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Into the light:
How To Develop Black and White Film At Home Like A Pro
(Part 3)

During the last half-hour or so you've probably been curious: How did my pictures come out? Did they come out? Now is the moment of truth: Now that the images have been processed and fixed, you can sneak a peak at your wet negatives, and hang 'em up to dry.

By Mason Resnick

Step 8: Since you no longer have to worry about exposing the film to light, remove the tank cover completely and let the film sit in cold running water for five minutes. You can pull out a bit of film to inspect it and make sure your negatives are there.

Step 9: Now you need to remove all traces of the fixer to avoid the appearance of white stains on the negatives. Pour in a tankful of Hypo Clearing Agent (some call it Hypo Eliminator) at the appropriate dilution and agitate for two minutes.

Step 10: One final wash, for five minutes.

Step 11: Carefully pull the film out of the tank. Don't touch the surface of the negatives! Use washing pins or film clips to hang the film from a string, wire, or hanger to dry in a dust-free area. The weighted clip should be at the bottom. This will help your negatives dry straight.

TIP: Make sure you dry film in a dust-free environment. Consider investing in a HEPA-rated air purifier and run it after carefully wiping down the room where you hang the negatives to dry. If a particle of dust lands on the film during the drying process, it will be very hard to remove without damaging the image.

Step 12: In about 1-2 hours, the film will be dry. Use scissors to cut the film into strips six negatives long. Be careful to cut the film in the space between the images. Store the negatives in clear glassine envelopes (available for 120/220, 35mm, 4x5 and other sizes, in a cool, dry, dark place.

That's it!

Leave a comment below if you have any questions or run into problems, and I'll try to answer them.

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