Monday, July 30, 2012

Is hair dye just a myth?

I have never seen good color photos developed with hair dye, but I still believe there may be a way to develop color film with hair dye in a decent look. I am still experimenting on this. But one thing is clear for me now, you may develop B&W filme with hair dye. Just shoot a normal B&W film and develop it in the following solution:

5 ml of professional hair dye containing p-phenilenediamine derivative
3 g of Sodium Hydroxide
water to make 500 ml
Develop at room temperature for 30 minutes. The first time you use it you will get a film looking underdeveloped but scannable. And, with some tweaking in software, I use Photoscape and sometimes GIMP 2.6, you may get acceptable pictures like this one, fine grain, but not very rich in contrast, already enhanced in the picture.

A house in the prairie
I suppose that next time you use the developer it will give a better result with B&W film. I read somewhere that hair dye needs to be aged in order to give good results, also with color. So, I decided to use this with color film and see. Maybe the good results I had before were just because the hair dye was naturally aged at the shelf. So, with this same developer used once to develop a B&W film, I tried with a piece of color film. I am approaching the expected result but still very thin. It does develop image that you can see by reflexion as positive but not very good scannable. Here is a direct scan, as it comes, no tweaks in software:

Color film developed with hair dye used once
I expect that next time I will get better results because the developer is becaming older now. This may be the key to success.

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