Goodbye, Slides   Leave a comment

At the beginning of this month, Kodak announced it was discontinuing slide film. Kodak’s troubles are fairly well known. In short: it failed to figure out what its place was in the world of digital photography.

I got into photography as many folks did, in the digital era. Prior to that, it was an expensive process–every picture had an incremental cost over the cost of the camera. My dad and father-in-law were both shutterbugs (my father-in-law more than my dad). My father-in-law seemed to shoot nearly exclusively slide film. He has trays and trays of slides documenting my wife’s family. It’s one of the great things about photography.

I can see why slides would be one of the first types of film to start to die off: beyond the need for the film and either external processing or a wet darkroom, additional hardware (in the form of a light table or a slide projector) is required wherever you wish to view the slides. The “big enough for all to see” can often be accomplished by a computer monitor, and most TVs have inputs that will work as well.

I have mixed emotions over the death of film. On one hand, it is sad to see a bit of our technological heritage die off. On the other hand, digital photography has made it more accessible to so many more people, including myself. Overall, I think that is the true benefit.


Posted 2012-03-04 by Mr. Guilt in Photography

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