Our Film Developing Process

At Sip and Develop in Silver Springs, Maryland, we provide you with the resources and environment you need to develop your film photography. Whether you have your own film that needs to be developed or you want to try your hand at taking photos and developing them in our studio, we have everything you need. We offer our darkroom for you to come and enjoy drinks with friends while you explore your artistic side. We even provide you with lessons and instructions on how to develop film if you would like to learn! Here are some of the details of our film developing process and a few things that make us unique. For information on renting out our space, contact us today!

Infographic - Our Film Developing Process


The Darkroom

In film development, all work is done in a darkroom, occasionally illuminated by red light, to protect the film from being scorched. Our darkroom is ready for all of your film developing needs and fully stocked with everything you might need to get the job done. Sip and Develop provides you with a great environment for you to enjoy time with friends over drinks that you provide yourself. That’s right, we allow you to bring your own beverages, and we pride ourselves on being the only company in America to let you do so. The darkroom is the most vital part of the photo development process and we suggest using our space for all of your film development purposes for that reason. For a unique night out with friends, check out Sip and Develop today!

film negatives

The Setup

Our film developing process starts with setting up the equipment you need. You will need your film, scissors, a thermometer, various chemicals used to develop film and stop the process, as well as a timer, a cassette opener, a film reel, a film tank, and a place to clip your film to cure. Each of these things is used in the editing and developing process. We advise that you get these things ready before you turn the lights off so that you are able to see what you are doing before the room goes dark.

camera next to film canisters

The Process

The film developing process is intricate and fragile. You will start by opening your film cassette, and then use your scissors to cut the film apart so it can develop in smaller chunks. Next, you will put your film on your film reel and insert it into your film tank for development. Then you want to create your development mixture and use your thermometer to measure the temperature of your mixture to determine how long curing will take (this typically takes around 9 minutes). Next, you are going to fill your film tank with the development mixture and enjoy time with friends, occasionally agitating the mixture to spread it out evenly while it develops! After it has had time to develop, pour in a stop mixture after draining the developing mixture and swirl to stop the process, and then follow the same steps with a fixing mixture to fix the picture to the film and wait a few minutes for the film to settle. Once this process is complete, rinse your film and then hang it to dry! This can take some time which is why film development is a great opportunity to enjoy the company of friends and family.

pouring wine

Learning To Develop Film

This is a simple rundown of the process we follow at Sip and Develop. If you are looking to improve on your development skills or learn how to develop photos, we offer classes and instruction on the intricacies of the process! Developing film takes time to learn and do well and receiving instruction is a vital part of our process. Why not grow your talents and do so while enjoying a glass of wine or bourbon with your friends? Check us out today.

Interested in learning to develop photos? Don’t have any film to develop but would love to give it a shot? Sip and Develop is for you. We provide all the equipment you need, even renting out cameras for you to gather film to develop. Follow us on social media or visit our website and book our darkroom today!