View Full Version : Storing exposed films on a long trip

6-Jul-2010, 02:15
Dear all,

I am traveling around India and due to the lack of labs I need to keep my exposed films with me for a couple of months while shooting the whole story.
The monsoon season is started so I could get any kind of weather situation: rain, 90-100% humidity, heat around 47°C, dust as much as i want and so on..
As I'm shooting with regular film holders and changing bag I would like to know what is the best possible way to store my films.
Heat, light, water condensation and dust should be the main issues.
For this reason I can manage to keep them inside their original box, put black tape around and fold them into plastic bags with a sort of hermetic zip (those we use to store food in the refrigerator or freezer). I'll store them in the fridge when is possible or in a portable "fridge box", like the pic-nic one.. and hope. I'm not sure if this in&out from refrigerator, and hot&cold movement are a good thing to do.

What's you point on that?

Thanks for reading, and have a nice day,

6-Jul-2010, 02:26
Stuff extra paper into the boxes to keep the negs from shifting around -- to prevent scratching and static discharges. I had problems with film in boxes, even in the original inner bag, with high humidity static discharges -- ruined several otherwise great negatives that way on a 5 month bicycle trip in New Zealand.

Film use to come with paper inbetwwen each neg (Ilford did this). That would be nice to be able to do, also.

Let boxes kept cold reach the ambient temperature before opening the bag they are in -- prevents condensation, especially in humid conditions.

Maybe toss a couple of those silica gel packages in the box to absorb moisture (they'll need to be put in an oven occasionally to dry them out).

Ivan J. Eberle
7-Jul-2010, 16:26
Having lived at a place where I experienced single-digit relative humidities each and every summer for 12 years, and having humidified my darkroom to correct for it, I can confidently state that it's low humidity, not high, that causes problems with static discharge. (However the frictional movement of air over the surface of a car, airplane, in clouds over terrain, etc. also causes static buildup unless well grounded).

Deepak Kumar
17-Jul-2010, 05:02
Dear Valerio

You are right that finding good lab processing 4X5 anywhere is very difficult.
But if you are near New Delhi OR Bombay(Mumbai) you can definately get them
processed to your satisfaction.

This would save you from lots of hassel which you would have to face on
account of India Mansoon and other travel related difficulties.

I am based in New Delhi if you need any help just email me.

If you are near Mumbai let me know I can refer you to nice pro labs there.

Deepak Kumar

11-Aug-2010, 15:32
Hi Deepak

I will be traveling in India from mid-october till mid-december, having Delhi and Mumbai as primary locations (doing a project on cities growing way too fast etc etc).

Can you give me some details about places to develop? I'll be shooting 4x5 exclusively.

Thanks (and sorry for hijacking the thread, valerio...)

30-Sep-2010, 00:28
Know am late, but it may still help Mortensen..
If in Delhi, head to S V Photographic in C.R Park [D- 732, Lower Ground Floor] for all your processing needs. In Bombay, Mazda used to be a reputed name but am not sure if they are still processing films..

Jim Noel
30-Sep-2010, 09:06
Why not ship them home periodically to a friend who will store them in a refrigerator for you?

2-Oct-2010, 06:19
Thanks, debanjan - I'm leaving in two weeks :)
I think i might stick to my original plan to develop the whole lot at HSL in düsseldorf, but it's very good to know of a place to go to for film and info, thanks

Ben Syverson
2-Oct-2010, 20:53
The only marginally important thing is to get the film in and out of the holders as fast as possible. I've learned the hard way that ALL holders leak; it's just a matter of how much, how fast. Especially during travel.

I really wouldn't sweat humidity, time, X-Ray (but don't check your film, carry it on), etc. When I'm traveling, I carry one film box. When I leave, it's all fresh film. As I shoot, I put exposed sheets outside and underneath the bag. Anything in the bag is fresh, anything under the bag is exposed. Wrap a few feet of gaff tape around a pen, and use that to tape up the box when you need fresh tape. If you do all that, light leaking in shouldn't be an issue.

Most of all, RELAX and don't sweat it too much. Your film will be fine. In the beer brewing community, we have a saying: RDWHAHB.

"Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew." :)

3-Oct-2010, 11:07
...When I'm traveling, I carry one film box. When I leave, it's all fresh film. As I shoot, I put exposed sheets outside and underneath the bag. Anything in the bag is fresh, anything under the bag is exposed....

I like Ben's idea of keeping exposed sheets below the foil pack inside the same box with unexposed film. Although I've never done it that way I think I may start using that method. Will reduce the number of empty boxes that have to be carried on trips.

I would add the following idea:

Carry a spare pair of original film cardboards and place your exposed sheets between the cardboards and held together with a single rubber band. Place this pack under the bag. This will reduce any possible tendency of the exposed sheets to slide around against one another and be scratched or cause static while traveling.

Bob G.