Darkroom? Check. Roll of pictures you’ve taken? Check Now, we get to the dirty business of processing developing black and white filmfilm. Processing your own films ensures quality and control. The only thing that you need to know is how to exactly process that precious roll of pictures. Here are the steps on how to process your very own roll of black and white pictures:

Step 1: Have your tools spread out in front of you. Film cassette, can opener, film reel, tank and tank cover. Memorize where they are located. Turn off the lights.

Step 2: Turn off the film in complete darkness. Pull the flat end off the 35mm canister. Unwind and take off the end of the film from the spool.

Step 3: Load the film onto a plastic film reel. As an aid to getting this step down in complete darkness, your first film to develop should not have any important pictures in it just in case things go wrong.

Step 4: Place the reel that you have loaded in the film tank ad cover. This is so the film is in a contained not interrupted by light.

Step 5: Prepare your “soup” which is essentially the different chemicals that are needed to develop the film. You should have a stop bath, a fixer with hardener and finally a hypo eliminator bath.

Step 6: Ensure that the temperature of the chemicals adheres to the suggested temperature stated by the manufacturers of the films.

Step 7: Pour developer into the film tank via the opening. Remember not to open the tank itself. Be sure to briefly turn the tank upside down once a minute and when you turn it back upright, be sure to tap it several times to avoid have air bubbles that may possibly form on the film. Develop the film for the recommended time on the packaging.

Step 8: Pour running water in the spout for a minute. This can also be done with glacial Acetic Acid with a 1:30 ratio for 30 seconds. This is your stop bath.

Step 9: Use a fixer with hardener which will essentially prevent scratches on the negative.

Step 10: Since you may be able to expose the film already, you can remove the tank cover and have running water on the film.

Step 11: Pour in a tankful of hypo clearing agent and have it stay there for two minutes.

Step 12: One last wash for the negatives for five minutes.

Step 13: Take out the film from the tank and remember not to touch the surface of the negatives. Use washing pins or clips to hang them to dry.

Step 14: Wait for 1-2 hours for it to dry. Have scissors ready to cut the film strip into six negative segments. Store the negatives in clear envelopes and you are ready to have them printed.

This is just a rundown of how to be able to personally print your films. If at any time you feel that you may be biting off more than you can chew, then it would be safer to ask around before proceeding with the developing of your film.