The great* coffee project
Both of my regular readers will know that I like my coffee. No surprise (to me) that the first ever post on this blog was in praise of my coffee machine, and both the machine and my love for coffee have made regular appearances over the years.
I enjoy most coffee. My coffee, coffee shop coffee, Thai ancient coffee, Vietnamese coffee, coffee from almost anywhere, apart from that warmed up black gruel that sits festering in hotel breakfast areas and is tipped out of glass pots by disinterested waitresses. But I draw the line at instant coffee. I can’t make a mental connection between my perfectly roasted beans and the pile of dirty gravel that is Nescafe Gold Blend. It’s impossible to comprehend that they come from similar sources and serve the same basic purpose. I’d rather drink badger’s urine than assault my taste buds with the vile crap that is instant coffee. My default response when offered a sachet of this muck is to throw it in the nearest wastebasket (or sell it to a passing beggar); but no longer. I have found a use for instant coffee which does not involve having to drink it. I shall develop films with it.
The normal approach to film development is to use the chemicals supplied by the likes of Ilford and Kodak, and that is what I have done so far, with mixed results. But during my trawl through the wide wide world of web seeking information on this arcane process, I stumbled upon a group of people who have abandoned the easy route and opted for an intriguing mixture of instant coffee, Vitamin C and washing soda. For reasons I will never understand, a combination of these substances mixed with some water and thrown in a developing tank with a film for long enough will produce developed negatives. For reasons I will never understand, I have to try it.
And so, the great coffee project. The current film in my camera is being used to take photos of assorted coffee shops, machines, drinks, bags of beans and anything else coffee related that I can point my lens at. Once the film is finished, I will throw it into the strange mixture and see what happens. Hopefully I will end up with some photos of coffee, developed in coffee; and if that isn’t a pointless objective to strive for, I don’t know what is.
The concoction even has a name: Caffenol. There is even a website, with the tag line “…and film doesn’t smell funny any more”. Maybe not, but caffenol itself apparently smells pretty vile, which is understandable given it has instant coffee in it.
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