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      Eastman Kodak has filed for bankruptcy protection today. As someone who grew up in western New York state, I can't begin to convey how this is a major event in a region which has been struggling with the de-industrialization of America for decades. For an upstater, the fall of Kodak is like Mount Rushmore crumbling to dust, or the Grand Canyon getting filled in. It was always there, a presence on the landscape.

        George Eastman left an indelible mark on the city of Rochester; the Eastman Theater, the Eastman School of Music, Eastman House and so many other things. For years the businesses of the city would wait to see how big annual Kodak employee bonuses would be - car sales would jump, Sibley's would see a rush of business, and other merchants would reap their share from the Big Yellow Father. (more)

         Sure, there have been plenty of other big companies that have gone under in America, but Kodak was... Kodak!  Those yellow film boxes around the world, National Geographic depending on Kodak to make sure their photographers got the best film batches... Kids getting Brownie cameras for their birthdays, attics filled with dusty photo albums, analog memories fading and discoloring over time.

   A huge industrial complex still sprawls across Rochester. I toured it in the 60's - it was a city within a city, with its own fire department and other services. (I remember having to walk through a foot bath that was there to make sure visitors didn't track in fallout from the open air atom bomb tests of those days. The radiation would have ruined the film.) Huge machines turned out miles of film; one whole section of the factory was completely dark and employed a staff of blind employees to tend it. The visitor brochure had a picture of the vault of silver bars that would be turned into light sensitive emulsions.

        Incredible photo displays and shows sponsored by Kodak, to show the power of freezing a moment in time. The world captured and put on big screens by Hollywood or small screens at home by amateurs working in Super 8. The commercials on TV showing Kodak Moments, songs like this one or this one....

      It's hard to appreciate now, but Kodak was the company that made photography something anyone could do. Over a hundred years of history captured on film by ordinary people; lives, places, events captured one click at a time. And how much of it disappears into silence when there is no one left who remembers the names of the people in the photos? The places or the times? You can scribble notes on the back of a photo, label a slide or an envelope full of negatives. When was the last time you annotated a jpeg? And will anyone be able to read it a hundred years from today?

       Look on ebay, and you can put together a photographic arsenal for a pittance today as people abandon their old film cameras. Good luck finding batteries for those old SLRs. Try to figure out f stops, ISOs, focal lengths... These days you push the button, and a computer does the rest. If not in the camera, then afterwards in Photoshop.

       Got slides? Better get them scanned before they fade. Can you find a working slide projector, or a bulb for it? Slide trays? Those used to be staples of American life - home, schools, business; anyplace you wanted to share images with people in a group. As pictures flash by on a computer display, how many people today know that a slide show used to mean sitting in the dark while somebody made sure the little pieces of film in cardboard holders went through the projector right way round and didn't jam?

       Movie projectors? If you haven't converted your old home movies yet, at least you can now put them on DVDs and skip VHS tape altogether.

         It's not over yet. Something may come out of Chapter 11; film may still be made and slipped into yellow boxes....(I hope?) Kodak is never going to be the giant it once was, but there's a chance the name will still go on some amazing things. It's not all about pictures; Kodak was once a science powerhouse, chemicals, and other things. Something may remain...

        What does Kodak mean to you? What are your Kodak moments? Discuss.... And you can watch some Kodachrome memories here.

Originally posted to xaxnar on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 05:58 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.



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Comment Preferences

    •  I understand that... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, martyc35, sb

      Kodak's main plant in Rochester even had its own nuclear power plant to supply its electricity.

      Now THAT'S industrial dominance to which even Ford and GM--in their 60's heydays--could not lay claim.

      "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it."--George Santayana

      by GainesT1958 on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 09:31:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most of these plants had their own power stations (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar, martyc35, sb

        Coal fired. Vist River Rouge some time, it has a fascinating history.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 10:47:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not so. Ginna Nuclear plant east of Rochester... (8+ / 0-)

        is a utility-owned plant like all the others in the U.S. Most of Kodak's power was coal-fired.

        The company in its heyday was a huge benevolent uncle in the community funding all kinds of activities and institutions; but it was also pouring literally thousands of tons of toxic materials into the air and water every single year. Year after year after year.

        One of the negatives of a century of Kodak activity is just about the biggest "brownfield" on the planet. The thousands of acres Kodak occupies include areas with massive chemical contamination.

        A good example of where this might end up is about 80 miles east, in Syracuse NY, where a massive chemical industry sprang up in the late 1800s on the shore of Onondaga lake to take advantage of local potash and salt deposits. Millions of tons of toxic sludge were stored in ponds at the site; in the 1940s a dike collapsed, dumping all of it into Onondaga lake, where it spread across the bottom and poisoned the entire body of water. The lake is still basically a dead zone.
        Allied Chemical abandoned the site around 1980, and left taxpayers holding the bag for cleanup. There are still thousands of acres too toxic to do anything with. Given the penurious state of both NY and U.S. cleanup funds, that's how it'll stay for a very long time to come.

        •  Not exactly a dead zone (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xaxnar, sb, FarWestGirl, Dauphin
          A good example of where this might end up is about 80 miles east, in Syracuse NY, where a massive chemical industry sprang up in the late 1800s on the shore of Onondaga lake to take advantage of local potash and salt deposits. Millions of tons of toxic sludge were stored in ponds at the site; in the 1940s a dike collapsed, dumping all of it into Onondaga lake, where it spread across the bottom and poisoned the entire body of water. The lake is still basically a dead zone.

          Would B.A.S.S. hold a tournament there if it was a dead lake? The biggest polluter of the lake is Onondaga County and the City Of Syracuse. The primary pollutant is sewage.

          That being said, there is still a problem with Mercury contamination. That is why fishing is strictly catch and release. The legacy pollution is largely locked in the sediments at the bottom of the lake. So it's a Super Fund site beneath 35 feet of water.

          Side note: In the coldest winters (which this one isn't) the south end of the lake doesn't freeze thanks to the sewage treatment plant. That makes the lake a magnet for Bald Eagles.

          •  Would you drink it? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xaxnar, FarWestGirl

            The DEC still recommends that pregant women never eat fish from the lake due to mercury, and the bottom sediment of Onondaga includes a witch's brew of toxic crap. It's not just the city's sewage that's the problem.

            Western New York has a rate of colon cancer that is roughly twice the national average. Not coincidentally, a map of Superfund toxic sites makes it look like this area has the measles, there are so very many sites.

            •  I live about a mile from a Superfund site (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Western New York has a rate of colon cancer that is roughly twice the national average. Not coincidentally, a map of Superfund toxic sites makes it look like this area has the measles, there are so very many sites.

              They just built a housing development on top of it. GE paid a farmer to let them dump chemicals on his land for years. They built a fence and put up a monitoring station. Then they told a developer he could built some expensive homes on it. They held the Parade of Homes there this year.

            •  And not all the Mercury can be blamed on industry (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Pretty much every lake in northern NY has mercury problems thanks to midwestern coal.

        •  Hopefully someone will look into mushrooms for (0+ / 0-)

          bioremediation of the toxins. Obviously not edibles, can't remember the exact types used. Let the mycelium run underground and start its work while the humans do all the other extraneous crap that keeps us occupied. ::sigh::

          Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

          by FarWestGirl on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 05:41:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Centerpiece of Our Living Room (19+ / 0-)

    A mountain landscape we took on vacation overseas on Kodak slide film. We sent the slide off and they printed a poster size from the slide.

    It's probably better for the environment that all those chemicals aren't needed any more. But sitting here between the once Rubber Capital of the World and the one-time leading iron ore importing port in the world, I'm surrounded by the remainders of the dismantling of our nation's industrial might.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 06:10:17 PM PST

  •  My wife's youngest sister and her family... (21+ / 0-) in a suburb of Rochester. She is now the primary breadwinner, doing computer training. Her husband was an electroptical engineer, having worked for both Xerox and Eastman Kodak. He's now a househusband.

    Sad that film is going the way of all things, even with Polaroid.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 06:15:43 PM PST

    •  Ouch! (19+ / 0-)

      Two companies that both were once world leaders in their fields; Kodak in photography, Xerox in photocopying. Domination of an industry is not a sure thing; the best technology can't overcome bad management.

      They say the continued existence of railroads demonstrates the inherent efficiency of steel wheels on steel rails - that it can survive typical railroad management.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 06:20:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Polaroid was bought (9+ / 0-)

      And the film is still produced.  Kodak's good assets will probably be sold-off and I think it likely films such as Pan-X, Tri-X and Kodachrome will survive in some form.

      All film producers have had a rough time. Afga sold-off it's consumer film division to a smaller German company several years ago and this product is still in production as Agfa itself continues to produce litho films for technical use. Ditto Konica which merged with Minolta.

      Of the majors, only Fuji has survived intact because they had the foresight to jump into digital with both feet and it has saved the company, including the film divisions.

      Kodak invented digital photography, but facing the "Innovator's Dilemma", made the poor decision to put it in a black box until it was too late to compete.

      In fact, in a desperate attempt to raise cash, Kodak is now suing Apple and several other companies infringing several of it's patents related to digital photography.

      I hope Kodak survives as a company, not just a brand.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 11:01:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How frustrating (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko, xaxnar, martyc35, sb

        I am trying to write k o d a c h r o m e on my cell phone and it comes out as kids grime.  The point is, do you really think it might survive.  Some time ago I read that the last developer of this film was going out of business.  Since I have undeveloped rolls, it would be wonderful if I could get them developed before it is too late.

        •  The technology exists (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xaxnar, KenBee, martyc35, PinHole, sb

          And the important part is the dye and chemistry to develop the transparencies, but whether or not it would be produced again for a niche market remains to be seen.

          Polaroid is a niche market but the company who bought the technology seems to be succeeding to run the business on a small scale.

          The last Kodachrome processor, Dwayne's Photo discontinued this service in 2010 but you could have the Kodachrome processed as Monochrome and one such service is Rocky Mountain Film Lab. Then you could scan the images and colorize them with Photoshop.

          E-6 and C-41 can be color processed by many labs because they are 3 layer silver nitrate based subtractive (bleached) systems.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 03:58:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you so much! (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            koNko, KenBee, martyc35, sb

            I have a large bag of undeveloped color film, including slide film.  Financial issues have prevented me from having it developed but it's clear I need to at least start, a few rolls at a time.

            I'm an electron microscopist in a lab that dates back to 1960.  I still have glass slides from which the most exquisite images were produced.  I also have a freezer full of Kodak 4489 3 x 4 film.  We will never use it again, we have to
            dismantle our darkroom for space reasons.

            •  I work in materials science! (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KenBee, martyc35, OleHippieChick, sb, Margd

              Specifically, in microelectronics & photonics. We have SEMs, FIB-SEM & TEM, mainly JEOL, Hitachi and Zeiss. A couple of weeks ago I was in Zeiss to do some work on an LSM and they gave me a demo on this incredible instrument. Nice! Don't ask the price.

              The first SEM I used was an ISI with handmade tungsten electrodes and Polaroid cassette with stacks of Polaroid 52 with those stinky gel coaters. Good times ....

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 08:08:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I have developed kodachrome (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            koNko, martyc35, sb

            I used a BW dev as first dev, c-41 for the color dev steps with color couplers from Rockland Colloids "selectachrome" process and c-41 for the didn't turn out great, but it did work

            PLEASE donate to a global children's PEACE project: Chalk 4 Peace

            by RumsfeldResign on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:08:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Very interesting (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KenBee, martyc35, sb

              I guess the color couplers you used have at least partial functionality so I'm curious about the response of the individual RGB layers to the chemistry, particularly the red layer since, as I recall, in the Kodachrome process, the red is developed first followed by a re-exposure of the film to reinforce the latent image of the Green and Blue layers prior to subsequent development of these layers and then bleaching.

              So did you find a shift toward red?

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:38:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  no red shift (0+ / 0-)

                the colors were a bit off...not real saturated...there were swirly artifacts that a Kodak engineer told me was from excess color coupler -- I wasn't sure it would work so I used a lot of coupler and before each color dev step I soaked the film in a solution of coupler w/o dev THEN put film in dev/coupler solution

                I always meant to try it again.....but it was such a pain to do I never bothered...since my main goal was just to get an image after hearing so many times "amateurs can't do this"

                a friend developed Kodachrome in art school....but they actually had the right chemicals & information...I was just winging it

                PLEASE donate to a global children's PEACE project: Chalk 4 Peace

                by RumsfeldResign on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 08:52:31 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  ROCKY MOUNTAIN IS A SCAM!! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xaxnar, sb

            That place is shut down and has had the IRS and FBI all over it for fraud.

            There are still hundreds of people crying to get their films back.

            Do an internet search and never recommend or mention Rocky Mountain film lab again!!

      •  not kodachrome (0+ / 0-)

        they gave up on the patents years ago and nobody wanted it

        PLEASE donate to a global children's PEACE project: Chalk 4 Peace

        by RumsfeldResign on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:06:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  ironic remembering the patent violations alleged (6+ / 0-)

        back in the late 40's/early 50's my father helped defend Kodak from lawsuits that they had violated/stolen from IIRC Polaroid..again iirc they won.

        Bausch and Lomb, Xerox founders family were neighbors at one point.

        I/we left in the late 60's.

        Paternalistic and vengeful upper management style, my father got on the outs because he resisted attempts to get rid of a highly qualified executive secretary because she was black.
          No blacks in the upper levels...this in Rochester, the self congratulatory home of Abolitionists. Finally I have become educated, from here mostly, that explained the racial separation preferences I was exposed to and the Abolitionist past..racism in raw form as common there as elsewhere, the nuanced form of racism that just didn't want slavery to bring black people to the white Christian nation ...and in 1964 the riots in eastern cities of that summer started in Rochester, much to the consternation of the city Elders.
          I have the privately printed George Eastman book he used to give out of his African safaris/animal slaughter.

        The racism in the book is as bad as anything I have seen, never a complaint about the european powers colonialisms and how that worked on black Africans, just nasty upper crust remarks about the natives, and nary a sympathetic word. 1964 riots no surprise in that sense.
          My grandfather was a long time inner city/ward councilman and was always at the forefront of Union activities, back in the  1920-1955 when anti union activities were even more violent and thugged up than they are now.  
        Much of the inner city industrial waste went into the Genesee River and Lake Ontario in a very ugly poisonous plume..that it didn't catch fire is coincidental.
          Poison people in the usual ways: no doubt, the city water supply comes from this diluted poisoned water.
          The Genesee is still providing power to the Rochester area and was the main engine of expansion and development in the region besides farming.

        ..squinting all the while in the glare of a culture that radiates ultraviolet consumerism and infrared celebrity...Russell Brand

        by KenBee on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 01:03:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  In just the past couple of days, I recalled (12+ / 0-)

    times when my parents and grandparents had showed me family photos from the 1880s, and I had thought, "Wow, that was a long time ago."  Then I recalled a Kodacolor shot I took of my grandfather's 1952 Plymouth and thought, "Wow, that was a long time ago."

    The Wall Street Journal likes to slip puns into its headlines.  This afternoon, it wrote," Kodak: Tech Firms Hastened Its Slide Into Bankruptcy."


    •  There was always something special (12+ / 0-)

      about film.  I love digital photography but maybe I'm just getting old as I look back fondley of days past that taking a picture was a Kodak Moment where everyone had to put on their Kodak Smile.....then, you brought your film to the camera shop or the local drug store and (gasp!!) had to wait 3 days to get the film developed and only then did you find out if your hand was steady, that no one blinked, that the flash went off and the planets lined up to get that perfect picture.  Out of 24 exposures (25 if you knew how to load the film good) maybe 18 developed and of those 18 - a little more than half were good.

      Grandpa had slides made for his Kodak Carousel Projector - the bulb could heat a small room and although my Granfather has been gone many years, I can still smell that projector and remember the sound of the fan and the mechanism that changed the slide.

      With digitals, they have to program iin the shutter sound.

      I know and love progress but I can't help but wonder what memories my children will have.

      There is something very romantic about the enire photography process that's lost.

      The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

      by ctexrep on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 08:01:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The comparatively high cost of film (5+ / 0-)

        and developing encouraged a photographer to stop and think about what he/she was doing. You could just click away like people do today and I really miss that.

        I was shooting 35mm film as recently as 2006 in Yosemite and when I was getting back in the car I dropped my Pentax LX. That was a sad day for me. It's probably repairable, but as yet I haven't taken it into the shop because I expect it will probably cost me $300 for the repair.

        Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

        by Mr Robert on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 10:45:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I use both. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xaxnar, KenBee, PinHole

          Film and digital are different media, and for that reason, film will survive.

          Although digital photography has now surpassed film in terms of resolution, that is not everything in many instances and even for snap-shooters the occasional disposable camera (which are reusable) proves indispensable.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 11:10:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Check ebay (4+ / 0-)

          You might be surprised. If all you need is a body, there are several for sale for way less than $300. If you've got a substantial investment in lenses, you might want to pick up another camera body 'just in case'.

          "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

          by xaxnar on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 04:12:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  high cost? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Anyone shooting 35mm doesn't have a clue what high cost means.

          I've been shooting 4X5 sheets for some time now, and brother, THAT is costly.

          If I weren't developing at home, I'd be paying $4.50 a negative just for development, then another $4.50 for a contact proof. That is on top of the film cost which is around $40 for a pack of 20, or $2 an exposure.

          If I could still get instant film that fit my instant film back, I'd be running through that stuff too for instant proofs, but I use my digital for proofing since I've got my lighting rigged up to work on my Nikon and my Speed Graphic.

          In short, for the cost of a single large format exposure, you could shoot 36 frames of 35mm. You want to talk about a camera that makes you slow down and take your time...

      •  On the other hand... (4+ / 0-)

        ...with digital, being able to take several different pictures of the same subject and keeping the one that turns out best can be a real advantage.  The low cost and instant results of digital can be a strength as well as a drawback.

        On another note:

        Try to figure out f stops, ISOs, focal lengths... These days you push the button, and a computer does the rest.

        Not necessarily -- there are many digital cameras that support semi-automatic or manual modes that can give you control over these things.  And what we learned on a 35-mm SLR can apply just as well on a D-SLR.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 05:43:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My current camera... (20+ / 0-)

    is a Kodak Easyshare z981. Pretty good camera for transitioning between a point and shoot and a full DSLR (which I'll hopefully be investing in one soon). My favorite feature is the Macro++ mode. Take really nice extreme close ups of things. I think Kodak's biggest mistake was not getting into the digital market sooner. I read somewhere they actually had some of the best early digital R&D, but the company didn't think it would over take film.

    "Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world." — Howard Zinn

    by blueyedace2 on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 06:28:38 PM PST

  •  Kodachrome may be gone (23+ / 0-)

    but you still learn crap in high school.

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 06:41:10 PM PST

  •  My dad took hundreds of photo slides during (7+ / 0-)

    the 60's and early 70's.  Most of them haven't seen the light of day for more than 20 years now.  He wants to copy them to the pc and try to do some color restoration on them.

    IIRC, what makes the color fade is exposure to natural sunlight.  I do know that lights will aid in the deterioration of fabrics.

    •  Kodachrome (10+ / 0-)

      There was an essential differnce between Ektachrome and Kodachrome. In Ektachrome, the colour dyes were introduced in the processing and replaced the silver image. In Kodachrome, the dyes were already in the film layers and the processing removed them where they were not needed to make up the image - which is partly why they had to be returned to Kodak for processing whereas Ektachrome could be locally processed, even by amateurs.

      As a result of its film technology, Kodachome was much more stable, especially as the processing was tightly quality controlled. In the end it was its downfall as with the loss of market, the number of processing stations worldwide were cut so huge postal delays were involved in sending it to the one per continent and eventually one worldwide where you could get it done.

      Fight poverty, oppression, hunger, ignorance, disease and aggression wherever they occur.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 07:26:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The slides I've been working with (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, xaxnar, nchristine, KenBee

      have been in decent shape -- they were in cabinets well protected from light which probably helped. (The one I just posted was from late 1959, and I haven't really done anything yet in terms of color correction in Photoshop.)

      Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes (modified)

      by Cali Scribe on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 08:47:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kodachrome , (16+ / 0-)

    what digital wants to be when it grows up .

    Kodachrome was invented in the early 1930s by two professional musicians, Leopold Godowsky, Jr. and Leopold Mannes;[10] hence the comment that "Kodachrome was made by God and Man"

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 06:55:46 PM PST

  •  My mother's sister, growing up in (11+ / 0-)

    the Great Depression had a goal to become a millionaire.  At eighteen in 1942 she got a job at Kodak.  Worked her way into the highest paying piece work job.  Retired forty odd years later.  Her goal more than achieved and still going strong.

    I, OTOH, now have a few worthless shares of Kodak stock.

  •  Reminisce with song..... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, lineatus, koNko, Matt Z

    Mama don't take my Kodachrome away....

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 07:41:34 PM PST

  •  I have a few shares of Kodak stock, which I've (12+ / 0-)

    held onto as it continued to slide, just out of hope that it was gonna come back.  

    Digital was killing them, but they did make some really good, inexpensive digital cameras.  I've had three - two that I updated for newer models, and the last one destroyed in a flash-flood at Yosemite this summer.  I went to replace it, and couldn't find any stores that sold Kodak digitals - I could only buy one online.  That's the point when I should have sold those few last shares of stock, I guess.  (I ended up with a Canon, and I don't like it nearly as much.)

    Two other warm fuzzy Kodak memories...

    After they set up a peregrine nest cam on Kodak tower (one of the first really good nest cams), they added a comment board.  The community that grew up around the birds was wonderful - kind of like some of the long-time communities here.  In 2003, I was honored to name one of the nestlings.  It was pretty awesome.  I think that year was just about the high water mark for the company, too.

    And the other, more literal warm fuzzy is our sun conure - Kodachrome.  She's named for the song, but about ten years ago, Kodak featured one of her kind on various promotional materials; I wrote and asked for a poster.


    Very sorry to see this happen.  They made some bad decisions, and just never recovered.  Damn.  I hope they can somehow regroup.  I really do want to get another one of their cameras....

    •  It's not over till it's over. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lineatus, martyc35, KenBee, hazey

      Imagine if you'd bought Apple stock at 25...

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 08:23:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  From the Peregrine cam in Rochester... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, xaxnar, PinHole, sb, hazey

      Some of my favorite bird pics came from that cam, and although I never had the privilege of naming one of the babies, I watched many of them hatch and fledge, and one of my osprey fellows lives in Rochester, and another acquaintance, a pottery collector, worked at Kodak. We have little connections all over the place:

      W. H. Auden: "We must love one another or die."

      by martyc35 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 12:02:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yep, see my comment somewhere up (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        martyc35, xaxnar, PinHole, sb, hazey

        Rochester family all bird watchers, an ornithologist cousin is marrying another ornithologist from Cornell this summer.

        Her uncle and mine was a Cornell grad and Canadian ornithologist and perfessor.

        ..squinting all the while in the glare of a culture that radiates ultraviolet consumerism and infrared celebrity...Russell Brand

        by KenBee on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 01:12:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's been coming for 25+ years (7+ / 0-)

    They were a photography giant for years, but didn't expand their options back in the 80's when digital photography started.  I worked for a large Kodak customer (CPI Corp=Fox Photo, Sears Portrait Studios, Walmart Portrait Studios, and many other photograghy related businesses) back in the 80's and I saw it coming way back then.

  •  I'll say a prayer for the "Great Yellow Father" (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, koNko, mayim, xaxnar, Matt Z, KenBee, sb

    I used to be really into photography. First as a student, then later as a graphics designer. The signature yellow boxes of paper became part of my life.

    I've always been a "process" person. I loved working in the darkroom, mixing up the chemicals, developing and enlarging, and mostly manipulating the processes to get the effects I was after. Unfortunately I ran short of time as my commitments grew.

    Additionally, I was completely floored in '03 when I could no longer obtain the materials I needed to use with my old copy camera (that still takes valuable space in my basement, much to my wife's lament). A tool that I once depended on suddenly became obsolete.

    Of course I'm into digital means of production now, but if I had the time, I'd still like to spend a bit in my darkroom, if the film is still available. I hope that Kodak survives to supply the basics in that regard.

    •  They could split into two parts, (6+ / 0-)

      similar to what HP did with spinning off their medical/scientific equipment into Agilent Corp. Not surprisingly, Agilent has been far healthier and stable than has HP, because they stuck with their core products that made HP famous back in the day, and Carly Fiorina didn't want to be bothered with that stuff so didn't run it into the ground like she did the mothership.

      A division between the digital section and the film products section could be the way to go; I'm not sure how much of the market share in digital Kodak has lost to folks like Nikon, Canon, and the like, especially in the P&S (Point and Shoot) category.

      Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes (modified)

      by Cali Scribe on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 08:53:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I say the opposite (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar, bleeding blue, KenBee, PinHole

        Keep the film and digital divisions as one and spin-off the printing business.

        Fuji has survived in better shape because they jumped into digital with both feet and narrowed the focus of the film business to professional products they continue to invest in while down-sizing the consumer film business, and subsequently, leveraging the digital technology developed for consumer markets to develop very high resolution industrial imaging technology (we use superb Fuji Laser Lithography printers in some of our processes).

        Kodak invented digital photography and has a lot of god technology and IP, they just stumbled in withholding it from market until they were surpassed by competitors.


        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 11:30:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My husband works for Eastman Chemical (6+ / 0-)

    here in Tennessee. We had a Kodak/Eastman spin off in or about 1995 I think it was. Glad we did now as Eastman is having some very good years. Sorry for all the people that this might hurt though at Kodak. My MIL (my FIL was the employee) still has her retiree insurance through Kodak though so that is worrisome. George Eastman brought a lot to our community as Eastman is one of the biggest employers in the state...good paying jobs with good benefits.

  •  For many years, (7+ / 0-)

    our circle of friends would be host to the MESS (MEga Slide Show), where members of the crew would show slides of various adventures and travels involving trains, trolleys, and other modes of transportation. The shows usually were in coincidence with a friend of ours from NYC coming out to visit (he went to high school out here, but moved to NYC for his job shortly after he got his Master's at MIT).

    That same friend is coming out to visit this weekend -- but the slides have been replaced by digital photography on DVD. No more "keystone" shots where the slide is off kilter, or stopping to replace a slide that had been inserted upside down or backwards, or making sure there were working projectors and/or bulbs. (Fortunately the "obligatory cute chick shots" remain even after many years of marriage for most of the gang.)

    Digital photography has made the art of photography even more accessible to the average person, not just in making things easier by automating much of the process (though the nice thing is you can still go on manual mode when desired), but by taking out the fear of a bad photo; no longer does taking a bad shot mean money down the drain because you can just discard the ones that are less than perfect.

    And Kodak made possible family moments like this:


    That's my spouse and his brother -- I'm in the process of scanning several years of slides taken by my late father in law, and that's one of them. (My spouse's reaction: "Why would he take that picture?"; spouse's mother's reaction: "Of course he would take that picture!")

    Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes (modified)

    by Cali Scribe on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 08:45:39 PM PST

  •  Time marches on. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cali Scribe, Shotput8, koNko, xaxnar, KenBee

    I loved Kodachrome and Extachrome but digital is now much superior.  For anyone serious about photography taking the picture is just the first step.  I developed my own B/W film and prints but like most people a color darkroom was beyond me.  Finally I have complete control over the entire process.

    I wouldn't be able to share these with you if I'd taken them with film this afternoon.  

    Olympia WA got 14 inches of snow yesterday which was the most in a 24 hr period in 40 years and thanks to digital photography it's well documented.  Here are my snow birds from downtown where I live.  

    Snow Crow


    The Feeding Flock-Glacious Winged Gulls-Don't call me a Seagull.  


    Snowy (Icy) Owl- Artwork from Percival Landing Park.


    The Kiss-Statue-Talk about frigid


    Our cause is FAIRNESS. FAIRNESS for the masses. Our cause HOPE. HOPE for a better life and a better world. Yes WE Can, Yes WE Will. Together WE will OCCUPY THE WORLD. Let it be.

    by YellerDog on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 08:53:02 PM PST

  •  I can't scan (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wenchacha, Mr Robert, koNko, xaxnar, Matt Z, KenBee

    but the two most brilliant photos I ever took were with Kodak film in my Pentax K1000 SLR with a macro lens -- a poppy at Hancock Shaker Village and a blown milkweed on the side of the road.  Digital would never be as vibrant and glorious.  Both pictures are about 25 years old and still fresh.  

    Thank god Fuji still makes film.  RIP Kodak -- you've broken my heart -- especially when you discontinued Ektachrome.

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 09:05:13 PM PST

  •  best tech support in the world... (10+ / 0-)

    I always loved calling their tech support...
    1-800-242-2424 was my magic number for years

    I called them with all kinds of questions...learned a lot

    you could never stump those people no matter how crazy the question

    photographers would joke about it

    there was a guy from Penn Camera ( also filed bankruptcy ) who told me "you could say I accidentally dumped my film in dog urine and the Kodak guy would say ' was it poodle urine sir? although Kodak does not recommend poodle urine, most customers that use it have gotten the best results at 72 degrees with 5 seconds of agitation every 30 seconds for 5 minutes followed by a 5% sodium sulfite clearing bath followed by a 15 minute water wash....thank you for calling Kodak' "

    PLEASE donate to a global children's PEACE project: Chalk 4 Peace

    by RumsfeldResign on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 09:14:37 PM PST

  •  a moment of silence for TECH PAN (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, koNko, xaxnar, Matt Z, PinHole

    amazing film

    PLEASE donate to a global children's PEACE project: Chalk 4 Peace

    by RumsfeldResign on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 09:15:05 PM PST

    •  Now add: Pan-X & Tri-X. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, megisi, PinHole, KenBee

      Which defined American journalistic photography for decades.

      I used to use a fair amount of Tech Pan (but with Ilford developing chemistry) and when I left the US in 1988 I had a freezer full of Tech Pan "Bricks" which I gave to a friend because I didn't think it would survive container shipping intact after defrosting.

      I later tried T-max but didn't like it as much, didn't have the time for the learning curve I suppose.

      The last time I moved I found the developing tank I used for Tech Pan wrapped in a rotting changing bag. Sad moment!

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 11:47:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I still have a roll of tech pan (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        AND several of the HIE BW IR film

        PLEASE donate to a global children's PEACE project: Chalk 4 Peace

        by RumsfeldResign on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:11:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How old? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xaxnar, KenBee

          As I recall Tech Pan was last produced in the 1990s and discontinued as a stocked product in the early 00s. If you keep it in a freezer it could last at least 30 years beyond the production date. That film is actually quite valuable - so naturally I gave my last couple of bricks away just after I didn't buy Apple stock. Ha-ha.

          A couple of the things that made Tech Pan good were the thin acetate base and fine grained cubic salts that enabled push-processing without excessive graininess.

          I believe a reasonable substitute you can try (save that roll of Tech Pan for something special) is Adox CHS 25 Art, the ISO25 has a similar tonal range and red light sensitivity as Tech Pan so very good for shooting in strong natural light.

          There is still a lot of HIE stock around if you want to buy some, I think the last production was around 2005 or so.

          I'm curious about the production date of that Tech Pan if you  don't mind.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 10:01:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  not sure where it is now...maybe in fridge (0+ / 0-)

            if I see it I'll check the date

            I have some HIE in the fridge...I need to either use it or give it to one of my friends who does great IR work

            I also miss the Agfa 25...that was also a great film

            many moons ago I was having fun doing macro shots of first I used Tmax p3200  & got cool shots...grainy, but cool...then I switched to Tech Pan and WOW....I could see the hairs on the legs of the flies

            PLEASE donate to a global children's PEACE project: Chalk 4 Peace

            by RumsfeldResign on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 09:42:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  a loss for God and Man (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koNko, xaxnar

    [insert Kodachrome story here]

    PLEASE donate to a global children's PEACE project: Chalk 4 Peace

    by RumsfeldResign on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 09:15:32 PM PST

  •  I got my Brownie Starflash when I was 10 (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, koNko, xaxnar, megisi, PinHole, KenBee

    and took it to the University of Michigan as a freshman. My Dad let me borrow one of his old Leicas after my junior year, and the parents gave me a Leica M-4 for graduation, so I have never had a Kodak camera again. But I've used Kodak film pretty much forever. Until I got my Nikon Coolpix.

    Mr pixxer, pixxer-son and I have been sorting and scanning slides lately, interestingly enough (got a scanner for Christmas!). Mr p found an old Leica slide projector (the condenser on our old Sawyer cracked) and found two slide trays online, and we had a slide evening last Sunday. But of course, that was to figure out which slides to scan...

    "Maybe this is how empires die - their citizens just don't deserve to be world leaders anymore." -Kossack Puddytat, In a Comment 18 Sept 2011

    by pixxer on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 09:28:32 PM PST

  •  I alwyas thought Paul Simon was a poet, but (6+ / 0-)

    when the last roll of Kodachrome was shot by Steve McCurry Simon was asked to be a subject of one of the slides. He said no. Paul, you truly blew it.

    "Maybe this is how empires die - their citizens just don't deserve to be world leaders anymore." -Kossack Puddytat, In a Comment 18 Sept 2011

    by pixxer on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 09:36:15 PM PST

  •  The need to get better at handling (0+ / 0-)

    Digital pictures. From what I have seen with many people I have worked with, it's a real pain to work with Kodak cameras, getting the pictures on your PC to work with them.

  •  I still have my Cannon AE-1 Program (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koNko, xaxnar, nchristine, PinHole, KenBee

    That camera has gone everywhere with me, from Portugal to Thailand, from Alaska to Australia.  It's been up Mt. Rainier, has crossed Olympic National Park, and has been to Yellowstone, Glacier, and North Cascades national parks.  It's photographed hunting and fishing trips, childrens' baby steps, friends & family, air shows, and road trips.

    Me and that old camera go back a long, long ways and it's shot everything from Kodachrome and Ektachrome slide film to Kodacolor and Fuji negatives.  It taught me shutter speeds, f-stops, film speeds, filters, flashes, and...most of all...patience and attention to composition.

    I don't use the Cannon anymore because digital photography is more convenient, but my Cannon won't end up on E-Bay or in a pawn shop.  It and its battered Cordura nylon bag and extra lenses remain as heirlooms, not unlike my stepmother's old Leica twin lens parallax.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by DaveinBremerton on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 11:25:59 PM PST

  •  Well there's one we can't blame on globalization (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PinHole, xaxnar

    It was actual bad business decisions!  

    But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

    by Rich in PA on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 05:39:02 AM PST

  •  Kodak.... (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    megisi, nchristine, PinHole, sb, xaxnar, KenBee

    wow... where do you start?  My Mom had a Brownie camera -first camera I remember. We had a succession of Instamatic cameras, the cube flash was an inspired idea! I got a 35mm camera  for my HS graduation in 1978, and it still works.. I still use it some, but my oldest daughter has it now for B&W work.  I've been a Kodak film bigot since forerver. I hate to think how many rolls of K25, K64, and K200 I used to take my train pictures, and my honeymoon pics, and heavens know what else.  They're still in great shape, having been kept dark and cool. Friends using Fuji slide film from the 80's and 90's are already seeing their slides go 'green'.  And, then I went to work for Kodak for 5 years, in their New Service Business group working on computers.  One of the best things Kodak had for its employees in Rochester was the photo lab that employees could use, at cost.  And, they had folks there that really Knew What They Were Doing to assist with printing, dodging, burning, etc, to get the best enlargments you could get from your slides.  I loved the fact that your business cards had your picture on it.. they had a professional photo studio that they took your ID and business card picture, and let you choose from the best one of a bunch. One of the more fun things during that time was when folks asked me where I worked, and I said, Kodak!  Everyone knew that company, and had Kodak Moments to share.  I do think that the instutitional focus on film, and associated products blinded them to the upcoming digitial revolution. Who takes a film camera with them when your phone, for goodness sake has an 8mp camera in it?

  •  I remember visiting the Kodak Pavilion (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sb, xaxnar, KenBee

    at Expo 67 in Montreal. Shareholders got their own entrance so that they didn't have to wait in line like the rest of us. Kodak seemed like an enduring giant then.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 06:10:56 AM PST

  •  I blame myself (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milkbone, megisi, nchristine, KenBee, hazey

    I used to shoot a lot of Ektachrome. In the 70s, I carried my SLR almost everywhere I went. And then a few years ago, I stopped shooting real film and started taking digital photos. So, it's my fault Kodak is going bankrupt.

    I went to a one-day photography school in the early 1970s. The instructors were National Geographic photographers. They explained that they always had their film processed by Kodak, in order to get the most professional results with the truest color.

    I still have a functioning Ektachrome Carousel Projector, which I used for decades for slide shows. I remember using it at a conference in 2000.

    Now I'm in the process of digitizing thousands of old slides.

    Join the 48ForEastAfrica Blogathon for the famine in east Africa: Donate to Oxfam America

    by JayC on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 06:15:17 AM PST

  •  My Kodak moment (6+ / 0-)

    Last year, a visiting speaker at our church requested a projector for her slides of her mission trip. I was surprised to hear the request for a slide projector, but I complied. I pulled out my trusty Ektachrome Carousel Projector, a 20-foot push-button remote, and an empty carousel and brought them for her use at the event.

    It turned out, of course, that what she actually wanted was a projector for her Powerpoint presentation. Needless to say, she was puzzled by my quaint interpretation of her simple request, and I experienced a moment of what we used to call Future Shock — a term we used back when we used slide projectors.

    So, of course, I just hooked up her laptop to our installed digital projector, lowered our installed screen, lent her my digital remote, and she was ready to present. My Ektachrome projector stayed in its box at the back of the room.

    And I guess that sums up the situation Kodak faces.

    Join the 48ForEastAfrica Blogathon for the famine in east Africa: Donate to Oxfam America

    by JayC on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 06:34:41 AM PST

  •  Kodak memories (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    megisi, hazey

    My dad's first good camera was a Kodak Retina, which was a rangefinder (I think that's the term) camera built in Germany for Kodak.  Nice camera, and I still have it.  I had the obligatory Kodak instamatic with the flashcube on top. My mom got one of the smaller instamatics that used the 110 film instead of the larger format.  I remember my dad stocking up on "mailers" prior to family vacations.  Just drop your exposed film into the pre-paid mailer, put in in a mailbox anywhere in the world, and with any luck your photos would be in your mailbox when you arrived home, or at least soon afterwards.  
    Back in the '80s I did tons of work doing A/V support for corporate meetings and such, and the favored presentation format then was 35mm Ektachrome slides.  24 or more slide projectors hooked up to dissolve units controlled by a PC synchronized to a reel-to-reel tape deck.  If a client needed to make last-minute changes on-site, we'd have to call back to the office, have them transmit the revised image to a local service bureau via modem, and pick up the processed film an hour or two later.  Eventually, I got out of that end of the business, right around the time powerpoint-like software was starting to replace the slides and video projectors were replacing those towers of noisy Ektagraphic projectors.  (There's nothing like hitting a key on a pc and hearing 24 projectors in an empty ballroom doing that "clack-clack-clack" noise as they all locate to a particular spot in a program.)
    I haven't shot film in ages.  I had a few unopened rolls in the fridge as recently as a few years ago, but I tossed them out.

  •  An unmarketable skill... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bill W, nchristine, KenBee, hazey, JayC

    ...I learned how to develop slide film. Back in the days before videos and phones with cameras, I could delight church camps by taking slides during the week, developing them on the last night, and mounting a slide show for lunch on the last day. I had the whole chemistry set.

    The video camera did me in. My audience (4th thru 6th grade mostly) did not appreciate the "slice in time" memories as much as they loved seeing and hearing their actions.

    BUT I did take one last set of slides during a youth work trip to a Habitat for Humanity project. Now, nearly twenty years later, I have scanned them and am sharing some of the results with the folks who were on that trip. The kids are all grown up; the adults are all a little grayer. But the pictures turn out to be a wonderful reminder of quite a week. I did get some good shots with that SLR camera; I've never been able to frame up the same way with video.

    Thanks, Kodak, for letting me play with your chemistry set. It kept me out of trouble for several years.

  •  For photogs, Kodak is ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nchristine, PinHole, KenBee

    ... a mixed bag of amazement and disgust, love and hate.

    The pro who ran the first intensive summer workshop I ever attended called Kodak "The Great Yellow Father" and never referred to the company by name. Yet, he used Kodak papers exclusively and made us use Tri-X and Pan-X all summer ... no color, no crutch.

    Even though, years later, I largely switched to Agfa and Fuji for their cooler tones and better color depth, Tri-X and Kodachrome still seem like miracles to me. I love everything about Kodak-branded stuff, from the antique 5-gallon stoneware chemical jug proudly on display in my living room to the old oak printing frames in my collection to the hundreds of pieces of my own work shot on Kodak film and printed on Kodak paper (I never made it to the pros, just an amateur with a camera-and-film fetish).

    I'm currently looking for a good deal on an old advertising sign from TGYF and an antique Kodak kerosene safelight ... oddly, it seems, those lights were painted red.

  •  Ahhh..Kodak moments (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, JayC

    After I graduated from college I went to sea for a living. Having few responsibilities and cash to burn, I got into photography. I ended up outfitting myself with a pair of Olympus bodies (OM1, fully manual and an OM10, semi-automatic) and an assortment of Zukio lenses ranging from 18mm to 500mm. Early on I discovered the miraculous film in the form of Kodachrome 25. A very slow speed color slide film. (One camera body was always loaded with it, the other a faster Ektachrome, I only shot slide film) The color saturation and dept of the prints made from it were beyond compare. A good picture crossed the boundary from a mere photo into serious art.
    Using the film demanded concentration as well as a good understanding of available light and the limitations of both lens and camera. It forced you to look at the scene, study it, get into it and finally capture it. To use that film one had to be patient. Early on it made me appreciate nature along with it's power. It probably helped guide me toward my ultimate career in environmental policy and science.
    When Kodak stopped manufacturing the film I packed the camera gear away in a dented and well traveled Halliburton case. I have switched to digital for the convenience, but nothing will ever take away the awesome experience upon viewing the images of storms,  Tierra del Fuego, morning in Manhattan, etc that those images provided.
    My daughter is now using those lenses on her Cannon with an adapter as she pursues a career in media. Me I am going to pull out those albums again and have a few more shots printed.....

  •  1985 Kodak "waterproof" camera (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, KenBee

    "Surf" my  10 yr old yellow lab surfing...

    "surf" 1985

    Brrrrrrrrr "Wetsuit weather" Brrrrrrrr

    by surfdog on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 09:14:56 AM PST

  •  I'm nostalgic for the Kodachrome era, but ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... I surely don't miss lugging around that 35 mm camera.

    "It does not require many words to speak the truth." -- Chief Joseph, native American leader (1840-1904)

    by highfive on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 09:36:57 AM PST

  •  I got my start with Tri-X Pan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Then switched to Kodacolor. Until Velvia came along. It was tough to justify paying more money than I had to; I was on a budget when it came to film purchases.

    I don't have anything to show here but I have tons and tons of prints (and, I believe, two sets of slides) stored in boxes at home. One of my long-panned projects is to scan everything that still either looks good or that I can remember the reason for shooting.

    I don't think I ever actually owned a Kodak camera; I went from borrowing my folks' Instamatics to owning an Olympus OM-1 (now THAT was a great camera!). I started out shooting Tri-X Pan and developing it using a friend's equipment; his lab was his bedroom closet.

    I really should pull out and scan some of the pictures I took early on; I have a lovely photo of the bridge that leads into and out of Penn Station in Newark, NJ as well as a rather lovely portrait of a young lady who worked in the pharmacy near where I lived back then.

  •  This is sad news. Almost as sad as Lady Gaga (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, KenBee

    (gawd, I actually typed that name!) being "The new face of Polaroid." How fallen are the mighty...

    At the Chrysler Museum here in Norfolk, VA, there was an exhibit of some of the giant photos that were mounted in Grand Central Terminal over a span of 40 years. Most of the ones with people were annoyingly "staged," always including someone using a movie camera, but gorgeous Kodachrome color. When I was growing up, Kodak was photography.

  •  My dad worked there for 30 years (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, PinHole, KenBee, hazey

    My dad worked there for over 30 years as an engineer.  He was responsible for an enormous machine that melted plastic down into thin sheets for xray film.  

    He got the "early retirement" package back in the early 2000's-- AKA, "take this severance now or we'll probably lay you off".  They were a good company for a long time, but really just too slow to catch onto the digital age.

    My dad passed a couple of years ago, but was still receiving a pension and health benefits from Kodak.  My mom was still receiving the same for the past year since he passed.  She's ok for money, but not sure what's going to happen with her insurance.

    •  Kodak and the workforce (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lollol, martyc35, KenBee, hazey

      The sense I'm getting here is that Kodak used to be a really good company to work for - good pay, benefits, retirement. And, a good corporate citizen, or at least George Eastman was. Rochester would be a very different city if he'd never opened shop there.

      All the things 'modern' companies and the big money boys don't give a fig about - as long as they can increase shareholder value and fill their own pockets.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 10:53:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was an amazing company (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar, sb, KenBee, hazey

        And I say that as a rare Rochesterian (fifth-generation, yet!) with almost no Kodak blood running yellow through my family's veins.

        Yet I benefit every day from the largesse George Eastman and his associates lavished on this community, most recently in my wife's lengthy stay at the hospital named for Eastman's business partner Henry Alvah Strong.

        Eastman established a tradition of philanthropy that's still alive and well here, and whatever happens to Kodak, the city's much better for it.

        Intended to be a factual statement.

        by ipsos on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 02:16:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Shoot film while you can (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    People think film costs more than digital but when you consider the cost of the digital cameras and a computer to fix your pictures then you realize film is still cheap.

    Film gives pictures far superior to digital.

    Buy some film and use it !

  •  Just bought Kodak Digital Camera (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, Caelian, PinHole, hazey

    I just bought the very cheapest new digital camera, $89 on amazon, a Kodak easy share digital camera. It is by far, the best digital camera I've owned. Much better than my Casio, and HP point and shoot digitals.

    "But Brandine, you're supposed to be in Iraq stopping 911!"

    by leftyguitarist on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 01:26:49 PM PST

    •  At the other end (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, PinHole, leftyguitarist, KenBee, hazey

      of the scale Kodak make the sensor for the big Pentax, which the Canons and Nikons can't hope to touch. Although even here Kodak seem to have given over the medium format digital space to Dalsa (who make the chip for the eye-wateringly expensive IQ180 back).

      This news is a crying shame. They had some of the best scientists and engineers in the industry, who invented the technology and who gave the company everything it needed to be the flagship of the field. And management who somehow frittered it all away and drove it to bankruptcy. Wonder who gets paid better?

  •  They already took my Kodachrome away :( (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, KenBee

    Now there just doesn't seem to be anything special about Kodak.  They make meh digital cameras, and some good B&W film -- but sadly, the market for that is not what it used to be, and frankly, it's not that hard to make good B&W film.  

    I think Kodak should spin off most of its film departments as a specialty market, and treat it as such.  Serve the crazy artists who love film, particularly B&W, and who can wax eloquent over why T-MAX grain structure sucks compared to Portra.  Serve the art students who -have- to use film (though those are becoming fewer and fewer each year) and the holographers and the crazy people who want to do massive prints, etc.  Hell, bring back Kodachrome -- particularly in medium and large formats.  Sure, it's a crazy pain in the ass to develop, but people who shot in Kodachrome were already used to sending it off to get developed.

    ...Oddly enough, I'm guessing that their photopaper departments haven't been hit as hard, since a lot of places still print digital pictures on silver-halide based photopaper.  

    •  It may well be... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, KenBee

      that the consumer divisions will be spun off as a separate company. They're still profitable, apparently, albeit far less so than in the glory days.

      But it bears noting that what we tend to think of as "Kodak" is actually just a small part of a much large whole. Over the years, Kodak grew into a lot of product lines that had little to do with little yellow boxes. Some of those (Eastman Chemical, Carestream, ITT Exelis) have already been spun off over the decades as separate companies, which makes it a little deceptive to compare Kodak employment in the glory days to the 6,000 or so working for Kodak-proper in Rochester now.

      Intended to be a factual statement.

      by ipsos on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 02:19:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We've been crying (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, sb, KenBee, hazey

    The photographers I regularly talk with saw this coming, but it landed like a boxers right to the jaw anyway.

    First it was Kodachorme, then suddenly we're looking down the barrel of no more Tri-X, no more XTOL, no more Portia VC, and while Fuji does make some fine products, they aren't Kodak.

  •  victim of its success it was unable to innovate (0+ / 0-)
    •  It could innovate - but could not let go (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tari, KenBee

      It takes a lot of courage to reinvent a company. In the marketing of tech-based products, the challenge is to come up with new products that not only beat your competition, they beat your own older products. It's a variation of planned obsolescence. Companies that learn how to do it right can thrive.

      If you think of Kodak as film, and film cameras, it seems as though that's what managers seemed to think too. They kept trying to re-invent the Brownie camera. I remember the original Instamatic camera. Then there was the 110, then the Disc camera.

      Smaller, lighter - but still largely about using film. There were attempts to go digital - Photo CD tech, APS film which could encode data on negatives for processing, and other such efforts. But Kodak never quite figured out how to market them or price them in a way that made them take off. They were always worried about cannibalizing their regular product lines.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 03:03:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My Kodachrome moment came when I was 24. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, hazey

    Until then I had lived in Texas with fall colors being predominantly brown leaves. And then in Colorado where all the aspens turn bright yellow. But I got drafted and posted to Kentucky where I saw a hillside of hardwoods in full brilliant fall colors that I had presumed to be a trick of Kodachrome chemistry until I saw that the film was actually  really recording the truth.

    Republicans aren't so bad as long as they don't move next door, try to marry my child, or run for public office.

    by OHdog on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 05:58:45 PM PST

  •  Kodak Moment (0+ / 0-)

    Crossing the country by bus in '68, I found as we went over the Rockies that the boxes of Instamatic film in my bag were blowing up. The film had been sealed inside foil bags in Rochester at a lower altitude, and going up a few thousand feet made a noticeable difference.

    A bit of film chemical-smelling air from Rochester everywhere I went that summer....

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 06:26:19 PM PST

  •  I was born in Rochester because my dad (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    worked at Kodak.  We moved away when I was only 6 months old so I don't remember too much.

  •  Kodachrome blue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Whenever I see an intensely blue sky, I think of it as Kodachrome blue.

    It's the kind of blue that shows up so beautifully on a Kodachrome slide.

    Join the 48ForEastAfrica Blogathon for the famine in east Africa: Donate to Oxfam America

    by JayC on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 08:10:08 PM PST

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