Submitted by: Cathy Nimick UNIT: Photography Grade Level: High School
NOTE: For the most part, developing film and burning photo images on paper is no longer done due to the era of digital cameras. However, you can still buy film developing supplies, and you can do effects that you can't do digitally.
Pushing Film for High Contrast Results
To increase awareness of patterns of light and composition.
Your subject matter should be in very contrast lighting and in low light situations. Try turning out all the lights in a room with no windows and set up one very strong light (a 200 watt bulb works well). You don’t need expensive lights for this. A black or white cloth as a backdrop works well for this. Students bring black and white clothing, hats and props. They take turns modeling. Student photographers are encouraged to ‘squint’ at the model and choose and crop a pleasing pattern of light. Another option for this are night shots.
Your assignment is to push an entire roll of Tri-X ISO Film (35 mm) and over-develop accordingly.
Note- You must raise your film speed in multiples of 2. Overdeveloping you film will trick your camera into thinking it has faster film. There are, however, disadvantages to this. This is good for low light situations as it will give you the option of using faster shutter speeds or getting more depth of field. You must , however, change it at the BEGINNING of the roll, and overdevelop the ENTIRE roll. This is the same as underexposing and overdeveloping.
The disadvantages (or advantages) to this process are:
loss of shadow detail
The over-development is generally done in percentages. Our developing chart is for Sprint Standard Developer (which is similar to D 76). Sprint recommends overdeveloping quite a bit more than other developers.
Other developers may vary a little bit, but here are some general rules:
-1 stop (or ISO 800 for Tri X)
overdevelop by 30% to 50%
-2 stops (or ISO 1600 for
- overdevelop by 75% to 100%
It is recommended that you use Variable Contrast paper and a high number filter for both your contact sheet and your prints.
You may need to burn in areas that are gray. Deep blacks work best.
TRI X Developing Chart
Sprint Standard Developer
65 68 71 ½
1. ISO 200
2. ISO 400
as a general
3. flat lighting
in the shade
low quality camera