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.