Monday saw a press release from Kodak announcing that the iconic Kodachrome film is to be discontinued.
Ok, it’s a sad announcement (some people swear by its colour reproduction and its archival qualities), but I take umbrage at the way in which it has been reported!
If you watch the TV reports or read the news articles, the death of Kodachrome has almost universally been attributed to ‘the increase of digital photography’. This is not so.
There are still film products available – heck, even Kodak are introducing new stocks – and film photography seems to be making something of a resurgence in recent times. The reason that Kodachrome is being discontinued must surely be because of its archaic processing requirements.
Since the introduction of Kodachrome, other colour processes have come along (and in some cases disappeared again), which offer simpler processing – E6 processing (the standard slide-film process) can even be done at home. With only one plant in the world still processing Kodachrome (Dwaynes in the US), it was surely only a matter of time before this announcement took place.
- Digital did not kill Kodachrome;
- Other film is still available – colour and B&W;
- Film cameras are still being made;
This is not the end of film photography…
Wow. There’s an awful lot of people seemingly upset by The Polaroid Corporation’s recent decision to stop making their eponymous film.
Check out www.savepolaroid.com.
Of course, the current Polaroid Corp. has pretty much nothing to do with the original corporation; the current company being much more interested in slapping their coloured squares onto any number of consumer electronic devices than their traditional analogue imaging processes.
Ironically, Polaroid could well be making the biggest mistake ever. Recent reports seem to indicate that the rush to digital imaging is being stemmed, and consumers are returning to film, whether for
- aesthetic reasons (some colours just aren’t rendered as nicely as on film); or
- financial reasons (the constant buy/use/replace cycle which comes from chasing the leading edge of technology becomes pretty expensive after a short while)
Polaroid always had a characteristic look which distinguished itself from traditional negative/positive photography – and the fact that each shot is totally unique (Ok, so is slide film) adds some mystique to the object you hold in your hand…
I for one am going to stock up on 600 series film so that the kids can have some fun (they *really* appreciate the instant nature of Polaroids – they are well versed in 35mm and digital photography, but the sheer immediacy of Polaroid really pushes their buttons). The suspense of waiting for the picture to magically appear is fantastic, and they both want to take pictures with the Polaroid. Best let them do it before it’s too late…