Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The End of Kodak

Just saw this week that Kodak declared bankruptcy, bringing an official end to an amazing run. The end of Kodak was inevitable given the rise of digital photography. Still, it seams almost unbelievable to me that such a significant company is going under- It seams like only yesterday that I was dropping off film for processing. In actuality, the last time I did that was probably 8-10 years ago! The landscape of photography changed overnight, and Kodak was left in the cold.

For the last few years I've been using old Kodachrome slides as a starting point for painting, and for each image that I've painted I have probably a through a few hundred images. I'm always amazed at the color and clarity of these images. Kodachrome film somehow manages to capture and harness nostalgia. Only a few years ago I was still taking slides of my art work because that was the required format, and while I don't miss driving to specialty stores to find the film and paying lots for the developing of sometimes bad pictures, I do miss holding those slides up to the light and seeing them right in front of me as opposed to a nuclear glowing computer screen. I suppose that Kodak is to digital photography what LPs and CDs are to digital music these days, a higher quality and equally outdated alternative. Something about that makes me pretty sad, but at the same time I live on digital media too-

The future will certainly be telling. Old slides get thrown into a box in the ally and forgotten, only to eventually be found years later as an incredible full color time capsule. What's going to happen to the trillions of digital photographs out there? How many people even have photos printed anymore, and what happens when the computers crash, all all computers eventually do in short time, and those files are lost and forgotten? Something tells me that we'll always have remainders of our time, but it will certainly be different in the future.

There's a great article on CNN about Kodak- Here's a quote:

"It feels like it marks the end of a major era, even though it's easier to take photos now. The idea of democratization is everywhere, but this bankruptcy strikes a nerve for a lot of people. It's farewell to a certain version of the past, and with that is this idea of nostalgia and what Kodak so successfully sold to the American public."

Check out the article here-