Search for content, post, videos

The Silver Eye : Jacques Revon : The alternative ecological developer made with an aromatic garden herb, Sage


In this chapter, Jacques Revon explores the use of an alternative ecological developer made with an aromatic garden herb, Sage.

“Film photography is initially authentic because the negative remains, even if one day it is scanned and therefore becomes digital at the risk, as we know, of being later manipulated.” JR


1 First operation. Decoction of 16 grams of dried SAGE leaves, for 15 minutes in 700 ml of water brought to the boil.

Consider evaporation during the decoction and for this reason increase the quantity of water needed for the decoction by approximately 100 ml.
You will note that with each sage decoction, the color of the liquid that we obtain is generally a little in shades of green-orange. (photo).

2 Second operation in a container of 500 ml of water at 22°, dissolve the following products in order.

Dissolution of:
38 grams of soda crystals or sodium carbonate
11 grams of vitamin C
6 grams of iodized salt

3 Now mix the two preparations well then let your solution of the new developer rest, until you obtain a temperature of 22°.

In order to eliminate the various small remaining particles, take care to filter your solution with a paper filter such as a coffee filter and, if necessary, carry out the filtration several times, because this operation is very important for developers made with herbs or aromatic plants. Finally, add two drops of Photo-Flo or wetting agent, to promote the action of your developer on the emulsion.

4 First development test carried out with an expired KODAK Tri X Pan format 6X6 / 220 then later with other films (photos)

Before starting the development operation, always pre-wet the film for five minutes in water if possible tempered at around 20°, in order to prepare the emulsion to undergo the action of the developer and thus promote His development.

Then move on to the actual development.

Developer temperature here first test at 22°, with a container of temperate water nearby in which you can place your tank from time to time in order to maintain it at temperature (water bath): here the film was developed for 24 minutes.

Other tests were carried out at 24° for 20 minutes of development.

6 Fixing the film for 3 minutes, in HYPAM Ilford 1+4 at 20° (continuous stirring of the tank during the first minute).

7 Classic washing for 10 minutes in warm running water, emptying the contents every 2 minutes or, better to save water which is recommended today, I suggest you choose the method recommended by Jost j. Marchesi in the The work “Ilford Procédé Négatif” published in 1980 by Editions Jean Spinatsch in Geneva. On one condition however, that you have fixed your film in this fixer.

– 1 Empty your tank well to wash and rinse the spiral properly as well as your film or film.

– 2 Fill the tank again with temperate water if possible, then tip it over and turn it slowly 5 times.

– 3 Empty the tank, then fill it again, proceeding in the same way but this time 10 turns.

– 4 Empty the tank again then fill it a third time then tip and turn it slowly 20 times.

– 5 If you want your film to be kept for as long as possible, carry out the operation twice more for the fourth time.

8 Now dip, the spiral still with the film, in a wetting agent for 30 seconds which allows, I remind you, to reduce the surface tension of the water and also promotes regular runoff adhering to the surface of the film. You can do the same way with demineralized water for one minute. Then, all you have to do is hang your film by weighting it correctly with pliers so that it can dry quietly in the ambient air.

NB: I note that here, that your film can take on a slightly yellow-orange transparent color during its development, this coloring is due to the aromatic herb used, here sage. Which will not prevent you later from being able to scan and digitize it without worries.

In my next sheet/recipe I will tell you about a developer made from the combination of several aromatic herbs.


Jacques Revon
Honorary journalist, author, photographer.


Create an account or log in to read more and see all pictures.

Install WebApp on iPhone
Install WebApp on Android