Joe Bussink's developing method

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jaffa_777, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. jaffa_777

    jaffa_777 Member

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    I love the look and feel of Joe's work. I have seen some videos of him and uses all 35mm and is not scared of using high iso films. The look of his prints and scans are absolutely beautifull. Here is a quote from an article I just read on his film developing methods.

    "Lighting is critical in his wedding work, and Joe is always looking to
    capitalize on available light. “I shoot with fast films, and my film gets
    processed by inspection, a long-lost art. While it’s in the developer, my
    guy will take the film out and look under a green light to see how much
    further it has to be processed before it gets pulled out of the developer.
    That way, it’s right where it needs to be. The grain is very fine, and it’s
    got beautiful contrast to it. I can get away with shooting at 3200 and
    6400 without having my photos be underexposed or muddy-looking.”
    Joe’s F6 is still a core part of his wedding work. “I feel the F6 is
    probably one of Nikon’s flagship cameras—it is my favorite camera,”
    he says.
    "

    Is anyone here familar or currently using this method? Whats your take?

    I am guessing you need a darkroom to do it. I was thinking it would be the ultimate way to develop film especially if your shooting under pressure ie weddings and worrying about development later.
     
  2. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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    I have seen the method used, but I don't think it was on panchromatic films. The guy who used to do this inspection type reassured me "once a film has been submerged in developer it becomes much less sensitive to light allowing quick inspection with the safelight" I trust him as he was my first mentor when I was a kid-wish he was still around.
    I felt I would never had the need to do this, as I test the films and pretty much know how they react to certain light/contrast I'd rather test first than mess around with taking out of spools to inspect, too much opportunity for damage with the developing method I use. It could be OK if you had a dip and dunk or used sheet film and worked fast, but I'll have to let others with more experience comment on the fogging dangers re Ortho/ Panchomatic films.
    Mark
     
  3. jaffa_777

    jaffa_777 Member

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    Love your blog Mark!
     
  4. phritz phantom

    phritz phantom Member

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    i've tried this once or twice with 120 film, not to much success. it's really easy to fog your film - the film getting less sensitive in the developer is proably true and this effect is biggest with pyro developers. but still very easy to fog.
    there are two descritions of the method that i know of. one is on the website of michael smith and paula chamlee (large format and pyro developer), the other one is by eugene smith (35mm film and d-78) in the "darkroom" book by lustrum press. smith's article has a lot of info, but is also a bit confusing and reads like he tried to push various techniques he uses on seperate occasions into one article. i think aaron siskind used development by inspection too.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2009
  5. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    I have never done it, but I understand how to do it. Developing by inspection of panchromatic films is possible with a very weak green safelight, and limited exposure to the light. You must be sure that your eyes are fully acclimatized to the dark, and this can take some time, and you must look at the film under the green safelight for only a very brief period of time. You should do this after the film has been in the developer for a while. The reason for the color green for the safelight is that this is the color the eyes have the most sensitivity to. It is all for the eyes, not for the film, as the film is sensitive to all colors. So, if developing in a tray, you would turn on the green safelight just before you pull the film out to look at, and turn it off just as soon as you have done your inspection. Never leave it on. The exposure of the film to the safelight is additive..the more exposure the more potential fog.
     
  6. CBG

    CBG Member

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    Developing by inspection is a once fairly common technique - frequently used in conjunction with chemical desensitization - there's a good overview at Michael and Paula Smith's website: www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/devinsp.html

    Desensitization is still a very useful technique with many films to make DBI easier, but unfortunately, the Tgrain films Kodak makes do not respond well to chemical desensitizers.
     
  7. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The "modern" version of this technique is done with IR and night vision. I've never bothered, but somewhere on here Sean has a thread about it, as he went quite a ways down that road.
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i develop by inspection all the time
    it just requires a green safelight filter ..
    and a little practice ..
    the link to michaelandpaula.com
    is where i learned how to do it ...
     
  9. CBG

    CBG Member

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    Good point.

    Also, film tends to lose sensitivity as the development process continues, so near the end, you get more chance to look at and in brighter light than you would when the development has just begun.
     
  10. phritz phantom

    phritz phantom Member

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    do you inspect by looking at the light through the neg or by reflected light?
    judging the highlights by recflected light was pretty impossible for me. i think it needs a lot of practice or some kind of teacher.
     
  11. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    You judge the highlights on the base side by looking at it in reflected light. It takes some practice, but isn't difficult.

    Have fun! It's pretty cool, actually. If you use a developer like Pyrocat, I remember ,(I hope correctly), that it de-sensitizes the emulsion quite a bit, so several seconds worth of inspection is possible.

    - Thomas
     
  12. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    I've been looking into doing this as I use many types of sheet film that require different times. It seems like a great idea to cut down on the amount of chemicals used as well. Has anyone tried this on a large scale with something like 20 sheets of all different types of film? I'd be using Pyrocat HD with many sheets. Is it possible or will I just end up fogging lots of the film by analyzing too many sheets throughout the process?
     
  13. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    I think the title of the thread should read, Bussinks's Lab Guy's Development Technique. Development with inspection is not that big of a deal but maybe FWIW it wouldn't be that big of a deal if he got the exposure correct in the first place!