the negs that would cause these marks then it's your scanner. If you can see little round clear areas in the sky that would cause your black dots then it's either in the processing or from your camera.

    Rebate is the unexposed areas on the film. Typically where the sprocket holes are for 35mm film or around the edges for sheet film.
     
  8. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    you misunderstand what I mean by images. I do not mean prints.

    you have inverted the images, meaning you have turned them from negatives to positives in the scanning process

    it is more helpful just to have the negative image.
     
  9. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I think the possibility is much higher that there is dirt on the negatives. Probably got onto the film when it was hung to dry after developing.

    Grab a magnifying glass and look at the negative directly.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Odot

    Odot Member

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    - Scanner is brandnew, has no scratches and is always kept clean
    - Scan results from my other camera did not have any of these distortions, which means its either the camera or from my first attempt of self-developing
    - The bigger, more noticeable scratches can be seen on the negatives
     
  11. OP
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    Odot

    Odot Member

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    ok, what kind of dirt could it possibly be? The negs were hung in the bathroom on top of the clothing dryer rack, attatched to the door. Bathroom has hardly any dirt, it is clean for the most part, unless you are counting all those times i came home drunk and "missed" :D Btw, only the bigger, more noticeable scratches can be seen on the negatives
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
  12. OP
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    Odot

    Odot Member

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    Before i forget, i scanned the negs as 48-bit colors. Could this be the issue? I know with color negs it should be fine but with BW film i always have it on 16-bit grey
     
  13. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    If your scanner is spotless, then the white specs are from linty things and dust sticking to your negatives whilst drying. You'll need a cleaner space to hang them up to dry. The black specs however, means that there are holes in the emulsion, which could have been caused by bad fixer... or a worse scenario is manufacturer issues during coating... but I doubt it. Which film is it?
     
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  15. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    I don't know what the humidity is like where you are, but a very dry place kicks up a lot of dust into the air. If you can raise the humidity you'll notice a huge improvement in dust control. If you can run hot water for a bit, or boil a kettle or pot with water.
     
  16. OP
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    Odot

    Odot Member

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    The Film is a HP5+ (30m bulk roll). I can try different rooms but the bathroom is still the cleanest and most humid place that i have. The other thing, creating even more humidity would create mold in the bathroom. One more thing, i added the wetting agent to the last rinse water as the last step (as advised in the Ilford developing manual) and theres a possibility that i may have added a bit too much since it was really bubbly. I dunno if it has something to do with it, i am just looking for ways to understand all of this and improve.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
  17. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    Too much wetting agent sometimes is not good. I put about 1mm of wetting agent per litre of water to which I add 50ml 91% Isopropyl Alcohol. Speeds up drying.
     
  18. OP
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    Odot

    Odot Member

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    Shocker: I dared to clean the negative with a cleaning "rag" for lenses and as you can see, most of the stuff is gone! I guess it is dirt, dust etc, the question is where did i make a mistake?

    Original scan
    [​IMG]img147 by odotpap, on Flickr

    Cleaned scan
    [​IMG]img180 by odotpap, on Flickr
     
  19. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Probably just the dust in the air, you may be shedding a little :wink:, ...
     
  20. Svenedin

    Svenedin Subscriber

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    Dust, tiny fibres etc. My great enemy is dust. By very careful when cleaning negatives. They are easily scratched. A squeeze-bulb blower helps or canned air. An antistatic brush designed for negatives is also useful. There is something else wrong with the picture of the traffic: a white splodge on the positive (black on the negative) on the right hand side.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
  21. jimjm

    jimjm Subscriber

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    In your first example (the one you cleaned) those marks may be residue from the water. If you're mixing wetting agent with regular tap water, any minerals or impurities in the water can still leave marks on the film. You can use tap water for most of your rinsing, but use distilled water when you mix your final wetting agent.

    It's usually OK to use a very clean lens cloth or Kim-wipes to gently wipe fingerprints or oil from your negatives, but if there are deposits or other dirt on the film, this may scratch it. I would just re-soak the negative for a few minutes in the distilled water / wetting agent solution and hang to dry. For the first hour or two while film dries, it's important not to disturb the air around it as any airborne dust will stick like a magnet.

    The spots in the sky in your 2nd and 3rd image are a bit tougher to identify. Could be airborne dust, could be particulate matter in your final rinse. Less likely that it's a problem with the film and it doesn't look like a scanner issue.

    Your last image with "muddy" tones may just be underexposed. The negative itself would look thinner and less "dense" than other shots on your roll. If your scanner is set to automatically set the exposure that it reads from the negative, this would have been the best it was able to do with the underexposure.

    These are all issues that all of us have seen at one time or another - usually it's no great mystery. Just keep your equipment and area clean, try to use fresh chemicals and clean water for the final rinse. Once you get a reliable routine down, you'll rarely run into problems like this.
     
  22. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    Hi, the problem of dust getting on the negatives after processing is sort of the "dirty little secret" of photo lab work. If you've learned everything from books, internet, and that sort of thing then you were probably "not exposed" to how much of a problem dust is, or at least CAN be. The literature may say things like "handle film in a clean environment" or "avoid dusty conditions," and that sort of thing, but without in-person guidance it's pretty vague exactly what this means.

    If you ever worked in a serious photo lab, you'd learn about this quickly. Every time you mishandle film, someone would let you know ("hey, don't swing that roll around," "don't lay that film down on the counter," "don't unroll that film so fast - do it slowly."). But on your own, dealing with dust that's largely too small to notice, or even smaller, it's hard to get a handle on this.

    I've spent a lot of time in high volume labs, where dust can be a major problem. In pro work, it's taken as a fact of life that you need people who are skilled at "dust spotting," the technique of using a fine-tipped "paint brush" to delicately apply inks or dyes to the white (on the print) dust spot to hide it. Although these labs use a great deal of care to avoid dust problems, they do happen and must be dealt with, and "dust spotting" larger prints is usually more economical than reprinting.

    I could probably write 50 or 100 pages on dealing with dust, but the basic rules are 1) try to keep relative humidity in the general range of 50% where you work (below ~30% static electricity doesn't bleed off the film easily, and it's like a magnet for dust; above ~70% your equipment can rust and mold grows readily). 2) Don't leave your film open to the environment any longer than necessary - keep it in protective enclosures (such as negative "sleeves") as much as possible. 3) Don't stir up dust in your work area; for example, don't sweep with a broom or otherwise stir up dust even an hour or two before getting the film out - very fine dust particles can stay in the air for a LONG time, especially if the air is being circulated. 4) Move fairly slowly when you are handling film. As others have said, people are large sources of dust in darkrooms - we shed dead-skin particles, our clothes carry all sorts of particles, etc. If you were to go into the darkroom and start slapping your hands against your arms, your legs, and your body, you would most likely put an incredible amount of tiny dust particles into the air. So just don't make any violent motions or run around while you have the film out - try to move slowed and deliberately when handling the film.

    There is a lot more to it than this, but hopefully this will help make you aware of what a touchy issue dust control can be.
     
  23. Svenedin

    Svenedin Subscriber

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    Absolutely. I'm just an amateur but dust drives me nuts. I hate it and it's the single thing that seriously reduces my enjoyment of darkroom work. It's so tedious messing about removing it, staring at negatives with a loupe looking for that evil microfibre. If I see a spotted print it's ripped up instantly. At least dust that contaminates a negative after processing can be removed. The worst possible is dirt contaminating the film whilst it is being processed or wet hanging to dry. That gets stuck like flies to flypaper and will never come off. Dust on the paper, negative, glass carrier can all spoil a print. The smaller the format and the worse it is. An absolute menace.....grr.
     
  24. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Clothes dryers throw tremendous amounts of lint into the air.

    And scanners will make every piece of lint or dust or anything similar on or near your negatives appear obvious!
     
  25. canvassy

    canvassy Member

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    The first image is dust and little hairs/fibers on the negative. I have a cat, and her little hairs are a pain for scanning :smile:

    One tip I've read, is to run the hot shower for a minute before you hang up your film. The shower humidity will make the dust fall out of the air. I hang my negatives to dry in the shower with the curtain closed.

    I too have had the black dots on my images like your second photo. They don't seem to wipe off. It's like they're stuck to the emulsion. I'm not sure what causes it bull I'll be following the thread here to hopefully find a solution.
     
  26. OP
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    Odot

    Odot Member

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    The second developed roll turned out to be much better, i did change my clothes for developing into functional sports clothes (you know, sweat absorbing nylon/polyester stuff for running) to minimize dust and it did help. Other than that, i went about it the same way. I did clean up a few dust spots here and there.

    [​IMG]img192 by odotpap, on Flickr

    [​IMG]img198 by odotpap, on Flickr

    [​IMG]img209 by odotpap, on Flickr

    [​IMG]img217 by odotpap, on Flickr

    [​IMG]img211 by odotpap, on Flickr

    [​IMG]img197 by odotpap, on Flickr
     
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