Developing Colour Film in a Lab Setting

During my work experience placement at Hayhursts Camera Shop in Nelson, I have been shown how to use a high volume colour film developer, photo scanner and print setup

Firstly the machine has to be switched on in the morning and allowed to reach temperature to be able to develop films, 30ml of developer is added to the tank on the machine before any films are run through it.

When the machine is warmed up, a test strip of film is placed through it to check the machine is working properly and all chemical levels are correct.  this is usually an 18inch strip of 35mm colour film that has been exposed in camera properly, and once developed using the numbering and wording on the film edge to check the exposure level.

When processing customer films, it is essential to mark both the film and the customers order envelope with matching numbered stickers to ensure the right photographs when printed go to the correct customer.

The film is taped to a plastic leader card after removing the leading end of the film and placed in the machine to allow the film to follow it round and through all the tanks correctly. After every 2 films 30ml of extra developing fluid is added again to the tank to ensure constant results.

Once the film comes out of the developing machine, it then needs to be scanned through on the computer linked to the main print machine.  From this computer you can preview and choose which images are suitable for printing – those that are blank or too blurred to make any image out are de-selected from printing as this saves on both printing time and cost for the customer!  The photographs chosen are then sent to the main print machine where the size of prints can be selected and number of copies required.

Once the images are printed then they are placed in a photograph envelope, along with the customers negatives cut into strips of 4. then placed back in the order envelope with price wrote on to await customers collection.


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