Adventures in Caffenol (Part 4):

Success! I think I have finally found out the perfect developer time for my caffenol experiment. Processed the final roll of film from working with Nicholette Emanuelle.

Catch up on the whole series here, here, and here.

I got a lot of fun images out of this one, however my scanner doesn’t seem to like to actually scan the prints. When I import them into aperture they seem to be really small. I’ll see if I can make it my next project to correct that issue.

Processing Notes: Same recipe as before, except development time was 20 minutes instead of 11 - B

Adventures in Caffenol (Part 3):

Most of these aren’t the best images. But developing with Caffenol can produce some interesting effects.

Don’t worry about the hairs, or the water stains. I’m working on that for the next round. I need to get some photo flo or something of the sort.

A better drying facility without cat hair floating around may be a good idea too. The last image will also be NSFW (although I thought it still fit on the Extra blog due to its alternative processing).



Adventures in Caffenol (Part 2):

If you missed part one, catch up here.

This post is written in multiple parts, over multiple days. I hope to capture my thoughts and feelings through the whole process. -B


Truth be told I’m a little bit nervous about this process. Its been so long since I’ve been in a darkroom, or even shooting film for that matter. I’m afraid of wasting materials, afraid of messing up something during the development process. Afraid even of possibly restarting a new addiction and time killer.

I decided recently that I wanted my shoot with Nicolette Emanuelle to be in both digital and film. Why both? Mostly because since I haven’t shot film in so long I want something to be able to submit at the end of our time together. And honestly I am doing it to cheat a little bit. Being able to shoot digital will allow me to lock in exposure settings to my likings and be able to actually expose the image. Not that I don’t trust my skills as a photographer, I’m admittedly a little rusty when it comes to analog work.

By the time this post goes live, I should have gathered all of the needed supplies I need to make the development happen. I don’t remember off hand, but I will try to get all of the prices listed here in case you want to try this yourself.

Developing tanks and reels: $40.00 on Craigslist. I know they may be cheaper elsewhere, but it was a matter of shipping and not having them, or spending a little more.

(I ended up with 3, but only 2 are currently functional)

Misc darkroom supplies: $25.00. Thermometer, can opener, graduated cylinders, distilled water, etc.

Washing Soda: $?.??. Bought this a while ago, Next time I remember to look while I am grocery shopping I will be able to update the prices.

Instant Coffee: $?.??. See above.

Vitamin C: 8oz bottle $8.99: from

Photo Fixer: Photographers’ Formulary TF-5 $10.95: Also from

I have two practice rolls of 35mm that I can use as test rolls. I am not worried so much about messing things up too terribly. However, its just the idea of something I have spent time and effort doing being so fragile for a tense 30 minutes. That is what gets me. I think I am ready. I hope I am ready. I have been reading, re-reading, and watching every video I can about Caffenol. Each one gives a little different recipe, and a little different process. I just hope that I can get it done right.


I got up early this morning and made my way into Johns Creek to visit a photographer that was liquidating her entire dark room. Hoping to pick up a few last minute supplies at a steal. Then I headed into Buckhead to pick up my reels from a jaded former art student. Hopefully my contribution will help him eat tonight. 

After these little field trips I suppose I am ready to begin. I’m not working on too much of a time crunch, however I do want to get at least one roll processed before I go out with my girlfriend tonight. At least to get a test baseline done before shooting tomorrow for something that matters. 

Starting with a single roll of 100TX that I shot about 4 years ago, if not longer. There lies another problem. I know none of these rolls have been properly temperature controlled. So who even knows if the emulsion is any good, or if any images are going to be present. 

As I enter the darkroom I feel strangely confident. I have done this before. Its just like riding a bike. After fighting with the reel a little bit I had everything on and ready to go. I mixed my chemicals according to yet another recipe I found and even though I was told that the mixture smelled foul, it really wasn’t that bad. I did find however that I ended up with way too much after it was all said and done.

After a tense 17 minutes of developing and fixing I unloaded the reel and at first my heart dropped. I saw a lot of purple and white where it looked like the roll didn’t develop or perhaps everything stuck together. But upon closer look I saw we had images! After hanging them to dry I was able to get a better look.

After a little drying, scanning, and a little work in Aperture I was able to come up with one workable image on the first batch of negatives. I think that this could be the beginning of another way for me to destroy what little free time I have anymore.

Not too bad for a first effort eh?

Edit 11/05/2012: I completely forgot to post the recipe I was using.

5 tsp - Instant Coffee

2 tsp - Vitamin C Powder

4 tsp - Washing Soda

500 ml - Distilled Water

Develop 100TX for 11 minutes agitating for the first 30 seconds, and then for 30 seconds of each minute.

Fix for 4 minutes, agitating for the first 30 seconds, and then for 30 seconds of each minute. 

Makes enough for 2 rolls of 35mm film in a double tank. 


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