“We created the field developing kit because we felt other available kits lacked essential items for someone developing anywhere outside a lab environment,” says Nicole Taylor DeWitt, one of the founders of Hi-Desert Film lab. “Items like a dark bag, thermometer, and good quality chemical storage give the home developer a reliable, reusable, economical, and precise toolkit to achieve the best results possible.” In the past decade, a slew of film-developing solutions have popped up. And during the pre-vaccine pandemic, more folks started doing their own darkroom work at home.
With the new Hi-Desert Film lab kit, it seems that all photographers might have to do is worry about scanning their images. But indeed, for a very affordable price, Hi-Desert seems to be giving analog photographers something truly special. You might even want to combine it with something like the Ars Amigo daylight developer kit if you can’t create your own darkroom at home.
We know that there are tons of film shooters who still don’t develop at home. So we spoke with Nicole about this new kit.
Phoblographer: How easy is it for someone to develop film at home if you’ve never done it? Can we assume this kit includes everything that we’d need? We’ve seen some kits have full daylight tanks and all.
Nicole Taylor DeWitt: We believe anyone supplied with the right tools can learn to develop their own film at home. Film developing is as simple as following a few instructions and keeping track of time. We created the field developing kit because we felt other available kits lacked essential items for someone developing anywhere outside a lab environment. Items like a dark bag, thermometer, and good quality chemical storage give the home developer a reliable, reusable, economical and precise toolkit to achieve the best results possible. We retail Paterson Universal Tanks, and use them daily at Hi-Desert Film Lab for almost all of our processing. The two reel tank is a perfect fit with the Field Developing Kit, but some photographers may have more experience with a different small tank system so we left that as an optional add-on. Soon we will be retailing more chemical kits and accessories as well. We will have black and white, C-41 and E-6 quart sized kits available to fill your bottles and an immersion circulator for precise temperature control.
Phoblographer: Why do this vs sending the film to Hi-Desert film lab?
Nicole Taylor DeWitt: The majority of film shooters will always be happy to have their local lab process their film, and we love all of our Hi-Desert Film Lab customers who bring us roll after roll of amazing photography. Likewise, there will always be a few who want to go to the deep end and experience the creative control and personal satisfaction of developing their own film, and some folks just want to save money! Our personal journey with developing all types of film by hand has been incredibly rewarding, and for the sake of keeping film photography alive we think it’s important to facilitate more folks learning the darkroom arts and finding their own ultimate personal expression by controlling the process all the way.
For more, be sure to check out Hi Desert Film lab.