Timing Development

One thing which didn’t quite occur to me was that I need some reasonable means of keeping track of timing for development, stop and fix steps. My enlarger timer doesn’t do that. I don’t need anything complex here, just a means of tracking time elapsed.

For film developing I use my Nexus 7 tablet and the Darkroom TImer app. This is a useful multi-step programmable timer. It even has a darkroom mode in which everything is colored red. But even at lowest brightness the “black” parts of the display are anything but, putting out a lot of light which is a lot closer to white than red. I may test it just to satisfy my curiosity, but honestly, I don’t expect it to be remotely safe.

Metronome SettingsThen I had the cunning plan to look for a metronome app. Sure enough, there are lots of them. I settled on Mobile Metronome, a free ad supported app. I set it to run at 60 beats per minute, with 10 beat measures and emphasis on the first beat of each measure, giving me accurate time in seconds and a higher pitched “tick” every 10 seconds. With the tablet protector folded over, it runs in the background with the screen off. I start it running before I make any exposures and leave the tablet over on a shelf by the wet side of the darkroom. I used this to time my safelight exposure and in-total-darkness develop, stop and fix steps for the safelight test and it worked a treat.