However, for those of us who cut our teeth on imagery in the analog era, Kodak is still a symbol that shouts out “photography”. As a brand it’s up there with the iconic brands whose name, when you hear it, doesn’t need an explanation of what they do – just think of Coca-Cola, Macdonalds, Apple, Google etc. Kodak was THE film brand of the 20th century and was the most recognised film producer for over 70 years.
The potential demise of Kodak could be viewed by some as a final death-knell for film. It’s true that I haven’t shot a roll of film in years since converting to digital, but I was a late adopter of digital and it was only the change in the way that wedding photography has evolved in terms of coverage that convinced me to change. My landscape and fine art work shot on medium format film still outshines digital images, and photographers using large format film cameras continue to produce imagery of breathtaking quality.
Film (be it negative or transparency) has a certain, intangible, feel to it and I’ve yet to find a digital “plug-in” for my image processing software that can make a digital image look like something created on film. Film (and it’s processing) is expensive, and digital has made it so easy for many more people to enjoy photography, and that has to be good. But there’s something special about not knowing whether you’ve nailed the shot until the images have been developed – it makes you concentrate on getting the image right first time … the exposure, the composition. Don’t get me wrong, digital’s great for my commercial work, being able to check an image right away and I can’t imagine being without it now. But digital’s very precise, very clinical – film, on the other hand has something that’s more …. well, organic … it’s hard to describe! I’ve still got my faithful Nikon F4 – hard as nails and it’ll probably outlast me (something that today’s cameras are unlikely to do!) and although it’s worth hardly anything, I’m reluctant to let it go ….. call me sentimental!
There’s been a small resurgence in the use of film over the past couple of years, as people rediscover its charm, but I honestly feel that it’ll remain a niche market – I’d be really sad to see it disappear completely, so what am I going to do about it?
Buy some film next week and shoot with it – that’s what! 🙂
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