Its been almost forty years, but I used to keep all the chemicals in idential brown glass bottles with little 1X3 labels. Had 4 rolls of 35mm/36exp tri-x in a quart tank. And while showing a newbie how to develop film (a female, I was somewhat distracted) proceeded to first fix, stop and develop the now clear film. She wasn't impressed.
I got D76 stock and 1:1 working confused once. Veeeery light negs :P
I also just recently blasted a whole roll of film that I thought I had loaded into my Jobo 2400. I "wound" it all on, cut off the film, popped out the cartridge, and gave a little tug on the little bit sticking out to make sure it was the end of the roll. Fun fact: it wasn't. I had only successfully wound 5 frames on due to improper loading of the Jobo reel.
I had borrowed an 11x14 camera and got a few good negatives from it. Not long after I gave a carbon printing demo to our alt photo class at the university. Unfortunately I had added too much glycerin to the gelatin mix (which makes up the carbon tissue) and it did not dry completely. So after exposing a very promising 11x14 neg, I was going to demo to the class how to take the exposed carbon tissue and transfer it to the final support material.
I took the negative and carbon tissue out of the contact printing frame and tried to seperate them, but because of the residue moisture in the tissue, it was stuck firmly to the negative. I gave them a big tug to seperate them and ripped the 11x14 negative in half. I really liked that negative...I was heart-broken and the class gasped at the sight.
Several months later I discovered I had take two shots of that scene and I had used the lesser of the two negs in the demo...so all was not lost.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
These are out standing stories and I can say they all are the things I have done.BUT!!!!!!!!!!! when you hear a story from a well known photographer like Clyde Butcher tell you that when he first started photographing and developing everything came out black on the film. he couldn't figure it out till he had a friend come over and watch him develop some film only to see him load the film reels WITHOUT TURNING THE LIGHTS OUT. Now I'm not sure it is true but having taken a workshop from him I can believe it.
Capturing an image is only one step of the long chain of events to create a beautiful Photograph, I think, maybe not, well I think so, or do I.
I have two Brumberger roll top paper safes in which I keep quite a bit of paper. The roll-tops are weighted so they close on their own. I found this irritating, so I rigged up a gizmo to keep the door open when I'm making multiple prints. Of course, it was only a matter of time until I turned on the room lights and forgot to close the door on one of the paper safes. I invented a few new words when I saw the door open.
Luck was with me (sort of). The safe I left open contained my "junk" paper (old outdated stuff which I still use) and not the safe with the new ilford paper I had just purchased.
I removed the gizmo.
I have also poured the stop bath back into the used developer instead of the stop bath bottle. Pretty purple colour.
I too have crawled around the cement floor of my basement darkroom when I have dropped stuff.
This is maybe a little off topic, but I can't resist. My brother is a techie and uses digital (D200 & D2X). His first camera was a D100. He had the first camera about a month when we were out shooting some dragon boat races. Ron with his D100 and me with my Pre-Anny Speed. After about 30 minutes, I noticed he was fussing over his camera and looking very frustrated. I asked what the problem was. He said his shutter was sticking. He said "I push the button, and nothing happens for a few seconds and then the shutter goes off" The self timer was engaged. He didn't know how to turn it off. I guess my hysterical laughing didn't help any. About another half hour later, he quietly returned to continue shooting. I asked "camera OK now?" He replied with a colourful phrase or two.
"I'm still developing"
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Got some new brown glass bottles for the E6 prossesing, couldnot find the sticky labels, used masking tape and wrote on that, placed bottles full of chemicals in tempering bath to warm up and went for tea, came back to find 4 lables floating in the bath. Now mark tops as well as labeling bottles.
Finaly thought I had cracked a particularly difficult neg[ a lot of my negs are difficult to print. If I were a better photographer the printing would be easier but it would not be half as much fun. ] turned lights on to examine print and realised lid was off paper safe 1/4 box lost.
Developed 120 film in 300ml of chemicals [amount for 35mm] instead of 600ml and this on the only time I did a nude study.
Over enthusiasticaly winding film onto Paterson reel when it came apart in my hands, try putting one of those back together in the dark while trying to hold film in your teeth.
I could go on but am starting to get embaressed, it is the little crisis that make darkroom work so appealing.
Oh, common for me with roll film- leaving the tank lid out of the bag, and looking over and seeing it sitting there after groping around in the bag for it. My solution these days is to flip the tank over with the film reel inside, and then withdraw one arm whilst pinching that sleeve closed, retrieving the lid, and sticking it in the bag through the sleeve. So far so good.
That's just, like, my opinion, man...
My worst was actually a pre-darkroom mistake. After composing and shooting a 4x5 shot (and relocating the camera for another composition), I inserted the film holder (2-banger) correctly. The only problem is that I pulled on the WRONG darkslide for the 2nd exposure (instead pulling on the already exposed size facing the ground glass). Nice waste of a sheet of film, and all of the time for that shot.
" Be happy. Take a silver break today !!!"
Time to bump this bad-boy up for comedic value.
For me, last night - first print in and nothing whatsoever. Hmm, "sure does smell like acetic acid more than normal tonight." Turns out I grabbed the wrong container and was trying to develop with stop-bath.
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.
My biggest "D'oh!" moment:
Exposing a sheet of paper upside-down on the enlarger, then developing it normally. Needless to say, it was blank