Pictorial Planet

Welcome to Pictorial Planet

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

by John Finch

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New Shop!!

I now make and sell a complete and unique developer solution for your film and darkroom needs.

In my opinion these are the best staining and tanning developers ever formulated including the famous
Dixactol Ultra, Exactol Lux, Prescysol, Prescysol Extra Fine plus new Alkali-Fix, and unique Alkali-Stop.

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 best at a very 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, to ask if I could make and provide this range of pyro staining formulas, developers I know are of high quality. These developers had been lost, for many years in the UK and European markets being only available in the states from the Photographer's Formulary.

I have personally used these commercial developers and can fully recommend them. In fact, Dixactol Ultra used to be my go to developer before Thornton died in 2003 and for a short time after while it was still for sale by Hogan.

So, today on September 16th, 2022 I am launching a shop to sell these particular developers, stops, and fixers to those who have used them before and want to use them again, or to those who just don't want to make their own but want very high quality staining formulas.

I send these developers 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 diXACTOL ULTRA.
Possibly the best staining developer formulated.
Available now!

New Book Released!!!

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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
Twitter, like my page on facebook and share this resource with your friends. Better still 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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