Develop a technique

It's now well over a decade since a thought sprang into my head. I'm still not sure why I had it. However I did so that's that. I don't consider myself to be creative or have anything other people have. Certainly no given talents that will put me about the usual riff-raff. I'm rambling again. My thought was. I wondered if it's possible to develop black and white film using household products? After a scan through the Google archive to my amazement it appeared to be indeed a possibility. To keep a short story even shorter the main repository of knowledge resided in Germany. A group there had refined methods that quite frankly gave stunning results. At this time only developing black and white film was my interest. A small group on social media led by an expert from Germany had a growing following, so I had to join. I watched and learned. Tried my best and failed miserably. I couldn't get it right. The results were awful. Even I had difficulty calling the results “art”. Please forgive me “art” is an excuse for not good results. Just my opinion! After wasted rolls of 35mm film. A conclusion could be drawn. It's a con that doesn't work. No it can't be so, it must work. Read the details held in the recipes. How to mix; the order and most importantly the ingredients and amounts. The key factor for me was the sodium carbonate; it must be dry; by dry I mean pure. Contain no water. The stuff from the store contains around seventy to eighty percent h2o. I don't need to go into detail too far, only it won't work. It's possible to fudge poor scan in post processing but this isn't acceptable in my book. I made a breakthrough after drying a measured amount of sodium carbonate in my oven. Water excluded from the power to fill the metal tray. Slowly the moisture evaporated to leave salt like crystals that required to be crushed straight away or it was almost impossible to do so. Drying in the kitchen oven is not recommended, pure sodium can be purchased online. I can't stress the use of pure sodium carbonate enough. Another aspect is pure ascorbic acid. Vitamin C. Tablets contain ingredients not welcome into the mix. With ISO over four hundred an edition of potassium bromide is helpful in giving an even development across the frames. I alway use it in all development notwithstanding the film speed. Also in paper developer too. Like baking cakes the devil is in the details. Use correct ingredients,measurements and temperature. The stand development is by far my favorite. All details and information is easily available online.  

My developmental and personal refinement with Caffenol. It's the only black and white development I use. Perhaps I enjoy it because it's home made and feels organic. One thing for shore Caffenol has non toxic ingredients that benefits the environment. Some people might regard Caffenol as a substandard or fun thing to do once just to test out. This would be a mistake even a great disservice to the process. Like all photography it becomes easier and yields results with practice. It's a way to create that can stand on its own alongside other techniques.