Watch: How film and developing actually work – It’s both magic and science

Jun 19, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Watch: How film and developing actually work – It’s both magic and science

Jun 19, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

YouTube video

This is one of the deepest dives into film photography and the developing process I’ve seen. Not surprisingly, it’s from Destin at Smarter Every Day. He says that he went looking to find a definitive video that explained it all and he couldn’t find one. So, he made one.

Destin begins by talking of the “magic” of film and the unique look and character it has that’s impossible to reproduce digitally. He also mentions film’s resurgence of late (I guess it’s mainstream now – the hipsters will be disappointed). But it’s not magic. There’s actual science behind it and Destin takes us to visit Indie Film Lab to see how the process works.

I shoot both digital and film, although not as much as I’d like with the latter over the last couple of years. I tend to stick with film just for black and whites, though. For colour, I’m happy with digital, but black and white film has a look and a tone (particularly Ilford FP4+) and a character that I’ve just never been able to recreate in digital, nor have I seen anybody else convincingly replicate it.

When I do shoot film, though, I develop it myself. I’ve yet to try developing my own C41 or E6, but black and white is very straightforward to do at home with minimal kit. It’s always fun to see how it works in a processing lab, though, especially over the last couple of decades as film died off and started to come back and labs have had to evolve with both events.

A very interesting and satisfying video to watch.

Filed Under:

Tagged With:

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

6 responses to “Watch: How film and developing actually work – It’s both magic and science”

  1. Jonathan Tyler Avatar
    Jonathan Tyler

    I saw this last week and found it very fascinating. Im actually thinking about finding a film camera as this inspired me. I haven’t used film since i was a kid using a 110 camera at camp.

  2. Rosie D. Porter Avatar
    Rosie D. Porter

    aww Amazing!

  3. Djunior Svane Avatar
    Djunior Svane

    Very interesting informative video about the whole process of film developing. As they said, magic and science. Highly recommend. My myself still working on both analog and digital. I will said that color on digital is more or less the same like analog, so for color I only use digital. B&W is still the best in analog, but if you have a good digital camera, a good printer and a good high quality print paper, you are very close to analog B&W.

  4. Safidy Andrian Avatar
    Safidy Andrian

    Film is a hobbie for rich photographers.

    1. Jonathan Tyler Avatar
      Jonathan Tyler

      Safidy Andrian

    2. Howardo Mansfieldio Avatar
      Howardo Mansfieldio

      Olympus Trip 35 – £13.50
      Canon T70 SLR – £7.50
      Minolta AF7000 – £4.20
      Minolta AF5000 – £1.99

      Fuji Sensia film (repackaged as Agfa) – £1

      This stuff not only cost significantly less than my digital SLR, but still probably outlast it.