Yes you read right
Well actually it takes more than just coffee to develop the film 🙂
There’s also Vitamin C and Washing Soda..which actually kind of makes it even less believable in my opinion lol..but I assure you it’s true, although traditional Fixer is still needed to fully develop the photos.
It’s called Caffenol, and it’s seemed to have gotten a large number of people back into film photography.
There’s even a bit of a cult following of individuals who develop film only using these ingredients, with some of them adding other little ingredients here and there for their “recipes”
After a quick google search you’ll quickly find something called The Caffenol Cookbook with all types of different ways to develop film and the differing names for each.
As soon as I saw some of the results people were getting, I had to try it on my own.
Here is a brief history of how Caffenol came to be (Taken from Wikipedia):
The Technical Photographic Chemistry Class at RIT in 1995 led by Dr. Scott Williams developed a method of developing photographic film using standard household items. The tested mixtures of tea and coffee combined with agents to balance the pH and successfully made printable images for exposed film. At the time they did not call it “Caffenol”, but the methods they developed later became commonly called Caffenol.
This is nuts right??
I mean someone figured out how to develop film using common household products!
Well, my hat goes off to them and their resourcefulness in getting this done and the success it seems to be having in the film photography community.
Check out some of the Flickr groups and see some of the results for yourself
Here is one i visit from time to time
I can tell you that as soon as i heard about this i went about visiting my local Vitamin Shoppe, then dollar store, then supermarket and bought the ingredients to get this done.
Here is a youtube clip with a short overview of the process that i found recently, there are much more detailed ones out there as well
I’m currently out and about working on projects with some friends but expect to see some results soon!
Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend