Teaching B&W Film Development at Analogue Spotlight

Teaching B&W Film Development at Analogue Spotlight

We were thrilled to join the 2023 Analogue Spotlight event last week, and honoured to run B&W developing workshops for the attendees!


What is Analogue Spotlight?

Analogue Spotlight is a a burgeoning global analogue photography association, supporting the analogue community and helping secure the future of film.

They run events with a focus on all things film, and last week's 2023 showcase was held in Nottingham.

John, one of our lab technicians here at SilverPan, was joined by Paul from Analogue Wonderland to run B&W developing workshops for attendees of the event.


Covering The Basics

We had a wonderful range of folks joining the workshops: some had never done any home developing before, some were looking to remind themselves of the process after a few years 'off', and some wanted to push their skills in new areas.

John spends every day in SilverPan developing B&W film - alongside some of the trickier chemistries like E6 slide processing - and brought all of his experience, energy and passion to the room.

We started with the essentials: how to get exposed 35mm film out from its canister (with a film retriever), what 120 film looks like without its backing paper, the pros and cons of different developers.

Using a Film Retriever - SilverPan Film Lab


Preparing Your Film

We then moved onto the practical application. Helping each attendee to load their film onto a reel - inside a changing bag, often for the first time! - and making sure that the emulsion was safely locked away in a light-tight developing tank before re-emerging.

Loading films onto developing reels -SilverPan Film Lab


The Chemistry

John taught the basics of developing chemistry: how the silver halide reacts to each step, whether you need to use a chemical Stop bath or just water, and the importance of fixing.

Everyone got the chance to do some dilution maths, fill up the jugs, and then it was onto the most important part! Timing, agitation, and pouring...

Mixing film chemistry for B&W development with SilverPan Film Lab


The Moment of Truth

My favourite part of the workshops was always right at the end: the nerves when folks have finished the process, and are opening their tanks to see if it worked.

The looks on their faces as they saw their images in front of them - often for the first time ever - was an absolute delight.

Huge congratulations to everyone for their commitment to learning - or improving - such an important skill for the future of film photography!

Let's see some of those lovely faces:

Developing B&W film - the results - SilverPan Film Lab

Developing B&W film - the results 2 - SilverPan Film Lab

Developing B&W film - the results 3 - SilverPan Film Lab

Developing B&W film - the results 4 - SilverPan Film Lab

Developing B&W film - the results 6 - SilverPan Film Lab 

If you're interested in home developing then Analogue Wonderland has a fantastic set of Home Developing Starter Kits available to buy - and if you run into any issues then please do call us up or pop into our store! We're always happy to help bring more people into the wonderful world of film developing.

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