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5 Film Photography Tips

Develop Your Own Film
Developing takes work, but it's fun and rewarding.
Developing takes work, but it's fun and rewarding.

So you've learned all about your analog camera, played with the exposures and compositions, and shot your pictures fastidiously (and artfully, no doubt). Now comes the real hard part: How do you get that picture in your hand?

If you're truly into photography, there's no better way to improve your work than by actually developing the film yourself. Yes, it can be time-consuming and can run you a few bucks for chemicals and paper. But if you have access to a darkroom (or can easily render a room of your home light-free), you'll be able to control much of what the finished product looks like. As the developer, you can lighten or darken images or parts of images and even control how the negatives are printed.

If you don't want to get your hands dirty doing the developing, delegating the job to professionals might seem like a good option. In some cases, that's true. Real film professionals will most likely do a terrific job developing your film. But remember -- not every lovely clerk at your local drugstore will be able to give due time and thought to your photographs. Instead of handing your artistic genius over to the 16-year-old grocery store worker -- who, it might be noted, will probably leave her fingerprints on your negatives -- consider taking your film to a professional photography lab.