Best in Original Size
Today, it was Coffee at Waterfront Park. Coffee Developer, that is.
Tech Note. I rated and metered the Tri-X at iso250. Next time, I would use FP4+ (iso125) rated at 50 for finer grain.
The 'brew'. 5 heaped teaspoons of caffeinated instant coffee (12g 3/8 oz). 2 level teaspoons of washing
soda (washing, not baking). (16g 5/8 oz). Dissolve the soda first in 100ml of 25C 77F water. Wait until
it is not cloudy. While you wait, in another container, dissolve the coffee in 200ml of 25C 77F water. Stir
until the crystals are dissolved. Add the coffee to the soda solution. Stir. You should now have 300ml. If
you need 375ml (like me), add the extra water to make 375ml, and add 5 minutes to the dev. time. Now
cool the mix in a water jacket to get it to 20C 68F. Prepare some water at 20C 68F for three quick changes
of water after the development stage ( 'stop bath'). Prepare your fixer at 20C 68F. Whatever fixer you normally use.
Elephant urine will work, I'm told, but this is rarely practical to collect, and the collecting is fraught with danger.
You should start using the developer within about 10 minutes of mixing it, while it is freshly brewed. It will be
almost an hour old by the time you have finished, anyway. I used 35 minutes as my development time. The
correct answer for the time depends on many variables, like 'how long is a piece of string'. During the first
5 minutes, I made some slow inversions every 30s, for 30s. Slow, because the soda can bubble up!!. A few
times, I lifted the plastic daylight-tank cap a fraction to ease any pressure. After 5 minutes, I did two slow
full inversions every minute. (The tank, not me). At 35 minutes, I emptied the tank, filled and then dumped
3 times with fresh water, then I fixed it for 10 min. The developer is 'one shot' and I dumped the fixer, too.
If your 'stop' wash is good, the fixer could be OK and not too brown. I didn't drink the developer. The negatives
are low contrast, slightly thin, quite grainy, but nice. This development option is not something I would do
every day. But it is a fun project. If you have a digital camera, you may be able to get the same result by
dipping the camera sensor in a Starbucks Vente Non-Fat Triple-Shot Latte. But please don't. Use film.
All Images © Copyright Colin J. Clarke 2012. Please do not copy, reproduce, distribute or display without written permission.