Photo industry mourns Kodak

2012-01-20 10:43
A file picture shows empty film rolls before recycling at a kodak laboratory in Vitrolles, France. (Gerad Julien, AFP)

A file picture shows empty film rolls before recycling at a kodak laboratory in Vitrolles, France. (Gerad Julien, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - Photographers, professionals and amateurs alike, are mourning the end of an era after Eastman Kodak, which produced the cameras and film many started hobbies and careers with, filed for bankruptcy.

While Kodak could still recover after court-supervised restructuring and selling off assets, the company that did more to popularise photography in the 20th century than any other is unlikely to claw back the ground taken over by digital cameras and memory sticks.

From the simplicity of its Brownie cameras to the brilliant colours of its Kodachrome film, Kodak was a constant presence in the lives of three generations of amateur and professional photographers around the world.

That will be sorely missed, said Henry Posner, corporate communications director at B&H Photo, New York's Mecca for camera shoppers.

"Everybody in the photography industry is impacted," he said. "You can't be a professional photographer or an avid amateur and not feel the ripple of it."

"When I started photography ... Kodak was what you put in your camera. From an emotional point of view, this is a serious situation.... I hope Kodak comes out healthy and strong and keeps making available every product our customer can buy."

Preserving memories

Kodak founder George Eastman began experimenting with film rolled around a spool in the 1880s, and launched Eastman Kodak in 1892 in Rochester, New York.

To sell the film, the company developed a simple low-priced camera, the Kodak Brownie, that introduced millions to photography.

"You push the button and we do the rest," Kodak's advertisements told consumers, and millions took up the challenge.

Eventually, the company's cameras, film, slide projectors and home videos came to preserve the memories of generations of Americans and others around the world.

In 1932, the year a depressed Eastman killed himself, the company began selling the first filmstock for amateur movie makers. It also developed home 8mm movie projectors, all of which gave way to the Super 8 movie technology of the 1960s.

And "Kodak Moment" - the company's advertising catchphrase for its film - became embedded deep in the US vernacular.

Unprepared

At its height in the 1980s, the company had 145 000 workers, and was seen as the Apple or Google of its day, a leading innovator able to attract the most creative scientists to become.

NASA lunar orbiters in the 1960s brought back some of the earliest images of the moon's surface on Kodak film, and the first astronauts to walk on the moon documented their historic expedition with a shoe box-sized Kodak camera.

Kodak also furnished the film for countless Hollywood movies, including 80 Oscar-winning "Best Pictures", and it won nine Academy Awards of its own for scientific and technical excellence, according to the company website.

But when digital cameras began to appear in the mid-1990s, the company - which had already years earlier developed its own digital technology - was unprepared and lost the market to more nimble Asian producers.

No one needed film anymore, and Kodak fell behind in the race to sell the cameras themselves.

It was an ominous sign last year when the company stopped producing its Kodachrome film, long the standard of quality for photographers.

For many, it was like losing a limb.

Forced change


"Photographers developed a type of seeing depending on the kind of film they're using. So, if you're a colour shooter and you've been working on Kodachrome for 30 years, you see on Kodachrome," said Karen Probasco, editorial account manager in New York for the renowned photo agency Magnum.

"So what happens when it goes away? It changes the way you process," she said.

Read more on:    kodak  |  us
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Camping gear!

We’ve got all your camping must have’s right here at mind blowing low prices. Check them out now!

Herbex – buy 3 & get 1 free!

Fat burn packs, appetite control chewies, stretch mark cream and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

30% off Jinger Jack handbags

Spice up your wardrobe and save 30% on stylish Jinger Jack handbags. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 books & pay for 2

The cheapest of the 3 books will be free. Offer valid while stocks last. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

Deal of the week!

Hisense 40” Full HD LED Television now R3999. Offer valid while stocks last. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to network and share your ideas and thoughts with your colleagues and friends. Information overload is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.