Photo developing in NYC is an art that preserves the memories of millions

The camera has been the most important invention in human history, transforming how we see the world around us and giving us the power to capture all big and small events in the form of images. These images not only helped us to preserve memories of all our special moments but also documented the events and movements that shaped our culture and society. Before, the invention we usually relied on written scriptures and painting for imagination and understanding of our past but with cameras we could just sneak peek into that exact moment. It has provided us with a whole new medium of expression and creativity through which we can communicate our stories.

From the invention of the earliest camera obscura till this date to the modern digital camera, camera technology has evolved a lot. One of the aspects that changed a lot over time is the process of photo development, which is the transformation of a photographic film or paper into a visible image. There are different types of photo development, such as black and white, color, and slide film development, and each one of these requires different chemicals and procedures.

Understanding the process of film development

Photo developing in NYC is a dying art, but it is a crucial step in traditional photography using film cameras in which visible images are produced by following a series of chemical and physical processes from exposed photographic film or paper. Here is an overview of the whole photo development process.


The whole process starts with capturing the image, in film photography when an image is captured it gets emulated on a light-sensitive photographic paper when it gets exposed to light through the camera’s lens.

Film Development:

That photographic paper also called film then undergoes a series of chemical baths that convert the captured image into a visible image. The whole process of film development involved many further steps depending upon the types of images required. The process typically includes the following steps:


The film is dipped into a chemical that activates the exposed silver halide crystals and turns them into metallic silver. In this process the areas exposed to more light during the initial capture process will have more silver, forming the darker areas of the final image.

Stop Bath:

As the name suggests, in this process the film is depped into a solution that prevents it from further exposure making the image fixed at its current state.


In this process, all the remaining undeveloped silver halide crystals are removed from the film image stable and preventing further changes over time.


The film is thoroughly washed to remove any remaining chemicals that could affect the image quality or the longevity of the film.


Once the film is developed, it is dried properly so that it can be further processed.


However, with the rise of digital photography, there has been a vast decline in the use of traditional film photography but still, some photographers and hobbyists use film developing in San Francisco to enjoy the unique aesthetics, and characteristics of film photography.

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How do I drop off my film?

1. Place your film order on – select ‘Return Shipping’ at checkout’ to get negatives returned (and prints, if you ordered them).

2. Envelopes for your order are provided over the counter. Write your name and order number, and load film rolls inside.

3. Hand over your envelope to a Knickerbocker team member.

Your film will head to Gelatin Labs every Monday and Thursday!

How do I drop-off my film?

1. Place your film order on – select ‘Ship Negatives’ to get negatives returned (and prints, if you ordered them).

2. Our box is located near the exit of the coffee shop. Take an envelope (or your own ziploc), bag up your film, and write your order number. Your film will head to Gelatin Labs!

How do I drop-off my film?

1. At the front entrance, buzz in to be let inside.

2. The Gelatin drop-off box is directly across from the front desk. Place your order via the QR code on the box. Select ‘Ship Negatives’ to get negatives (and prints, if you ordered them) returned.

3. Take an envelope (or your own ziploc) from the front desk, bag up your film, and write your order number. Your film will head to Gelatin Labs!


At Gelatin Labs, quality is our main priority for every order. Our team keeps film moving through the lab as efficiently as possible, but estimates are not guaranteed. 


Order size and options chosen affect turnaround time.

Small orders (5 rolls or less) with fewer options (up to Pro Level scans) take less time. Larger orders (6 rolls or more) with more options (including SuperPro scans) will take longer.

For faster, guaranteed timelines, use our Fast Pass ⚡️ service.

Print With Gelatin Labs

Fill out the form below and our team will get back to you via email with a link for you to upload your images.
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It’s Time To Get Printing!

Whatever type of work you create, the Gelatin Labs Print Upload will render beautiful, archival prints that will enable you to bring your art off of your screen and into the realm of physical existence. The process is simple: select your print size, upload your images, and pick from three distinct finishes!

8x10 inch

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4x6 inch

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Start Your Film Order

Welcome to Gelatin Labs, your trusted partner for all your film photography needs! We recognize that each photographer has their unique preferences, which is why we are excited to introduce two remarkable options to cater to your individual needs: Simplified and Customized.



  • Streamlined options for quick checkout
  • Choose the look & feel of your images
  • Less options for an uncomplicated experience



  • Expanded customization for film types, options, services
  • Upgrade to SuperPro hi-res scans
  • More options for the more advanced user

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