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Video: Smarter Every Day shows the science behind film development: Digital Photography Review


Jun 25, 2021

Alongside educational titles such as ‘Where Does NASA Keep Its Moon Rocks?’, ‘My Sister Got Malaria’ and ‘How To Poop On A Nuclear Submarine’, YouTube channel Smarter Every Day has released a new video that explains how film is constructed, exposed and developed. In ‘How Does Film ACTUALLY Work? (It’s MAGIC)’, presenter Destin Sandlin talks about the chemical structure of film, shoots some film and then takes us to a lab to see how it gets developed and scanned.

Destin is pretty enthusiastic and explains the process like it’s some new discovery, and it’s clear from the comments that for many people this is indeed a brand new concept. While stating in the title that the process involves magic he then does show the moment it’s demonstrated to him that it is in fact a scientific chemical process—it just feels like magic.

Even if you are quite familiar with how photons are turned into silver dots on a roll of gelatine, the video is worth a watch just for the entertainment value. Also for ex-darkroom workers it’s always good to see a bath of bubbling developer and those glowing stars its compulsory to have on the ceiling.
To watch ‘How Does Film ACTUALLY Work? (It’s MAGIC)’, and other how-it-works videos, visit the Smarter Every Day YouTube channel.

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