A little while ago I asked a whole bunch of photographers to share their thoughts about the whole Kodak fiasco:
PETER BAKER: It is pretty sad to see the company that essentially created the industry that we’re all obsessed with struggle to adapt to the changes in that industry. There’s no reason that Kodak shouldn’t have been able to take it’s imaging expertise – or moreover it’s brand recognition – and been the major provider of digital sensors to other camera makers. Something akin to “Kodak Inside” a la Intel.
There is a seriously romantic component involved in this though. Kodak isn’t just another company that we buy products from. Kodak, in a very real way, is responsible for many of our favorite memories, and nobody wants to see them go away.
YAAKOV ISRAEL: I’m always hoping that somebody will take over the film manufacturing at least but its very sad that this part of the American history of photography won’t be around any more!
As it is the prices of film & paper are rocket high and I find myself thinking that its nearly unethical to ask my students to buy printing paper.
But I’m a big believer in the discipline you develop when using film as you are always on a budget so you think well before you press the shutter.
PHILLIP TOLEDANO: To be honest, I haven’t really thought about it at all … I’m strangely unattached to technology. Whatever Kodak did, will be replaced by something else and in a few years we’ll know it as an interesting photoshop filter …
RYAN PFLUGER: It’s just one of those things you would never think about. It’s like there being no more oil paints or colored pencils. It just seems so bizarre. But we will have to wait and see what happens.
I guess there is always Fuji …… gross
DAVID WRIGHT: It is a very sad day to see Kodak go by the wayside.
GEORDIE WOOD: Kodak is tragic for sure man. It’s too bad they weren’t the lightest on their toes but I guess you get slow after being such a powerhouse for decades. I hope the film won’t disappear but I’m sure it will live on in some capacity.
I’ve spent a bunch of time in Central New York between college and shooting. Whether it’s the Erie Canal, Carrier or Kodak the families of CNY have seen industry come and go for the last century. I think about all the middle class families in Rochester who made their living with Kodak and who are now left behind once again.
NOAH KALINA: It’s unfortunate but not totally surprising. What is shocking is that they were the ones who invented digital. how were they not able to transform their business and move it towards digital?
AARON WOJACK: Perhaps it is just the end of an era. It chills my spine to think that the day may actually come where you will not be able to buy commercial film. I suppose it is inevitable, but I don’t want to see it happen.
On the other hand it reminds me that the state of the photo industry is in flux and that we all need to be innovative and creative or we won’t make it. This shouldn’t be news to anyone. Things like this a are very persuasive inspiration to get your game plan sorted.
ALEXANDER MCLUCKIE: In all honesty mate I came to terms with it when they discontinued Kodachrome. I don’t think I’ve shot a single roll of Kodak since they stopped it.
ERIC WILLIAM CARROLL: To me, Kodak is in the same position that American auto-makers were in a few years back, albeit without the support of a government bailout. Kodak had such a strong brand to help it’s business, but they totally dropped the ball when it came to evolving with photography on a basic consumer level-Kodak should’ve been Flickr, they should’ve been Instagram, they should’ve been Snapfish. All of these chances were squandered and instead Kodak spent years making sub-par digital cameras and printers when they should’ve been re-thinking photography from the ground-up. Sure, I’ll miss my Tri-x if they go under, but hopefully they’ll use bankruptcy as a chance to get some fresh blood and new ideas into their corporate offices and reinvent Kodak’s purpose and practice. The old Kodak moment has come and gone-it’s time for them to realize that and create a new contemporary one.
EMILIANO GRANADO: I guess I’ll have to buy Fuji.
Aren’t we all secretly preparing for an all digital world? How much longer can film really exist? 10 years? In a way though, my abrupt sarcasm is telling of how I experience film and photography in general. The subtleties don’t matter. Kodak is richer, warmer. Fuji is cooler. Whatever. I don’t care. I can print it differently. The EXPERIENCE and my INTENTION are all that matter. I’m a photographer cuz I love to photograph. Fuck the technique and the color cast and the digi vs film and all that shit.
With that said, I prefer the experience of slower, bigger, and bulkier cameras. but WHATEVER.
JAKE STANGEL: I’ll be drinking alot more …
DAREK FORTAS: Cannot imagine not shooting 6x7 or 4x5 in the future … heard some gossip of medium format rolls going up 100%; it scares shit out me …
Thanks so much to everyone who took time out to share with MULL IT OVER.