Aurora in the darkroom / stop flash

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by keithwms, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,073
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Can't afford that winter trip to Iceland or Alaska? No worries, you can make a lovely little aurora at home. :D

    Here's my recipe.

    (1) Film developer, fairly strong e.g. 1+0 or 1+1. I'm using wd2d+ (10 mL part A, 10 mL part B + 500 mL water);
    (2) Stop bath, e.g. ilfostop, at 1+4 or so.

    In your darkroom, after your eyes have adjusted, pour some some (2) into (1). Oooh... :surprised:

    Now, this is an effect that I saw very weakly a few times before whilst tray developing, but convinced myself that I was hallucinating. But today I decided to do an experiment. After noticing a few faint flashes (quarter second or so in duration) when putting freshly developed film into the stop bath, I thought at first that this must be something to do with the film, but then I splashed some stop bath into the developer bath and... nice big flash. So of course I slowly poured the two baths together in the dark and confirmed that you get a nice glowing, chemiluminescent bath.

    This latest observation of aurora stopealis was with wd2d+ developer and ilfostop. I dont know whether it will work with other developers- try and see for yourself! I may have seen it faintly before with other developers, but with the wd2d+ and ilfostop, the effect seems quite pronounced.

    P.S. The stop flash has no apparent ill effect on the film. Normally you may not see it, because you may be inclined to shake extra developer off the film before dunking it into stop bath... or you may simply use a warm water bath to stop.

    P.P.S. Explanations, anyone? Points will be awarded for the most exotic explanation. :wink:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2008
  2. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

    Messages:
    3,267
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Wd2d+ is reversed engineered alien technology. You're seeing energy leaking from another dimension into ours as the Wd2d+ is neutralized.

    Sounds pretty cool, I'll have to check this out.
     
  3. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,448
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You must have previously used the same tanks for developing infrared film, and it is just residual infrared leaking out and contaminating the chemistry (I wish this were totally a joke, but there is a well-known photographer who has stated in her book on infrared and handcoloring and other alternative techniques that infrared will contaminate the developing container, so you need to use a dedicated film developing tank to process IR).
     
  4. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,073
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Three points to Kirk:

    +1 aliens
    +1 other dimensions
    +1 inter-dimensional energy leakage

    Grand score of 3, hard to beat. Alas, my own explanation only scores 2 points.
     
  5. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,073
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    One measly point to Scott, for proposing cross-contamination from IR films. C'mon Scott, Kirk set the bar higher than that :wink: You would have scored two points if you'd used the term "infrared energy beams."
     
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,448
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ok- how about infrared protoplasm cross-contamination? Either that, or else the old standby:

    Could it be...SATAN? :D
     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,073
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Extra point to Scott for turning this into a moral issue.
     
  8. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I'll hold off on the scientific explanation a while longer, I think... :D

    Maybe it's the "+" flashing off? :tongue:
     
  9. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,073
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ole, I am disappointed that you didn't invoke something nuclear.

    -1 points.
     
  10. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I didn't use the word "proton", but I thought that was implicit in the case under discussion anyway?
     
  11. Frank Szabo

    Frank Szabo Member

    Messages:
    312
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Location:
    Broken Arrow
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Copious quantities of low grade dope perhaps?
     
  12. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

    Messages:
    2,223
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    Regina, SK,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There are many reasons why this is done.

    1. Stop bath impinges developer's freedom to exist by neutralizing it. This results in the emission of light as a protest.
    2. Light exists inside the emulsion after shooting, trapped by the silver molecules. The stop bath lets the light finally escape.
    3. Fairies like stop bath and developer as a lunchtime beverage, and emit light to demonstrate their pleasure.
    4. Murphy (of Murphy's Law fame) loves light in the darkroom and tries everything he can to get it in there. Since you've sufficiently sealed the darkroom against external light entry, Murphy is now letting light enter chemically.
    5. Someone dumped a bunch of radioactive radium into your developer so that it would glow in the dark (like the hands on your Gralab), but the stop bath allows the light to break the surface tension of the liquid.

    That must be why. Yup, ahuh. Yup. There's the ticket.
     
  13. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,073
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Oooh, okay, now I see where you were going with the +. That was subtle humour.

    But still I think you passed up a golden opportunity to speculate on cold fusion...

    Frank, for the record, my darkroom is on a college campus and as such is [officially] a drug-free environment.

    I like that. But unfortunately, it happens when no film is present. It is possible that film is required to prepare the developer in a certain state, however; this calls for another experiment on my part.

    How about this, Ole: stop bath "stops" the electrons. That's why they call it stop bath. And when you stop a lot of fast moving traffic, you get a lot of brake-lights flashing, which is also known as Bremsstrahlung. :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2008
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,448
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's like that old joke about don't drop the camera or all the photos will turn out blurry.

    Or, yet another moral issue, but on the flipside... it's a sign from God that you were really supposed to be a mixologist specializing in tropical drinks. But not Kool-aid.
     
  16. Frank Szabo

    Frank Szabo Member

    Messages:
    312
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Location:
    Broken Arrow
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Originally Posted by PhotoJim
    2. Light exists inside the emulsion after shooting, trapped by the silver molecules. The stop bath lets the light finally escape.

    Jim:

    Is that kinda like letting the magic smoke out of an electronic component?
     
  17. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

    Messages:
    2,223
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    Regina, SK,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Precisely :smile:
     
  18. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

    Messages:
    3,984
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    London
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Did anyone blame Global Warming yet?

    No? Good: that's my explanation then...
     
  19. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

    Messages:
    3,267
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Keith - what color was the light? I think we can determine who is right by finding that out.

    If the color of the aurora was blue, then we can conclude that Ole is right, as it must be Cherenkov Radiation being formed from the proton decay. Protons normally have a half-live of around 10^32 years, but there must be something in the Wd2d+ that is accelerating this. It should decay in to a positron and a neutral pion, perhaps the Cherenkov radiation is from the reaction of the antimatter positron with an electron encountered in the stop bath.

    If the color is green, and I mean a sickly flourescent green then obviously I'm right, as that is the key signature of anything to do with aliens. Well, at least with Greys, and their technology. I've never beleived that Spielberg multicolored alien depictions, it's just so Hollywood with all their flashing lights and such. But of course, if it is the Lizard People from Zeta Reticuli, then all bets are off, as who knows what colors those bad-assed aliens would use.

    Scott, and his Satan Hypothesis, of course would be proven with a firey red color.
     
  20. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,073
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Right, I must determine the colour. Will do.
     
  21. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Professionally speaking, my bet is that the colour is blueish white. I might be completely wrong and it may be yellow to orange, but I'm quite certain it won't be green or purple - nor clearly blue. I don't really believe in red, either.:smile:
     
  22. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,073
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Just checked again and the colour, to my eye, is pale yellowish green.

    I suppose that rules out Satan. Sorry Scott.
     
  23. argus

    argus Member

    Messages:
    2,146
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My guess: it was the Hand of God selectively erasing all nude images on your film :smile:
     
  24. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

    Messages:
    3,267
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Dang - after seeing Ole's prediction on color, I was going to say yellow-green, as that is the peak of the L cone's pigment response for photopic vision... and it has the widest wavelength reange response too.

    So it's looking like reverse engineered alien technology then...
     
  25. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,073
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yep, it did occur to me that my dark-adjusted eyes may be seeing yellowish green just because that's what they'd see best. Unfortunately, both my spectrometers are slow-scanning instruments and I don't have a fluorimeter. Maybe I can find one over in chemistry.
     
  26. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Was it a "Voila!" or a "LOOK OUT!" type of light?