These five frames are very special to me because are part of the very first black and white roll that I developed for myself. I started the roll in my house taking some portraits of my partner and after I went out and walked around my house in the morning with my trusty Zenit E and Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 lens, searching for nice geometry in the buildings and interesting stills to photograph

I couldn’t avoid taking some self-portraits in mirrors I found along the way. After about two hours the roll was finished and ready to develop. I went to my darkroom and I have to confess I was very nervous because was the first time developing! After putting the roll inside the tank, I carefully measure the quantity of developer I had to use.

The recipe was the well-known HC110 dilution B (1+31) for 5 minutes. With music and a lot of faith I started the process, enjoying the smell of the chemistry and making agitations from time to time.

I love imperfections, so when I saw the photo of my little dog almost cut in half by the end of the roll I fell in love (again) with film photography.

My expectations for future DIY development is to push film. I would love to try ILFORD HP5 PLUS at EI 1600 and shoot some concert and night photography here in my town. I truly enjoy the grain and a very contrasty photograph. It will be amazing to create by myself!

~ Xochitl

Submit your 5 Frames... today

Get your own 5 Frames featured by submitting your article using this form or by sending an email via the contact link at the top of the page.

Share your knowledge, story or project

The transfer of knowledge across the film photography community is the heart of EMULSIVE. You can add your support by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.

If you like what you're reading you can also help this passion project by heading over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and contributing as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.

About the author

Avatar - Xochitl Elvira

Xochitl Elvira

Xochitl Elvira is a Mexican visual artist using film photography and mixed media techniques to make tangible her vision. She likes cactus, make crazy film soups and collect cameras (for not saying she's a camera junkie.) Her favorite films are Ektachrome...


Join the Conversation



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. I’ve just processed my first roll off film since the early 1980s! After an alarming 5 mins while my fingers relearned how to put a roll of film in the developing tank it all went ok