No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

When everything looked better in black and white

When I was little, we had an old electric blanket box that lived on top of a wardrobe in the spare room.  Every now and again, my Mum would take it down and we'd go through the piles and piles of photos inside.  My Dad, rail thin with winged glasses and a pipe in his mouth, standing next to his first car, my Mum in satin at a dinner dance, photos of my sisters and me when we were babies.  I remember one of my sisters, smiling and dressed in matching purple crimpline (it was the 70s), and me between them looking worried in a check dress.  Apparently, I hadn't wanted the nice man to take my photo and had had a hissy fit.  In among the prints were the negatives.  We'd hold them up to the light and look at the world in miniature, full of light and shadow.  I thought it was magic.

For years, long after digital cameras arrived, I persisted with film, much the same way people kept their record collections after CDs came along.  But, when we moved to Africa, I traded in my film camera (oh, the folly) because I knew the heat and dust would do no good and the development facilites would be poor.  Now, I don't think twice most days about film.  I love the liberation of taking a chance with my photographs, knowing that the duff ones will disappear with the click of a button.  I think I'm the better photographer for it.  But today, the luddite in me can't help but lament the passing of Kodak.  Was it arrogance that made them think that they didn't need to keep up with the change in how we take photos?  Or, rightly or wrongly, did they think this was all a passing phase?  Will we go back to film like some people are with vinyl?  What do you reckon?

Incidentally, when my cousin was at school, her English teacher asked the class to write out the words of a song that meant a lot to them and bring it into read.  The first few lines of this strike me as the perfect response.

No photos today.  It didn't seem right.


  1. Ah, Kodachrome! What a song and what film! Yes, Kodak was foolish but I'm not sure film will disappear.
    Your new house is looking amazing already and what a way to leave New York. That's what I call style!

  2. So terribly sad about the demise of Kodak. They were naive and foolish in not changing their strategy and it really is the end of an era. Having said that, I ditched film for digital at the first opportunity!

  3. No I don't think we will go back to film, people want it and they want it now! Love your Simon and Garfunkel link! Have a great weekend, love Linda x By the way I was shocked to learn that you were a kid in the 70's I had you down as a much younger person!

  4. Yay!! At last I can post a comment on yours - tried last week and couldnt!
    New house is looking really good, you've been working so hard!
    Must admit I personally do love the instant results with digital and dont mourn film as I never used to get round to getting the films processed!

    Happy home making!
    Gill xx


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