Pictorial Planet

Welcome to Pictorial Planet

A website dedicated to the art of Black and White Film Developing and Photography

by John Finch

If I've helped you in some way you can give a donation, either one off or monthly

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Old Building : Altyre Estate, Moray, Scotland
Processed in DiXactol Ultra

Pictorial Planet now has a shop!!

I make and sell special high-quality pyro developers.

They are made to the original proprietary formulas by Barry Thornton and Peter Hogan.

I also sell a specially formulated alkali-fix and a
unique alkali-stop bath. Both the alkali-fix and alkali-stop have been carefully formulated to match my developers and maximise the advantages of pyro. However, they can also be used with any other developers if you want the optimum results from your film or paper.

A bit of background about my shop:

In my opinion, the developers I sell, are the best pyro staining and tanning developers ever formulated. They include the famous:

  • Dixactol Ultra Two Bath and unique Long Life versions. Thornton's original and outstanding formula.
  • Exactol Lux unique Long Life, Thornton's fine grain and later his favourite pyro (now in long life version)
  • Prescysol, Peter Hogan's high tanning and favourite staining developer
  • Prescysol EF (Extra Fine) Peter Hogan's later formula with added glycin for a finer grain and extended tonality.

Plus, to create your complete pyro staining system, I sell a unique
Alkali-Stop and a new Alkali-Fix.

With these developers, alkali stop, and alkali fix you have a complete development system that's second to none.

Some film photographers don't want to make their own developers, fix, or stop and would rather buy pre-made solutions. So I'm happy to provide these amazing developers to you.

I've been supporting the film community for many years through my books, my YouTube channel, my website, and through emails, explaining how to make and use developers, stops, and fixes, and I'm very happy indeed that many do. However, I got to thinking months ago about expanding my support to those who don't want to make their own solutions but want to be able to procure the very best pyro developers at a reasonable price. So in summer 2022 I found and made contact with Peter Hogan, the man who owns the Barry Thornton (and his own) formulas and licensed them.

I highly recommend them to you!

See this blog entry.

So, today on September 16th, 2022 I am launching a shop for you to purchase these particular developers, stops, and fixers. It's there for those who have used them before, and
for those who just want the very best.

I make all my developers fresh for you and send them all over the world.

If you can't order for your country please contact me and I'll add your country to my shop.

Go to shop.
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Barry Thornton's Exactol Lux - Long Life version.

Available now!

My Book

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How often does a new book on film and paper developing get published?

John Finch has just launched his new 5th edition of
The Art of Black and White Developing.

Now in its 16th year, this book has been fully updated yet again to be
your film and darkroom developing bible.

Full of great tips, the very best formulas and how to make them, use them, get the best from them. The best ECO formulas, Stopping and Fixing, film, paper. Pyro, metol, phenidone developers! Pushing, pulling, agitation, correct exposure, archival workflow, darkroom, the list goes on. 510-Pyro, Pyrocat, MQ, PQ, Crawley's best formulas, replenishment. This book has the definitive answers to so many of the questions you have.

Now 350 pages of developing goodness!

Buy now at:
U.K. Link

Worldwide Link
(This link calculates local postage for your country on checkout)

More info and book excerpts here!

About this site:

My name's John Finch. I am the owner of Pictorial Planet and the author of The Art of Black and White Developing.

I've been a darkroom enthusiast since my father taught me darkroom work at eight. From the age of ten he had me making developers, stops, fixers and toners. Since then I've been a professional soldier, aircrewman, photographer, film maker, film director, writer, training designer, and facilitator.

Throughout my life, the thing I've enjoyed the most, is sharing my passion with other photographers. To that end I published my first book (
The Black and White Developing Workshop) in 2005 to share with others my experiences.

So far my book has been updated five times and now covers all things developing in the darkroom (as well as lots of photography tips). Why not follow me on
@pictorialplanet@mastodon.world or like my page on facebook and share this resource with your friends. Better still become a Patreon and buy my book to support this website.
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A couple of years after this was taken I was developing film!
I never stopped :)

An outstanding integration of wisdom, wit and practical information. A must read…
David M

Fifth edition - Available now:
U.K. Link
Worldwide Link


Subscribe now to my new YouTube channel for tricks and tips on developers, darkroom work and photography and Check out my blog!

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