I found myself with a does of insomnia last night and for whatever reason I was thinking about winding film onto reels for developing. Something that I think I have not done since 96?

Just remembering the whole process of laying out the film canister, the reels, the tank, lid and trusty bottle opener. Laying them all out and taking one last look at them before turning out the lights and having to work in total darkness. Standing there and memorizing where everything is with your hands one last time before popping open the film canister with opener.

Sometimes it would take forever to get the film canister open as well. The sharp end of it just itching to scratch your film. Then once freed how when you peeled the tape from the plastic spool you would get a ever so slight blue static spark from the adhesive giving away. Standing there in the dark with about 5 feet of film in one hand and trying to find the reel with the other.

The tank was like a fat can of soup and the reels were two stainless steel spirals with a clip on the center. What you would have to do is clip the film into the center clip (or hook one of the film sprockets to the last loop of steel if your clips have long since fell off) and then holding the edges of the film to avoid fingerprints, start to roll the reel counter clockwise to roll the film onto it with about a cm separating the film from itself on this reel. That allowed enough chemicals to slosh between the film so it would get developed properly.

If you were to rush it and pull to tightly the film may skip it's track and wind directly onto itself, which caused any areas of film that touched to be ruined because it would not get the proper does of chemicals. Sometimes it would get none at all and you would have these non developed grey blobs. No way to check your work till you were finished with the whole developing process. There was kinda of a knack to it.

So in a way it was a zen exercise in complete darkness. Which probably came up cause I was staring up at total darkness and unable to sleep last night.