Edible Film Developers

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by DarkroomExperimente, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

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    A year or two ago I had a great time making developers from things like vitamin C, coffee, tea, and a few herbal extracts from the health food store.

    It was way too much fun walking up and down the aisle at the grocery store laughing to myself and reading labels. I googled anything that bragged about antioxidants on the label and if the chemical structure of the ingredients looked kinda like a developer...I bought the stuff and tried it.

    So, I'm curious, what natural developers do you guys know of?

    Vitamin C, coffee, and tea are pretty well known....and I read vanilla is a weak developer...but what else is out there?

    My GREAT SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY was cocoa. I felt like Linus Pauling or somebody when I got it to work. Nobody had said it would develop film, but the label screamed about all the antioxidants in cocoa, so I gave it a try. Since I hadn't heard it would work, I assumed it would be very weak. I mixed up a very thick brew of cocoa, water, and rubbing alcohol and heated it in the microwave. ( I have no idea if that step was really needed to extract the active ingredients from the cocoa, but it seemed reasonable ). Then I added sodium carbonate ( perhaps sodium sulfite too, I'd have to check my notes ).

    Here's the funny part....about halfway through development the plastic lid on my tank cracked open. I quickly turned off the light and covered the cracked lid with aluminum foil to keep out any light. I realized later that the cocoa soup was so thick that there really wasn't much of a chance of light reaching the film anyway. (I like digital, but I don't seem to have the same funny mistakes with digital )

    When the film came out of the fixer, there was an nice, yet faint, image tinted a beautiful chocolate brown.

    Next time I want to it as a reversal process so I can have some nice choco-sepia slides.
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Mint is supposed to be a stronger developer than coffee or tea. I have a jar of spearmint leaves that it will take us forever to consume as tea, so I should try it some time.
     
  3. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

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    thanks!..I gotta try that

    even better, I could grow some in the garden...I had been thinking of growing a garden of the flowers used in dyes....but a developer garden would be even more fun
     
  4. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    I tried fresh mint, i managed to make a tea out of it (it was a "black peppermint" variety) that was the colour of weak indian/china black tea, using basically a whole plant and simmering for ages to try to get all the oils out of it. Tried it out and only got very very very very faint bit of the highlight of what I was photoing, no edgemarkings. But I was also using baking soda as a buffer not washing soda (I heard you didn't have to make it so alkaline with mint tea). Maybe if I had added vitamin c it would have worked better, along with using washing soda.
     
  5. DBP

    DBP Member

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    I tried mixing Diet Mountain Dew with borax, but the effect was very weak. I'm still thinking about giving it another go, probably with some vitamin C added.
     
  6. DBP

    DBP Member

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    BTW, I have a massive supply of fresh mint if you want to come get some.
     
  7. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    isn't red wine supposed to be a good developer ?
    i have been meaning to get some gut-rot and processing some film in it ..
    but the problem is i keep drinking it instead ...
     
  8. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    I wonder if the drink CPlus would work? For those of you not in Canada, CPlus is a decaffeinated version of Sunkist Orange drink.
     
  9. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

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    Diet Mountain Dew? interesting

    maybe sodium carbonate would work better...IIRC it's more alkaline

    yes, I'd love some mint to experiment with
     
  10. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

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    OK this is amazing....I decided to Google Mountain Dew as a developer....and Google ALREADY had found this thread
     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I have used coffee and washing soda and have heard that peppermint tea works well. I drink a lot of it so I should try it as a developer.


    Steve.
     
  12. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    I see people talking about developing film, but could organic edible developers also be used to develop paper?? Or is paper to insensitive for this. I keep amazing me about the strange things coming up on APUG! Great !!! My knowledge is growing everyday here...
     
  13. dmr

    dmr Member

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    It's a film developer!

    No, it's a dessert topping!

    Stop! You're both right! :smile:
     
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  15. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

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    well...with a nice balsamic vinegar for stop..we could make a nice salad dressing

    RE: Paper......I'm sure these work with paper - I read online somewhere that people have used coffee developers on paper....(it leaves a brown tone)

    oh, BTW, the "edible" part is a bit of a joke since you have to add something like sodium carbonate to make the developers work, and that kinda ruins the "edible" thing
     
  16. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

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    I just got some Diet Mountain Dew to try tonight...

    anyone know if phenylalanine is the ingredient that acts as the developer?
     
  17. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    I get at least 10 emails a day for some kind of edible product that develops something, I am fine with food being food and developer being developer. Besides, Coffee for developing film is compensating and as a beverage it is a laxative. I guess I am not film.
     
  18. DBP

    DBP Member

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    I had tried Mountain Dew based on the caffeine and the vitamin C. Hadn't thought about the phenylalanine. You may find the color changes when you titrate it, which is a strange trait for a supposed beverage.

    I'm in Alexandria if you want to come get the mint. PM me for a phone number.
     
  19. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

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    I just tried Tri-X Mountain Dew for 45 min with 5 tbsp of sodium carbonate...didn't get an image

    Caffeine IMHO does nothing....I've used pure caffeine from the drug store + sodium carbonate and nothing happened

    I understand it's the tannins/phenols or something in coffee & tea that do the developing
     
  20. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, I think Patrick Gainer tried some No-Doz tablets to determine that the caffeine was irrelevant.
     
  21. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

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    hmmm...the color of the Dew didn't change...

    I didn't titrate it...I just dumped in a bunch of sodium carb. ...maybe I needed to use more, or maybe a different film would respond better
     
  22. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    Pomegranate juice perhaps???
     
  23. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    Just a matter of time before we hear the merits of cannabis developers.
     
  24. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

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    I had heard Pomegranate juice might work...but I don't think it worked when I tried it...I used concentrate

    I'll have to find all my notes and post some decent results

    Jerold is right....Hemptol will be the developer that will kill off digital and bring all the old films back and make all our prints archival
     
  25. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Use Urine, and get the best of all worlds. :D

    PE
     
  26. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

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    Eureka!!!

    oops, I mean Urea !!