Mama don’t take my Kodakchrome away

For many people of my generation and older, the name Kodak is synonymous with photography. The company has been producing cameras and films since the 1880s. While it still makes films, it has stopped making film cameras and has been refocusing its business on digital photography.

But now that business may be ebbing away, and the word in photography (and business) circles is that the company may be filing for bankruptcy. The name Kodak may disappear.

As readers of this blog will know, I am a photography enthusiast, though very much an amateur. I only own one Kodak camera, and in truth it is not one of my better ones.  But I have a cupboard full of ordinary and specialist Kodak films, which I use from time to time with my older film cameras, almost always with very pleasing effect. Although to many people the name Kodak is associated strongly with color pictures, most of my recent work with Kodak films has been in black and white, including this recent example.

The avenue

Mostly these days I take photographs with digital cameras, processed with Photoshop. But if Kodak disappears, something in photography will have been lost.

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4 Comments on “Mama don’t take my Kodakchrome away”

  1. Beth Duff Says:

    Interesting to reflect on how photography and the place of photographs has changed over the years. My late mother in law had several very precious albums recording milestones in family life. They lived in Uganda in the 50’s and 60’s where getting films processed was not easy and so photographs were very costly. So different today with digital cameras and mobile phones where it’s easy to capture people and events. I wonder, however, how many of these photos will be in a format that can be handed down through the generations as my mother in laws treasured albums can be.

  2. Vincent Says:

    Could you not say this is Darwinism in action. And in fairness they, together with other film manufacturers stuck us to the wall for long enough. So couldn’t happen to nicer people and deserving to my mind of everything they’ve got coming. Between the film and the developing it cost me €20+ last time I did a film.

  3. anna notaro Says:

    It might be of some comfort to think that, as some media scholars have argued, *old* media do not disappear completely even though they go out of business , in “Remediation. Understanding New Media” Bolter and Grusin explore the notion ‘remediation’ to be understood as a mutual relationship between the old and the new media.The advent of the digital brings about a repurposing of the content of one medium into another, the transformation of one medium into another and, in some cases a process of hybridisation i.e one medium is not just transformed into another, but a new form is created through the merging of two separate media. So photography remediated painting, film remediated stage production and photography, and television remediated film, vaudeville, and radio. Celebrities also can come handy in the remediation process, Lady Gaga tried to revive Kodak’s fortunes early this year..

  4. Wendymr Says:

    My father, a keen amateur (and in the past a part-time professional) photographer, worked for Kodak in Ireland for over 40 years. He still swears by Kodak for colour 35mm film and won’t buy any other brand – and, although he does now have a very good 35mm digital camera, he insists the results are never as good as those from his box Brownie and vintage Leica.

    I worked at Kodak myself for four summers when I was a student – my first-ever job – though most of the office technology I used then is now as defunct as the Kodak Instamatic. I always feel sad to see these household names go under, and much more so in this case.

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