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January 7th, 2024

Diving Into It

The lab beakers and precision scale for my upcoming project to make H&W Control developer arrived the other day. This is good. They should be precise enough I can compare them to the plastic graduated beakers I’ve been using since I was a teenager and see how much off they’ve been all this time, if any. But these are mostly for the project I have going, to make some H&W Control developer after so many decades without.

I’ve been told the raw chemicals have been shipped finally, and should arrive soon. There is one more item on the list I was advised of on the Facebook darkroom page I wrote about previously, which is a magnetic stirrer with a hot plate for keeping the mix temperature good. That’ll help. My arm got really tired with all that stirring the rapid fix ingredients.

Given the uncertainties in getting my workflow developers and fixers these days, being able to mix up my own from the raw ingredients is a good skill to…er…develop. Although mixing my own HC-110 might be beyond my willingness to risk since the raw ingredients for that developer are Holy Shit toxic. But none of this is a one-shot deal. Certainly if the experiment with H&W Control developer works out. I loved that film. To be able to use it again would be heaven.

I took a stroll over to Service Photo just down the street from me to see if anything has changed since Kodak chemistry became available again. But it hasn’t really. I saw some new bottles of Kodafix which is good, but when I went up to the counter to ask about it I was carefully ignored. The stock of film behind the counter was pitiful. The shelves of second hand film cameras now only had second hand digital cameras. I don’t think they care about film photographers anymore.

I remember being overjoyed to see they’d moved from inside the urban core to just a few blocks from my front door. I think they were the last of the good photography stores between here and DC. I can name them all, including the one I worked for briefly, Industrial Photo in Silver Spring. All gone now. Memories. I have to mail order nearly everything now. But at least I can do that.


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