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Push Processing or: Give me more!

No ISO 400 film at hand but facing a nice low-light situation? Your frigde is full with ISO 100 films but you want to shoot fast moving things? You want high contrast and hues shifts without crossing? Maybe Push Processing is a way!

Push Processing is an old known darkroom technique. Basically it´s about underexposing and then overdeveloping a film. Just put a ISO 200 film into your camera and set it to ISO 400. Expose the whole film with this setting and upon letting it developed write “Please push one step” on the envelope. I wanted to try this for quite some time and now that I did, I’m stunned by the outcome: high contrast, some hue shifts and large grain.

It’s also possible to push by more than one step, I already tried a ISO 100 Film on ISO 400 setting and it turned out good. Pushing ISO 400 to ISO 1600 should be worth a try. Black and white film can be pushed even more.

Push processing should be tested in combination with X-pro and Redscale. There’s a lot to do! Try it out!

written by zark


  1. violet_rayy


    Amazing shots and great article!

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  2. ifisheye


    ill have to try this

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  3. vicuna


    Great tipster and gallery!! That's a good old technique which gives more texture and contrast to the shots... with b&w, I remember that the Ilford HP5 400 asa is very very flexible and can be shot (and developped) as a 800/1600 or even 3200 asa film... the more you push, the more grainy are the shots and sometimes this gives a fantastic dramatic vintage mood....

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  4. renaishashin


    wow thx @zark ! I'm gonna try it out REAL soon! Nice colors!

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  5. wuxiong


    Yeah, quite useful and practical tipster, thanks for sharing it and your nice photos.::))

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  6. mephisto19


    should try this

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  7. sexyinred


    awesome shots! love the outdoor shot especially

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  8. coldkennels


    My sister (a professional photographer) had suggested this to me, but I'd never seen examples till now... great gallery!

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  9. ethermoon


    i shoot the film underexposed, then say to the developer push one step higher, is that it? i sometimes love underexposed shots... :-)

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  10. stouf


    Nice ! For other push-processing experiments, you can visit @rater, @eggzakly and @stouf 8DDD

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  11. breakphreak


    it depends on a film: some can be pushed, others might become completely abstract. pushing a slide/xpro film is even a more sensitive process where perfect temperatures can make wonders (read: find a trustworthy lab). and finally, some films are especially developed for pushing :)

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  12. cinzinc


    iv always been curious about this technique. thanks to ur experiment i dont have to worry about a low stock of iso400 film in my place

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  13. livethdream

    OMG! I did this unknowingly -- exposed an iso 100 with iso 400. I begged the lab to do something about my underexposed roll and was surprised with the result. Came out really nice! Now I feel less stupid knowing there's a name for my mistake. Great tip! Thanks!
    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  14. sagebrush

    I often do it with B&W I shoot. I will take a roll of 400 and set my ISO to 800 on my camera and shoot away. When I take to lab I ask them to push to 800. I will usually mark the film can with 800 so I don't get mixed up with the other film shot at regular speeds.
    almost 5 years ago · report as spam
  15. trash-gordon-from-outer-space


    Wie formuliert man diesen Wunsch denn am besten auf Deutsch?

    almost 5 years ago · report as spam
  16. daforl


    is it possible to overexpose a film and then do the opposite of pushing?

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  17. jonasfx


    good inspiration for pushing film. thanks!

    @daforl: yes. that's called "pulling"

    10 months ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Spanish.