Thursday, January 05, 2012

Kodak: Thanks for the Memories!

As many of you are probably aware, Kodak as been struggling for quite some time. Now, it appears Kodak is going to file for bankruptcy protection. No other company in the history of the planet is responsible for providing so many people with so many much-loved keepsakes of treasured moments and memories than Kodak. For that, and for so much more, we have much to thank George Eastman and his legacy for.

Last year, we saw the demise of Kodachrome. This year, we're seeing (what may amount to) the demise of Kodak itself. If it goes down that way, it's the end of an era, and not just from the perspective of photography.

There are few photographers who haven't, in many ways, been touched and influenced by Kodak whether they realize it or not. Even if the first camera you ever picked up was digital, be advised the first digital camera was created by Eastman Kodak engineer Steven Sasson back in 1975.

If you started out your love affair with photography shooting film, I don't need to explain how Kodak has been a part of your journey. Sure, there's other companies who make film for still cameras. I've personally shot many hundreds of rolls of Fujichrome. But I've also shot even more rolls of Kodak film stock, especially their Plus-X B&W film which, back in the day, I processed in my own, converted-shed, darkroom situated in the back yard of my home. (Mostly head shots and commercial portfolio work for aspiring actors.) The first camera I ever shot, a Yashica Penta J back in the early 60s, I loaded with Kodak film.

Kodak won't entirely go away. It's not dissolving completely. But the mighty force in photography it once was is history. Kodak represents 131 years of photographic history! Its probable bankruptcy and possible demise is sad for photographers and many others.

The pretty girl at the top is yet another whose name I can't recall. My inability to recall so many models' names never ceases to amaze me, more so since the chick at the top is one I shot less than a month ago. Oh well. Getting old sucks. What'd'ya gonna do?


Tom McElvy said...

Jimmy, I share your sentiments. I cannot tell you how many thousands of feet of Pan-X, Plus-X and Tri-X went through my old Mamiya/Sekor 1000DTL or my Kodak (!) Retina IIIc; not to mention my Canon F1 and FTb cameras. Lots of memories. It is a shame, but perhaps the natural order of things. If one does not watch the path carefully, one will inevitably lose track of where it is at AND where it is going. A shame, too. I really miss having bottles of Indicator Stop Bath in my bathroom to clear my stuffy sinuses. :)

Bill Giles said...

I also started out shooting film and remember shooting 25 ISO slide film as recently as the mid nineties. I've used Kodak chemistry and paper in the darkroom. I am sad to see the current state of this pioneering company. I hope that there will be something left to carry the Kodak name.