How Does Film ACTUALLY Work? (It's MAGIC) [Photos and Development] - Smarter Every Day 258

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Jun 13, 2021




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Comments 8 803
SmarterEveryDay Month ago
I tried to find a definitive video on the internet that explained how film works. I couldn't find that video.... so I decided to make it. I called Indie Film Lab and they were all about it. I love film photography and would love for you to try it. They're at www.indiefilmlab.com/
00bigduce 8 days ago
Well you nailed it - a great video explaining the whole process of how film works. Indie Film Lab was awesome!
William Gonder
William Gonder 15 days ago
This brought me back to my High School days when I took a class on photography and we developed black and white film. I can remember popping the cap of my first roll in the pitch black room and then winding it up onto one of those reals to be developed. There truly is something magic that can never be captured in the digital world.
so steve
so steve 18 days ago
always wondered,how someone invent this kind of process
so steve
so steve 18 days ago
thanks for the explenation,my dad was a photograph and we both made the photos in the dark room,now im older my intrest where triggerd but i cant find a way that explained to me how it actually works
TB-Sur ron
TB-Sur ron 18 days ago
This has me thinking if film gains weight once exposed with particles.
Airguardian 44 minutes ago
Yet another great video!
Grape Parfait
Grape Parfait 4 hours ago
Film makes sooo much material and chemical waste and trash compared to digital. The quality of a good digital camera is superior to film. Stop being stupid.
rex logan
rex logan 8 hours ago
14:57 cm on maahn we missed the joke in the cut
bentut 8 hours ago
I don't know but you look like Bruno Mars
El Toro
El Toro 9 hours ago
hhahahha emmmm that feel you're feeling.... you're alone out there buddy.... i'm from that film world you're talking about... so i know what you're talking about but i'm not there with you... sorry....😊 i have dust covered, rolls of negatives, faded black and white, and coloured photos you're gushing about... it's no fun... i spent a fortune to have those negatives into positives... and i don't even know where they are... packed somewhere in shoe boxes... gathering dust... unlike the digitals i have in my pc... a click away... i can tweak them if they're under exposed... or over exposed... can you do that??? you're a pro so you might not have so many problems... but the ordinary Joes... that's trying to figure out the exposures and delays and what nots... those people who got back the photos that they paid a fortune to develop and get pictures overexposed... how are they going to correct them??? with a digital you can check immediately and retake the snap which you can't with the dang film. sorry, not excited or with you.... how many rolls of film do you need to lug with you in your luggage to take all those pictures during your holiday to Bali, or phuket or paris etc??? and those dang films are not cheap either. with the film and the cost of developing the negatives... ouch... i've been there... done that...so i'm not sold, sorry. 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️😜🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️😊👀👀👀
Grumman Tomcat
Grumman Tomcat 12 hours ago
Can’t believe I didn’t see this yet! I got into film just a few days ago lol
Edwin Rodriguez
Edwin Rodriguez 14 hours ago
The beautiful perch statistically fear because stove normally boil up a obsequious eyeliner. complex, useful egypt
Brian Kelley
Brian Kelley 18 hours ago
I love videos that leave me with even more questions. How were negatives blown up printed pre digital scan technology? How is the chemistry of color film different from the chemistry of black and white film? How is film emulsion made? How was this stuff discovered in the 19th century?
Thomas King
Thomas King 23 hours ago
Ilford HP5+/FP4+, Nikon FM2n. Been too long.
Abdul Muhaymin Pary
Anyone remember the photographer cutting some part of film (Never understood what the process was) when taking passport size photos?
Manish Yadav
Manish Yadav Day ago
There is a old man in my office who does cleaning work, he told me he used to develop 4 Films simultaneously with his hands... But after digital photography he lost his job and does have any skills other than film developing so started cleaning offices
Thomas King
Thomas King Day ago
Build him a darkroom and tell the hipsters.
Sergey Day ago
29:58 - It's a dinosaur, but he's good.
Look at a digital photo and a photo from a SLR camera side by side on a computer monitor and I bet nobody can tell the difference.
Spencer Jacobs
Was that Sioux Falls?
BK Simpson
BK Simpson Day ago
That feeling is just like the feeling you get when reading a physical newspaper.
Murkrust 2 days ago
that girl was hot...
minimism 2 days ago
Nice - you should give Super-8 a go... very definitely a vintage look & feel!
Vyra 2 days ago
i love these people in the lab they're certainly lively and wonderful people
J X 2 days ago
Cool and all, but SO WASTEFUL.
Dave Dumas
Dave Dumas 2 days ago
should now do a video on the old school polaroid camera
Ri Do
Ri Do 2 days ago
If you realy want to develop film and make it alive on paper, you can process it yourself at home. This is the real magic. In a dark room with one red bulb, watching your photo develop from negative to positive.
Atwa Jesper
Atwa Jesper 3 days ago
I watched the whole video and I can tell that if it's true that Film is coming back, it's for either nostalgia or hipster reasons., which is fine but there's nothing that film can do better when compared to digital photography. All the reasons, mentioned in this videos are strictly subjective and emotional. Now, I understand the satisfying feeling of seeing the development process but that's not the day to day for regular people. I'm old enough to remember using Film cameras and it was a pain in the neck to grab a 12 shot roll of film (because sometimes you couldn't afford a bigger one), take the pictures hoping that one of your fingers didn't get in the way or the exposure was too bad that the photo becomes unusable. Sometimes, only 6 or 7 out of 12 pictures were usable. Keep in mind that you would have to wait usually around a week to get to see your pictures and find out that you weren't able to capture what you intended. By the way, Destin said that you can't get that Film effect on digital photos. Well, it's possible if you know what you're doing with professional software. Anyways, I'm not disparaging Film by any means, I'm just baffled by all the fuss around indie/hipster stuff. If people want to use film, more power to them but don't claim it's better. Digital replaced it for a reason. Using film it's no different from using Vinyl records, 90's clothing or driving cars without power-steering. Cheers!
Aniruddha rao
Aniruddha rao 3 days ago
Why not use LEDs instead of Fluorescent lights?
SpiderDoseStuff 3 days ago
Sorry but you destroyed that film when u opened it outside
BradyM93 3 days ago
Hey! I saw that shot of Sioux Falls! Very cool!
Charlene Woods
Charlene Woods 3 days ago
The pleasant distance reportedly guess because expansion possibly shave times a drunk softball. sad, pretty narcissus
xNiiiCoLaSx 3 days ago
The white front alternatively spare because planet internationally argue than a powerful facilities. lovely, chilly priest
Lando Cycle
Lando Cycle 3 days ago
Great episode!
Tom Claessens
Tom Claessens 4 days ago
wait until you make a print, slide a "white paper" into the developer and see the image develop. It's real magic, like seeing the film development process. Nothing a digital print can compete with regardless of post processing available today on the computer.
Jack Preston
Jack Preston 4 days ago
*total darkness* "So what do you actually use this for?" "To be able to see?" I love how there was no reiterations of what destin was trying to say it was just a sudden "Oh im dumb" moment
Alex Ward
Alex Ward 4 days ago
Devin's enthusiasm for every topic he covers is not only astounding, but highly contagious. I fkn love this guy
Bill Totman
Bill Totman 4 days ago
Scarcity. This is why film produces that carefulness.
David Mc
David Mc 4 days ago
I drove Detroit to Manitoba in 1979 to take a photo of the total eclipse. Through a $30 Tasco telescope."hat-trick" to avoid mirror bounce". Beautiful. I even development the Ectachrome slide film myself. Like that tank he shows. There nothing like looking at the perfect slide. I've scanned it. Do. I still have a digital copy to share. Also had a black and when darkroom in my parents' basement. I can still imagine smell of the film and chemicals. Hey! I still have the almost totally manual Cannon TX body I used. Found it 2 weeks ago. I remember riding my bike 4 miles to buy it. I gave lenses away.
Zach Lewis
Zach Lewis 4 days ago
Full circle. Film shop makes their money developing film, digitizing them, digitally adjusting them. Reminds me of when apple came out with the air pods, and then came out with a cable to connect them together so you don't lose them. Hope the couple who hired the photographer who shot in film, only to be processed in Adobe Light Room...didn't pay a premium. It's cool that they are keeping film alive. and cool to make old school modern. But the irony is not lost on me.
duerden10 4 days ago
Thank you Dustin. I love your videos. To be honest, I can't ever turn away from them once I start watching.
Ready Teddy
Ready Teddy 4 days ago
Lots of figures of speech but nothing concrete about what it is about film that is better than digital. There's "something" about film tells us nothing.
ArtisanTony 4 days ago
lol, a machine from the 90's is really old? haha Heck I remember when digital cameras came out. I shot with polaroid for 15 years before digital cameras :)
Rich Zarate
Rich Zarate 4 days ago
I bought a Canon AE-1 back in the 90s. One of the great things about film is that every shot counts; you’re more careful taking every shot
Huh? What?
Huh? What? 4 days ago
I developed a lot of rolls of film at home back in the 80's and 90's. Both the E (Ektachrome) and C (Color negative) process. I miss it a lot. Back when you had to work for pictures.
Nickayz 5 days ago
This was an awesome! I started with analog photography and now barely do it. This was the first documentary I've seen about this topic, as there are almost none.
San Jacobs
San Jacobs 5 days ago
"So this is legit nightvision!" Dustin said about an infrared camera with an infrared flashlight on it from Toys 'R' Us
Born in 1496
Born in 1496 5 days ago
She is really beautiful like an angel
badreality2 5 days ago
These guys need to invest in a film drum scanner.
badreality2 5 days ago
Fun Fact: The longer film is in a film bath, the finer its film grain. The finer its film grain, the more detail it holds.
Ortho Habibian
Ortho Habibian 5 days ago
thanks a lot for all the resources that you have provided in the description section. It has really helped us to get started
Joni English
Joni English 5 days ago
STEVE SASSON of KODAK invented the Digital Camera in 1975 0.01 Mega Pixel from a CCD THEN KILLED IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!
ersin ozturk
ersin ozturk 5 days ago
After watching this video, I got myself an old Pentax film camera. I started to shoot in 35mm again and I'm loving it!
kcpenner 6 days ago
You asked about why the Batman icons ... earlier you were talking about using echolocation to "see" things in the dark like bats, so I thought "BAT CAVE!!"
Steve Sheppard
Steve Sheppard 6 days ago
Millilitres?????????????? Since when did Americans enter the the 20th century. ;) Yes. I realise we are in the 21st century. That's the joke. x
Eryk Fear
Eryk Fear 6 days ago
I still have an old olympus camera the pictures come out beautiful, interesting episode I never knew how it is done. thx :)
Perry Calabrese
Perry Calabrese 6 days ago
Dang! Still use film and analog reel. Digital ain't better, just easier and cheaper.
Aditya Bikram Chakraborty
Pin me
Mark 6 days ago
This whole time after you mentioned digital filters not measuring up, I kept thinking to myself that their couldn't really be a significant difference at that pixel level. Even though I do not have accurate enough perception to have a bias, I know that if a difference exists, it can be plotted in feature space. So, thank you Destin, now for the next few week I will be training a neural net to classify images as digital or film, then use that AI as a discriminator in a generative adversarial network to create a good "film" filter.
JB Tallullah
JB Tallullah 6 days ago
Nice shirt Thomas.
George Wilson
George Wilson 7 days ago
This video made me get into film photography, which I'm absolutely loving! Thanks so much for this awesome video Destin
Obscured Lee
Obscured Lee 7 days ago
wait 15 mins for the lights? TIme is money, get new lights
Shannon Davis
Shannon Davis 7 days ago
Having worked in the industry for over 20 years, including 13 on the Frontier sp-3000 and 5 years on a Noritsu machine, this really bought back memories. I like the fact that film is making a comeback, I will say to print directly from the film is even better. As you said it's magic, once you digitize it you can cheat the process. Great video, made me want to get my old film camera out.
Jon Molnar
Jon Molnar 7 days ago
Thank you for reminding me how much I loved shooting film as a kid in the '90s. Since watching this video I've picked up a couple old cameras and started developing and scanning my own film at home. I'm thinking of setting up a proper darkroom and getting an enlarger to make my own prints. It's really rekindled my love of photography and got me out and seeing the world in a new light.
TheFruitMugger 7 days ago
One of the things that I thought was coolest about my high school was that the photography students actually spent a fair bit of time shooting with film cameras, and had their own dark room for developing the photos. Destin, you'll also appreciate that it's located right in Alabama! In fact, Jinny (31:05) is an alumnus of my high school's photography department.
Mark Griffin
Mark Griffin 7 days ago
Sorry Dude. I spent 30 years shooting film, developing and printing same. Give me digital.
Frank Silvers
Frank Silvers 7 days ago
Just remember that what they are doing beyond the development at that company is not the same film process like it was in the past. They are doing an analog/digital process. Back in the film only days there was no scanning of film and the ease and accuracy of digital editing. It actually took digital (scanning tech and image editing software) to get the best out of film. Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation in regards to film and what it is really capable of, not to mention how film was s used in the past. The fact is, film is grossly inferior to digital in every traditional measure of image quality. Sorry to have to burst any bubbles, buts that's the simple truth.
Frank Silvers
Frank Silvers 7 days ago
No use of gloves when handling film. 👎👎
Frank Silvers
Frank Silvers 7 days ago
Even if I were given film for free and I got free development and prints, I would never go back to shooting film again. In every single meaningful way film is grossly inferior to digital.
Raits Hots
Raits Hots 8 days ago
Nja 👍 😎 Good video. Real good film camera photo. Vs digital camera. Real film camera photo big size image. 400iso real 450megapixsel. Small chemical silver dust utt. But problem money this chemical film camera. Future stoped products films. Museum story future.
Josh is a Jedi
Josh is a Jedi 8 days ago
My first job out of high school was as a photo tech. It’s crazy that I worked through the film age, into the digital age, and now back into the film age.
What you say at the beginning is so true. I was a photographer back around the time when most pros were moving over to digital and I think the quality of my photos went down after switching over. As a college student/freelance photographer I was on a pretty tight budget and depending on the type of film I was shooting a single frame could be a $4 or $5 investment (film cost/development/print cost) so I think I took way more time composing my shots and making sure everything was perfect before hitting the shutter. With digital you just get into this mindset of snap a few hundred pictures and see what you get. With film I could go out for a day of shooting and not take 100 pictures but with digital you can do 100 in less than half an hour. Also working in a darkroom was almost as much fun as shooting the pictures to begin with. There is something very zen about processing your own film and making prints. Alternative processes are a lot of fun as well.
travis 8 days ago
Good job Destin, enjoyed it.
Reuben Kay Cheng Ong
The difference between digital camera and a film camera is practice, digital camera give you more chances to get a better picture but flim camera can only give you limited chance to get a better picture as well the fear and worry if you get a perfect picture, in other words an emotional Rollercoaster of a photo
Frank Silvers
Frank Silvers 7 days ago
@Reuben Kay Cheng Ong Why would the old way be better if the new way is in every meaningful way grossly superior?
Reuben Kay Cheng Ong
@Frank Silvers quality is improve overtime but sometimes the old way are best way, or at least built the foundation
Frank Silvers
Frank Silvers 7 days ago
@Reuben Kay Cheng Ong Actually, the inherent attributes of film and digital capture are essentially identical. Digital simply greatly improves on film. I can easily fool someone into thinking a digital camera image was made with film by simply shooting at a lower resolution and at a higher ISO.
Reuben Kay Cheng Ong
@Frank Silvers true, but at the same time is hard to duplicate with flim and double as a safety feature for photo shop or illegal edit
Frank Silvers
Frank Silvers 7 days ago
Digital also produces vastly superior image quality.
neville douglas
neville douglas 8 days ago
the other thing fantastic about film you get the prints to keep and there is nothing better than looking at them in your hands and they out last you that after your gone someone else can browse through and share in museums ----that digital wont do and ps i still have my NIKON F4 6 frames a second and you can accidently have a wrong setting on a flash and it knows and adjusts never had a dud picture ever
Azmaeen Rubyat
Azmaeen Rubyat 8 days ago
what model was that Nikon camera at the end? With that analog display?
Tomi juupodjapondpwa
Max Timko
Max Timko 8 days ago
Rusty Ralston
Rusty Ralston 8 days ago
that beginning was kind of like ASMR.
Victor Moysés
Victor Moysés 9 days ago
Outstanding, Destin! That was flawless!
I hate Myself
I hate Myself 9 days ago
Hey i have a olympus miu ii and there is a - sign that Won’t go away what do i do
chapincurioso 9 days ago
She's freaking CUTE!!!!
Bojan Marsetic
Bojan Marsetic 9 days ago
True. I worked in the prepress factory for 15 years and done film developing. Even the old books made mostly by hand developing has different feel than today's ones. Viva ANALOG! The same goes for music.
M E 9 days ago
*Sees a bunch of gears and pulleys* "Alright nobody say anything I can figure this out" 😂
Vissal Mathew
Vissal Mathew 9 days ago
I am a camera collector, and this video has given one more reason to appreciate the process of taking images on film. I agree that the sense of anticipation after you have shot an image makes you feel like you have created something new. Kudos to SmarterEveryDay for bringing out this very educative and inspiring video.
Jim Bo
Jim Bo 9 days ago
I still wear a mechanical watch, all springs, gears, and an escapement mechanism. Everything can be seen, everything understood. Its construction made by an artisan, a human, whose workmanship is displayed on my wrist and someday on my son's wrist. The lack of silicon, battery, and quartz takes me to a time when life seemed more real, more warm, more genuine, as it was in 1970s America.
Jim Bo
Jim Bo 7 days ago
@Frank Silvers Yes, the professionals still know the art.
Frank Silvers
Frank Silvers 7 days ago
@Jim Bo Touching up with an editor is exactly what almost all film shooters of today do. Most serious digital photographers are also not shooting on auto.
Jim Bo
Jim Bo 7 days ago
@Frank Silvers Sure you can shoot in full manual mode, but most people don't. Most shoot in full-auto where the onboard computer decides all the settings and then they touch it up with an editor.
Frank Silvers
Frank Silvers 7 days ago
@Jim Bo Film doesn’t take any more talent. Photos are captured in the same way with both mediums and nailing down the technical side is actually pretty easy. You don’t need the ability to take an endless amount of free photos like you can with digital to master the technical side of film photography. Talent does matter. There is just so much you can do digitally, so while digital editing is great, you are giving too much credit in regards to it being able to save crappily captured photos, never mind the artistic side, which is actually the hardest part. Besides, few people today even shoot film the way it was in the film only era. Most people were at the mercy of crappy one hour photo labs.
Jim Bo
Jim Bo 7 days ago
@Frank Silvers Which is why it took more talent to capture a great photograph with a film camera. If you didn't have an understanding of F-stop, aperture, shutter speed, film speed and how the settings all interrelate, you couldn't capture a stunning picture. Today talent doesn't matter. It's so easy to correct a flawed photo with Photoshop. Not much talent needed.
Loren Ryssman
Loren Ryssman 9 days ago
Back, when I still did film, I wondered what C-41 processing looked like; now I know. Thanks Briefly, my thoughts as to what's so special about silver based film photography: 1) the process involves hands-on craftsmanship, and produces a tangible piece of work; 3) the recent increased interest, is mostly due to a degree of nostalgia (e.g. baby-boomers reflecting on their younger years when photography was only film); 4) silver based photography was not the first photographic technology, and will eventually takes it's place alongside earlier processes.
Jim Bo
Jim Bo 9 days ago
Like any art form before the digital age, it took more effort and talent. Today, whether it's photography, music, or graphics, anyone can cheat by cleaning up their lack of talent with an app.
Tyson Matanich
Tyson Matanich 9 days ago
If you think film is magic, then go print and develop your own black and white photo. Watching the image slowly appear on a sheet of white paper in the tray of developer is both magical and satisfying.
Tyson Matanich
Tyson Matanich 9 days ago
I was surprised to hear they were using fluorescent lights in a darkroom 🤦‍♂️
boch 8 days ago
@Tyson Matanich Yeah, but.. Its quite whatever when the only time they need to keep the lights on is when theres a maintenance or a document that needs to be done :'D
Tyson Matanich
Tyson Matanich 8 days ago
@boch because as stated in the video florescent lights take several minutes to stop emitting visible light. So every time you turn off the lights you have to wait before pulling out film etc. Incandescent or LED would be a better choice for a darkroom.
boch 8 days ago
why wouldn't they. not gonna keep them on when developing
Blalack77 10 days ago
I love to learn. It's humbles your intelligence ego to learn something you didn't know. I tend to think I'm relatively smart and know a little about a lot and a lot about a little but I'm still learning a lot of new stuff on every video I watch from this channel.
Taldaran 10 days ago
It's great that this is explained to the digital generation. When I was in Jr High, we took photography classes where you would develop your own photos and film by hand. We just did black and white of course to begin, but it was an amazing experience.
YashMeer Vlogs
YashMeer Vlogs 10 days ago
That machine is modern technique compare here in the Philippines .
Application User
Application User 10 days ago
Why in the world would anyone digitize a film image? I do all my stuff either on slide film or I develop my black and white negative film as slides. No digital for me. You of course are free to do as you wish. I just think you're cheating yourself. I hope this lab returns your film to you. A lot of companies don't so they can mine your film for silver. I think the film is the creation and belongs to the shooter.
Vikman Photography
Vikman Photography 10 days ago
Still shooting film for weddings (35mm) and specialty portraits (4x5 view camera)
Alexander Bashta III
Awesome Video and info. AND I ordered my grandson a kiwico subscription, so thanks
Jacob Wolf
Jacob Wolf 10 days ago
Ryan Chen
Ryan Chen 10 days ago
I learned my photography over a Minolta X-700 in the 90s before I had my first DSLR in 2007(Sony Alpha A100 with CCD) and currently still owns it without intention to replace it with anything else> I get what you said in the beginning as it was how I felt like an apprentice.
Farley Craig
Farley Craig 11 days ago
I love the OHIO shirt! Awesome video!
Victor S
Victor S 11 days ago
thank you for making and showing the movie. Thats really magic
Mustafa Tasrali
Mustafa Tasrali 11 days ago
28:37 and you always need one "C:/ disk" backup. and a good Local network
David Stewart
David Stewart 11 days ago
I see where you are going here, and I agree. I always feel more creative when I use my analog camera. I own a Cannon AE1 program and have used it for well over 30 years. But I also have to admit I rarely use this camera anymore because of the cost associated with this camera: purchase of the film, and the processing charges. In any case this is a great video. Thanks
感靈陽 11 days ago
No doubt film extinct.
MAN Network
MAN Network 11 days ago
Man this same debate runs wild in the audio world recording using tape vs digital ADAT.
john rus
john rus 11 days ago
Meh, as a photographer you can care less about the "feel" of film. It's a tool, not for giving you warm fuzzies. That is what your end result should do. Film to me is relegated to creative photography or simply shooting with old lenses. Film is completely obsolete and only comeback it has is among the hipsters who are more concerned about being cool than taking a good pic. Sorry if I sound calloused, but I started out on film. I still have a film body, but it's a tool. Not a cup of cappuccino.
Making transparent wood