One of the magical Christmas memories I have was in the 50's when my Father would print our Family Christmas Cards. He had made a contraption to expose photo paper to a negative with an inscription. He would let us watch him develop the cards in 3 different baths.
Over Thanksgiving we found no one in town develops film my grandson had taken. It has to be sent away. This got us thinking about Dad's exposure devise. It had followed me home years ago and I dug it out.
It occurred to me how similar to Model T days that self devised process was.
The short fellow in the card is me.
Whoa. That's cool.
Figure out how to use it yet?
I don't see an advantage over digital but my Daughter wants to play with it. Apparently there is a following that likes film photography. The fact that it is old and made from a 30's tin can is enough for me.
I have a cousin who is a holdout for film photography. She says that as each shot costs money whether it's any good or not, one rapidly learns to compose their photographs well and carefully. Having seen many of her photographs (not necessarily of my favorite subjects) I must concede that there may be some truth to her contention. Although I use my cellphone camera and keep a small Nikon automatic in my glove compartment, When I think that I might get something really good I use my Nikon D80. Anything better then that would be wasted on me.
And there's the fun of correcting things in the dark room. I have a print of UP steamers on Donner summit that I was able to "save" in the dark room by dodging the foreground during printing so it wouldn't be over-exposed while getting the steamers exposed enough.
I don't get to do film photography anymore, it I think it was very rewarding and creative in a different way then digital is.
I remember reading an old book that had an interview with the photographer Edward Weston where he mentioned using old glass battery jars to develop his negatives. I think he said they were out of old Fords.
That home made contact printer looks very cool. I wonder if it was a Popular Mechanics project back in the day?