Playing with Colour

Posted 2011.07.10 21.33 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

With the ability to process my own colour film, comes the ability to screw around and mess up my own colour film… Experiments and accidents and serendipity — the possibilities are numerous.

Pink Sky

Naturally, I had to have a go at cross-processing. That’s where you intentionally use the wrong chemicals to develop a particular kind of film.


Not blazing any trails here of course, cross-processing has been around for ages, and my first attempt was to do it the most-common way: develop slide film in negative chemistry. Or to be specific, E-6 reversal film, in C-41 chemistry.

The results were… not bad for my first try. I realize now that cross-processing probably messes with the exposure or development time, so I should have either pushed the film a bit or increased the exposure. For my next attempt I will try exposing it by an extra stop or two.

I really like the effect though – it’s like a dream, everything soft and indistinct and … pink? Apparently the Velvia takes on a pink hue when cross-processed. That’s another thing – every film reacts differently, and some are different from one day to the next within the same kind of film. Different exposures can have different results.

Press Kit

The camera was my plastic Holga medium-format ‘toy’, and the film was Fuji Velvia 100. My chemistry is the Tetenal / Jobo “C-41 Press Kit”.

The press kit comes as bags of dry chemicals and includes instructions on how to mix them. It’s actually very similar to doing black and white.

There’s the developer, then instead of a fixer you have a bleach/fixer (or blix as they call it) and then at the end instead of a long water rinse you have a stabilizer. So with the kit, you need three one-liter bottles, plus your regular film developing gear (tank, spools, et cetera).

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