Nicole Small | One on One

Processing Color Film

When I discovered that photographing with film was something you were still able to do today four years ago, I was thrilled. In that instance, I knew what I was going to do and had mapped out my role in this new discovery of photography. My objective was to photograph using both color and black and white film. But over time as I became more knowledgeable and experienced, the choice of photographing with black and white film took over photographing with color film hands down. .

Polaroid Test 2

One reason why I rarely photograph with color film is because so far I have not found a professional photo lab that processes my color film in a way that I like and I have tried numerous color films, from the lower priced to the higher priced.

In the beginning, I thought that maybe it was me. Perhaps my exposures were off, or maybe I just was not getting it right all together. But having sent out my color films for processing several times over, I just have never been pleased with the results.

But the real deal of having chosen black and white film over color film is the fact that I have been and can process black and white film myself. I can process it in the way I want and experiment all at the same time. Knowing that I have complete creative control from the moment a roll of film is placed in my camera right up to the print making stage, it just rules in every way. Possessing this knowledge and know-how has spoiled me and the thought of sending my film out to a lab now for processing has become a very difficult thing for me to do.

So how do I solve the problem of wanting to photograph color film more frequently?

  1. I can try professional photo labs outside of my local area and see if there are options that can work out for me.
  2. I can learn and process color film myself.
Le Studio Agentique

Purchased at Le Studio Argentique in Montreal

To be quite honest, I prefer the second choice!

Having made the decision that I would prefer to process color film myself, I started researching on YouTube. I found a pretty good video that shows you in detail from start to finish how you would go about this process:


Once I have gone through my first set of processing, I will share my results with you here. Do you process your color film? Any tips you would like to share?

I am hoping this post has inspired you in some way to take on something, whether it be a creative goal or a personal one, that you have been putting off  or have been thinking of trying.



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