Can’t Develop Your Own Film? No Worries!

Young The Giant, FireFly Music Festival, Processing by Tech Lab.

Not many of us have the time and equipment to develop, process and print our own film. Shooting is fun but the real work comes afterwards. Developing takes time and precision, and sometimes we don’t always get what we expect. When I was in high school and in my first photography class we had to develop our own film. Developing is very time dependent and if it isn’t done right your entire precious roll of Pulitzer Prize winning photographs could be ruined!

So sometimes, we should leave these things up to the professional film processors. With Ritz Camera going out of business by the end of this month, we can’t really rely on chain photo stores so much anymore. Where to start? Who can you trust with your roll of 36 or 24 beautifully well composed frames?

Well, if you are based here in Baltimore like I am I would recommend Tech Lab. Tech Lab is located right off of York Road and Northern Parkway, right on Belvedere Avenue. Their prices average about $18/roll for both the processing

Natty Boh beer and Music! Processing by Tech Lab.

and a CD of scanned negatives (which in this digital age of sharing everything online, is smarter to purchase than prints.) Tech Lab processes both 35mm and 120 medium format film sizes. The wait time can be up to a week or as soon as an hour depending upon their workload that day and the day that you drop it off. In my experience it has typically taken around two days to get my roll back!

“Film, Glorious Film!” reads Tech Lab’s tagline in their film department. “We are well-equipped to serve customers that prefer traditional film. Our photo lab is equipped with the finest photo finishing equipment and we print your pictures on high quality photo paper. Our highly trained technicians will make sure that every photo print turns out just the way you want it. Come in with your film and we will transform your memories into fabulous photos.”

Along with the location in Baltimore, Tech Lab also has stores in Howard and Montgomery Counties as well! They also do photo restorations for that old photo that you have in the attic of Cousin Johnny and his dog back in 1886.

Friends, detail and clarity are extremely important when processing film. Bad developing can result in scratches and dust on the negatives as well as blotchiness if the film gets exposed before final processing. Processing here was done by Tech Lab as well.

Don’t live in any of the above places? Spots such as DodgeChrome of DC is known to have a great reputation and certain Costco photo centers have even gotten the job done on fast notice.

For the brave warriors of film who develop their precious rolls themselves, godspeed to you! For the rest of us who choose to swallow our pride and put our rolls of gold into someone else’s hands, do not worry, your rolls shall be safe and beautiful.

5 thoughts on “Can’t Develop Your Own Film? No Worries!

  1. Very interesting, 🙂 I always think actual film taken pictures come out better and clearer than digital… or then again, it could just be the crap digital cameras I purchase LOL !

    • They do! The resolution is typically MUCH greater on film than in digital. A 35mm negative can be made to epic dimensions! The color rendition is also truer to life than what digital makes. 🙂

  2. I knew at a glance that these pictures were taken by you, even before I saw the one with Andrew…. :-)…… they have your mark! Keep the info coming….I enjoy reading them….Just goes to show, you’re never too old to learn……:-)

    • Thanks for the reply Rick! Tech Lab is pretty good but I have not been too happy with them recently. I think there is still a Ritz open near Towson which believe it or not does great work 🙂

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