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  1. #1

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    Edible Film Developers

    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. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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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.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  3. #3

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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. #4
    Akki14's Avatar
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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.
    ~Heather
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  5. #5
    DBP
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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. #6
    DBP
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    BTW, I have a massive supply of fresh mint if you want to come get some.

  7. #7

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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 ...
    if my apug gallery looks empty you might check these places

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  8. #8
    Snapshot's Avatar
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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.
    "The secret to life is to keep your mind full and your bowels empty. Unfortunately, the converse is true for most people."

  9. #9

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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. #10

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

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