Imagine Mac Gyver or another secret spy in a desperately need to develop a film with secret pictures and no photo lab. No chemicals, no way? The participants of the workshop organized by Lomography Slovakia know now what to do in such a case: Caffenol-C process. Developing liquid base on household ingredients.
Lomography.sk with the help of Šimon (user Pan Priatel on lomography.sk) the infamous Slovak lab rat held a very interesting workshop. Even though the theme was photography at some stages it looked more like a cooking course. The participants had the unique chance to learn how to develop their colour films at home with use of very basic ingredients: coffee, washing soda, vitamin-C, water. Here the recipe we have used, followed by scanned pictures we have developed during the workshop. For more info or advice don’t hesitate to write an email to email@example.com
Recipe Caffenol-C developer (for a half liter tank=500ml liquid/developer)
While constantly mixing we are adding following ingredients into 500ml of water (temperature between 20-21 degrees Celsius):
- 3 teaspoons of washing soda (powder available at your local drugstore)
- 5 teaspoons of instant coffee
- 1/2-teaspoon powder vitamin C
The mixture we pour into a tank where we have put our film (the film you insert into the tank in dark, rest is done on light). After pouring in the mixture we rotate (agitate) the tank first 3 minutes constantly than 10 rotations every 30 seconds.
There are different times of developing process for different films:
- ISO 100 15 minutes
- ISO 200 17 minutes
- ISO 400 19-20 minutes
(These have worked with some films, however times might differ with different brands, makes etc. need of experimentation)
After developing the film in Caffenol-C developer, you pour out the mixture, wash out the tank with water and stabilize it. We have used normal stabilizing chemicals from Illford, however also this part can be exchanged with a basic house held chemical, some experiment dishwashing liquid as the fixer. After stabilizing we wash out all the liquids, let water pour into the tank for at least for 30 minutes. After these you can take out the film hang it out and after it is dry it is ready to scan, or prove guilty the double agent.
Here’s also a video (only in Slovakian):