Kodak filed bankruptcy?
I just got the news that Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week. One of the most revolutionary companies in the history of photography can't even turn a profit anymore. Sad.
It was probably easy to anticipate it's demise, after the widespread adoption of digital cameras it was only a matter of time until film became obsolete (on a mass-marketed scale at least). Furthermore the company diversified far too late, and their main competitor, Fujifilm, has been way ahead of them in that regard. Not many people have Kodak cameras today, or any Kodak products for that matter. Yet, only a few decades ago, Kodak was a ubiquitous brand with a sterling reputation.
During tough economic times, this is definitely a blow to Americans who can remember the glory days of the brand. Hell, even I remember my father replacing canister after canister of Kodachrome into his F5 throughout my childhood. I remember my first time handling a real camera, loading that bright red on yellow canister into my dad's F5. That canister was alluring. And the film was fantastic. I remember looking at my father's Kodachrome slides in absolute awe at the beautiful colors at the way they caught my eye. It really is breathtaking. If you haven't experienced it, I feel sorry for you.
Film, let alone that film, is such a nostalgia trip for me. It brings me back right to my childhood. To the precious little time I got to spend with my father as a child. That film brings me right back to those years much better than any other object or though could. The power of that film still amazes me
To this day my father is still in love with the images that Kodachrome produced. Everyone was. With reason. That film was absolutely stunning to look at, and it still amazes me to this day.
I an article from WNYC's On the Media (Where I'm getting most of this info) it's argued that "While Kodak is known primarily for sparking a century-plus long amateur photography craze by making the process easy and affordable to the average hobbyist consumer, it was also instrumental to the development of photojournalism."
Kodak's contribution to the culture of photography is absolutely undeniable. An entire generation was given access to an affordable way to make beautiful photographs. They were allowed to fall in love with photography much more easily than ever before. And the ease with which one could operate the camera and develop the photos was absolutely crucial to the development of powerful photojournalism.
I know many people may not care about Kodak anymore, I mean, I only heard about this earlier today. But, I ask you, as you take your next photo, whether with a $30,000 professional camera or your crappy cell phone camera, take a moment to remember the company that allowed you to capture that Kodak moment.