What have I been doing!?!?


It’s been a while, but now that autumn is upon us, it is time to look back on the fruits of summer. Thus I gathered all my exposed rolls from the places they had been “allocated” and sent them to be developed – in several batches. There just was no way I could have developed almost 200 rolls on my own in a reasonable time frame… Have a look:


I am still waiting for the negatives from the Big Batch. I made the mistake of putting a single roll of monochrome film in with the rolls to be developed C-41. I called the lab and they told me they don’t do monochrome in-house anymore and will send it elsewhere, causing a delay of two weeks to the return of the negatives, as they will not split the order.

I must say that this whole experience reminded me again of why I have stayed clear of labs so long and preferred to do my development on my own :/

A recent setback worth mentioning was the fact my crappy Alienware desktop PC died. I bought a laptop now – and of course was lacking all the software (and a parallel port) for my peripherals. I have now brought it up to speed and can finally scan again.

This will be an interesting winter.

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Rodinal Stand Development


Developing black and white film is easy, everyone can do it.

Especially when using Rodinal as an agent for stand development.

There are many awesome resources out there on monochrome development and stand development, such like this article by J. B. Hildebrand from which I’d like to quote the following (although I use 1+100 dilution being an AGFA purist):

“Now lets look at the developing times for Rodinal 1:100 using stand development:

T-Max 100 = 1 hour

T-Max pushed two stops = 1 hour

Fuji Neopan = 1 hour

Ilford HP5 = 1 hour

Some mystery roll you found in a second hand camera = 1 hour”

This is why I love Rodinal stand development so much in combination with expired film and lo-fi cameras. You get the best possible result from combinations that have so many unknowns in the equation that you couldn’t figure it out otherwise. I have developed expired film for which I had adjusted exposure and development according to what I thought should compensate for expiry and still got not so good results (i.e. underdeveloped and/or underexposed) when developing normally and much better results when developing using stand development.

So, how do I do it?

Firstly, stand development is temperature insensitive. However, temperature changes over 5 degrees Celcius can produce film reticulation! If you want to avoid that, then fill a large container (I used 5 litre containers that had stored distilled water, very cheap) the day before and let it acquire room temperature overnight. I most often as not used tap water for all processes.

After you get your film(s) on the reel(s) and in the tank(s) in the dark:

Step one: Put on your gloves, protective glasses and lab coat and make sure there is very good ventilation!!!! Then: Presoak for 1 minute. It induces swelling of the gelatine component of the emulsion and reportedly improves developer penetration and/or removes antihalation layers. Many people don’t bother with it, but it doesn’t hurt to do it and I was under the impression that for 120 film there was less an issue for uneven development with it.

Step two: Put in the developer. For standard stand use Rodinal 1+100 for 1 hour. If you want extra kick to push the film you can try 1+200 for 2 hours or even 1+300 for 3+ hours. People argue that most development takes place in the first 20 minutes and everything else is just hogwash, but I have seen better shadow detail in same-batch expired film with longer development. I also like to experiment and use other ratios, like 1+100 for 90 minutes if I think there should be a little more shadow development. Don’t worry, you can’t really overdevelop, as development exhausts soon in the highlights. This is also the whole premise behind stand development: Development on demand in both highlights and shadows!

One problem looming over the dilution, however, is that of Rodinal failure. Reportedly, when using <5ml of Rodinal you risk that no sufficient development takes place and the film comes out blank (no edge markings in this case). I might have experienced this once, although there might have been other factors involved (water impurities were discussed). I went over to using a 5-roll Patterson tank which requires ~1,5 litre of solution, so there will always be >5 ml of Rodinal! And I must say, I never had problems again, despite the many films being developed. And it saves time!

After putting in the developer agitate continuously for 1 minute. I have seen no difference between rotary and inversion agitation in Rodinal, despite the claim that Rodinal, as an acutance developer, produces best results with gentle inversion agitation. Some of my development tanks tend to leak, so rotary agitation is safer and not as messy. Give three vigorous taps to dislodge air bubbles from the film. Don’t touch until the next step.

Now: If you have something else to do, go do it and return after an hour or so. A few minutes don’t have impact. I personally use semi-stand development, however. What is that? To avoid uneven development (in theory attributed to sedimentation of developer, for example), after every 30 minutes do another 2-3 inversions/rotations, so as to reconstitute solution attributes to even. It has enden my problems with uneven development even when using huge tanks!

Step three: Arrest development. At these dilutions I use a water stop, filling and draining for one minute. It is sufficient.

Step four: Fix according to your fixer instructions. Use a non-hardening fixer so you can use the very economic Ilford wash method for archival negatives.

Step five: Wash using the Ilford method: Look for example here on page 5 of the FP4+ fact sheet.

Step six: Use wetting agent.

Step seven: Dry and behold the splendour of Rodinal (semi-)stand-developed negatives!

All images Copyright by A. V. Behrens, all rights reserved.

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Developing Kodachrome In Rodinal

Aaah, Kodachrome. Sui generis. An era. A legendary medium.

When I learned that Kodachrome development would be stopped, I immediately bought all different Kodachrome types I could find. At that moment, only Kodachrome 64 /135 was available fresh, but I found some expired Kodachrome 25 /135 and 200 /135 as well, and, several rolls Kodachrome 64 /120. I was so eager to have medium format Kodachrome slides to project with my venerable Rollei projector. But it was not meant to be. Medium format Kodachrome development had been halted even before 135 format development, something that hadn’t been clear to me. All my hopes were for naught. What remains after hope has flickered and died? Well, new hope!

Hope, that I would indeed be able to salvage an image off the film via monochrome development! I firmly believe in Rodinal, so I was also certain that I would be able to duplicate the feat previously reported and cross-process Kodachrome into monochrome negatives. I had read of it not being quite so easy, especially because of the antihalation backing – rem-jet.

But, what good is it being an alchemist if one does not experiment?

So it came to pass that I put my first exposed Kodachrome 64 medium format roll into my AP developing tank and commenced the development process.

I had exposed the film in one of my lovely Lubitels using a hand-held exposure meter, so the images should have been well-exposed.

However, what is the best method to develop film when you do not know the development times (and/or exposure)? That’s right, stand development!

Normally, when using stand development, I only use a water stop to arrest development because of the tiny developer amounts and the insignificance of a few more minutes of development. To aid in dissolving the remjet layer, however, I used a standard citric acid stop bath this time. I do not know if it made a difference, but after the process, I was able to remove the remjet with gentle scrubbing with kitchen paper. It was hard work and I did not manage to clean every streak, but I was able to scan the negatives and one can even distinguish images! I have no idea how they would print, though.

Have a look:

All images Copyright by A. V. Behrens, all rights reserved.

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Expired Film Basics

I love expired film.

Almost all my images are made on expired film.

I love to hold ancient boxes of emulsions not produced for ages, wondering where they were bought and what kind of journey they made to end up in one of my cameras. They smell of forgotten secrets and evoke an air of nostalgia.

They reward with images seemingly out of the 70s or 60s, with colour shifts and huge lovely grain.  They are mostly cheap and exotic, relics of eras past.

As lovely as expired film is, there are some caveats to be observed, especially since almost all expired film has been poorly stored.

  • Loss of speed: Film, especially high sensitivity professional emulsions, lose speed over time depending on storage circumstances. Most high speed film you will find will not be very speedy anymore. You should rate it accordingly. This is more true for colour negative film and slide film, I have found, as you can sometimes push even long expired monochrome film to astonishing feats via stand development in Rodinal.
  • Base fog: Some old films are badly fogged when developed. Time is not gentle.
  • Loss of sharpness: With age, emulsions lose sharpness, something which often produces pleasing creamy, dreamy images, also a result of:
  • Loss of dynamic range/contrast range.
  • Grain: This is in part also a function of loss of speed. Some films tend to become grainier with time but some are also underexposed when used, due to speed loss, contributing to grainier images.
  • Colour casts/colour shifts: The pigments in the emulsion also deteriorate, producing often unexpected results, especially when cross-processing old slide film (see AGFA RSX example below).
  • No Development Available: Some emulsions cannot be developed as intended anymore, as the processes are antiquated and superceded, like C-22, or just not available anymore, like Kodachrome development K-14. Of course, there are always other ways, like monochrome development, but evidently they do not produce colour images and only poor monochrome negatives.
  • Instant Fim Destruction: Old instant films can suffer from drying out, which results in blank frames. Also the batteries may not supply sufficient voltage any more in integral packs. The worst is if the seals in the chemical paste pods have deteriorated resulting in the burning alkali paste exploding into the rolls and the interior of your camera.

To be sure, most these attributes contribute to the appeal of expired film. However, they also raise certain points to be considered.

  • Can you use it? If it’s an ancient roll for a process no longer avainle, or a format for which you don’t have a camera (e.g. 127, APS), you should perhaps think it over.
  • Do not pay too much for expired film. I have seen expired, often high-speed, films being sold for almost as much as they cost new. A bad bargain.
  • Test it. I used to laugh at this, but before you go snapping your once-in-a-lifetime backpacking tour on some ancient rolls you bought cheaply, maybe shoot a test roll first to see if it is any good at all!

That said, let’s have a look at some examples:

All images Copyright by A. V. Behrens, all rights reserved.

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After over a year of hiatus I am relaunching Cyan Shine as a blog. I do not have the time to pursue the fanzine avenue anymore, unfortunately, although scalding criticisms on the fanzine contributed to the loss of motivation. These came, of all places, from film photography groups. Which shows that even here lupus est homo homini, non homo, quom qualis sit non novit. You can still view the Issue 0 of Cyan Shine Magazine here, though. Just be patient, the .pdf is huge, even though done with Scribus.

But let’s leave that and move on to more pleasant stuff…

The winner of the competition I had running before the hiatus, Malin Larsson, had sent me some images for publication, so here they are.

They are all taken in Joplin, Missouri a few weeks before the tornado destroyed large parts of the town.
Check out more of Malin’s awesome work here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/larssonmalin

You can see all the awesome competition submissions on the Cyan Shine Facebook page.

Don’t forget to like!

Lomo on,


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And The Winner Is…

I hope you all had a great Easter! It is a time for resurrection and as such Cyan Shine Magazine launches onward! Issue 1 will soon be available.
I must apologize for the great delay, however, as you know, this fanzine is a one-man project that I conduct in my spare time.
So, on to the winner of our little competition, who wins the prize of one ActionSampler Camera and film! As announced, the winner and competition participants will also be featured in the next issue of Cyan Shine. The winner was elucidated randomly as per the competition announcement.

And the winner is…

Malin Larsson with http://goo.gl/IUW8R


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Cyan Shine Magazine Launches Issue 0

Greetings and welcome to the launch of the introductory issue of Cyan Shine Magazine, Issue 0!

Cyan Shine Magazine caters to the lomography, lo-fi, analog, film crowd that are sick of viewing images photoshopped to death.

You can participate easily, just send your scanned images to val (at) cyan-shine.com: Max. 10 images, low-res .jpegs, a bio not more than 100 words and an artist statement of about 100 words, along with your name and contact details (websites/online portfolios in particular) and your work will be considered for publication in the next issue of Cyan Shine Magazine. You may also submit articles on analog processes.

Unfortunately, no payment can be dispensed for submissions.

In the case of acceptance, high-res images will be necessary. Cyan Shine Magazine will be available free online and also for purchase as a print magazine. The proceeds will go towards the costs of setting up, maintaining and furthering the magazine and the website and, of course, competition gifts!

That’s right, and we will start with a competition to celebrate launch of Cyan Shine right away! Until December 28th upload one analog image to our facebook page for a chance to win an ActionSampler camera and a film package! The winner will be chosen randomly from all entrants. Furthermore, the best 20 images as judged by Val Behrens will be featured in Cyan Shine Magazine Issue 1! Now get to submitting!

For any submission to Cyan Shine Magazine the following holds true:

Cyan Shine is a publication for the dissemination of artistic ideas and will not be liable for any offense taken by any individual(s) resulting from any material contained therein. The publisher does not take any responsibility for material contained herein, all images have been published with the express consent of the copyright holders. The copyrights holders are solely liable for persons and locations permissions and by submitting their work to Cyan Shine Magazine verify that they hold relevant permissions for the images containing said persons and/or locations to be published.  All images in Cyan Shine are the sole property of their creators unless otherwise stated. No part of the magazine or image therein or the magazine itself as a whole may be used in any way without permission of the copyright holder. The Cyan Shine magazine title is copyright ©2010 Cyan Shine Productions. All rights reserved.

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