How many photographers can say the first roll of film they used was Kodak? Or that the paper their photos were printed on was Kodak? Even if we used other brands at some point (I used Fuiji film too), Kodak was always there. And that’s why it’s sad to see Kodak filing for bankruptcy and reorganizing.
Certainly it’s hard for a company built on creating film and printing photos to stay current in the world of digital media. They never quite adapted and that landed them where the company is now. I can’t think of a digital camera Kodak made that blew my socks off, but then again I’m embroiled in the great Canon versus Nikon rivalry (go Team Canon).
I’ve written how it saddens me to see how we’ve moved away from film so much in our society to the point where you can’t ruin a photo any more. It’s a loss for the craft of photography, and I wish film would make a serious comeback. It takes some thought and and skill to make a quality photo with film, especially on slide film. You’re not going to shoot 30 photos of the same scene to make sure you get the right shot either.
It’s out of nostalgia on my part, but maybe that’s something Kodak can do as it invests in its film and printing division. If you can make film photography as appealing as digital, it could make a comeback. It certainly can’t be the only thing they do, but it’s worth trying and investing in ways to make film more accessible to the masses, much like digital photography has done.
Plus there’s printing. That’s the thing about digital photography that’s really missing. Do you miss the prints? There’s something about having a print in your hand. You can hang it on the wall or put it in a frame on your desk. Dumping the memory card onto your computer and posting the photos on a website doesn’t have the same feeling. Plus how many great conversations have started with your family and friends as you look through photos?
Film photography isn’t dead. There is a film photography (or analog photography) community out there, which CNN highlighted last year.
You can find the community of film photographers online too with blogs and in posts on Flickr. If Kodak could tap into it to help develop that part of their operation, it could be a piece of the future for them (although not the only area). I know I’d love to dabble back in film photography (have to get my camera fixed first), and a friend wishes he could set up a dark room. These are emotions and wishes they could build on.
Then again it’s probably nostalgia talking and we’re seeing the beginning of the end. And that makes me sad.
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