I'd say there's some fogging, some uneven development, or some effects from badly expired film going on. Clearly you've got images, which is a good first step. If you want to do more traditionally "normal" B&W, I'd suggest switching away from Caffeinol and using in-date film as first steps. If any of the unevenness or splotchiness remains, then you should try to track down the cause.
Of course, if you want the odd results you got for artistic effect and don't want the boring old "normal" look, keep doing what you're doing!
I'm not competent to comment on the chemistry, but just wanted to say I really like the last photograph with the radiometer in it.
From what I'm reading on the net about caffenol, I've been way overdeveloping it at 20-30 minutes. Apparently, the best results for others is happening at about 10 to 12 minutes of developing time. As soon as I finish this small test roll, I'll try it at about 10 minutes and see what I get.
Michael before you switch around, I think you may want to decide in your own mind what "best results" means to you. It's really tough at first but
I'd recommend looking at the photographs of others that you admire before deciding how you'd like your photographs to look. If you can get to a few galleries to see the photos "live" so much the better. Understand that how your images look is subject to many many variables - the film, the meter, the developer, the paper, the processing temperature, your personal processing technique etc. etc. To achieve your personal "goal" you must change only one of these at a time to determine the effect. Then, if that's not what you're after, you can work out which other of the variables you need to change. APUG can certainly help you with this - trust me, there's no shortage of opinions in these here parts!!
This in no way means abandoning your personal artistic expression - it just means finding the materials and technique that will enable you to attain your expressive potential in a predictable and repeatable manner. Lucky accidents are wonderful but you don't want to find yourself held hostage to serendipity.
PS - I too love the still life. Well seen!
"Why is there always a better way?"
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Originally Posted by David William White
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
Originally Posted by McFortner
I agree with BobNew York. And I would make a specific suggestion. Get a fresh roll of the film. Meter accurately. Develop the film "by the book" in D76. That way you will have bench mark negatives developed in the world's film- developing standard against which you can compare your caffenol, or whatever esoteric or off-the-wall film developer you might opt to use.
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
My version of Caffenol McF. Opinions?
Ok, here is what I'm going to try for today's test roll (Illford XP2 400). I'm going to keep my fixer time at 10 minutes, but shorten the development time. I think that is what is causing my negatives to be way dark. Your opinions are welcome. Right now I have my two part mixture cooling to room temperature (70°F right now).
My Caffenol Formula (Caffenol McF)
16 fluid oz of warm water
6 teaspoons coffee
4 teaspoons washing soda
1 teaspoon ascorbic acid powder (vitamin C)
Mix coffee and asorbic acid in 8 oz warm water.
Mix washing soda in 8 oz warm water.
Allow both to cool to room temperature (~70°F)
Mix both mixtures together and allow to sit for aproximately 5 minutes to
allow for bubbles to disapate. Pour into developing tank. Develop for
10 to 12 minutes.
My sodium thiosulfate fixer
2 l warm water
2/3 cup sodium thoisulfate penta
Mix and allow water to cool to room temp. Use once at approximately 10-15 minutes (test with tongue of film till clear, then double time for film)
I may buy some K76 or similar developer when I have the money. But I'm also having fun with the Caffenol too. The last batch I did I over developed and had no ascorbic acid in it, but the last photo really was interesting, as were the others on the roll. I'll post them when the net is more favorable for me to upload. Lots of problems between me and where I store my online photos yesterday and today.
p.s.: Pardon the name I picked for my formulation. It's not like others and I don't want to use designations when I am not following them 100%.
The roll is drying now and it appears that I was overexposing the previous rolls. This roll looks more like negatives should at 12 minutes! I'll scan a few in in a couple of hours when the film has had time to dry out totally. Man, I'm really pumped about this. I love developing my own film!
The only accurate way to determine if your film development yields the results you desire is to print the negatives. The stain in these will cause them to print with more contrast than an unstained negative. This can be good or bad, according to your vision and desired outcomes.
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]