Ever wonder what would happen if you woke up tomorrow and photographic chemistry was no longer available. Wow, hate to even think about it!! But fear not, there are alternatives, and while they may not work quite as well as manufactured chemistry, it will allow you to continue processing your film and make prints.
Interestingly enough, the Caffenol-C process is not as old as you might think. In 1995 the Technical Photographic Chemistry Class at the Rochester Institute of Technologie, 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 from exposed film.
Today, it is widely used by photographers who use alternative processing methods to create unique forms of art.
Hopefully this scenario will never play out, but if it does, make sure you’ve stocked up on Washing Soda, Vitamin C, and Folgers. Later this month I’ll post some of my own experimental prints using this process.