I think many of us agree that there’s still something special about film photography even in the digital age. Film photos have some magic to them, and there’s a lot that comes before we see their final look. In this video, Destin Sandlin of Smarter Every Day shows you the magic and the science behind shooting, developing, and scanning a roll of 35 mm film.
Destin starts his video with some lovely examples of film photos and the chemistry behind them. In his video, you’ll learn a bit about what color and black and white films consist of, and how their compounds react to light and to chemicals for development.
I find it particularly fun when Destin puts film under a microscope. When zoomed in that much, you can see the little silver grains on the film that the photo is made of. In fact, that’s where “grain” comes from, and I enjoyed seeing 35mm film in such detail.
Developing a black and white film is pretty straightforward. It’s relatively simple to do it even at home, so it can be a great start if you plan to develop the film yourself. You can even use some stuff you have lying around the house, such as beer, coffee, tea, vitamin C, and so on.
However, developing color negatives is a little more elaborate (although it’s still possible to do it yourself). To show you how it works, Destin takes you behind the scenes of the process at Indie Film Lab. During this video tour, you’ll see everything involved in developing a 35mm color film: from the darkroom, all the way to a finished batch of photos. It’s interesting that Indie Film Lab uses lots of old-ish equipment, but they “hacked” parts of the process so they end up with digital files instead of prints. This way, you can share your film photos wherever you want, but you can also print them if you like.
If you’ve always wanted to learn more about photographic film and take a look inside a film lab, this is a video for you. So, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.