Kevin, Catalog (reflexive)

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Big Agnes Ascent


(view film here)

Pinhole Camera
high-contrast 16mm black and white negative film
hand-developed and digitally scanned

Antonio M. Perez, CEO, Eastman-Kodak Corporation

So, I'm responding to this on several levels. On one hand I want to take the camera away from this guy, he's doing it all wrong. We at Eastman-Kodak pride ourselves on achieving unparalleled image quality, giving you something hyperreal and larger than life - so I can't imagine what the appeal might be, to make something this smudgy and jittery and just plain... weird.

I mean, we've been working for a hundred years on film technology, really elaborate chemical processes of coating film specifically so that no-one would have to settle for images like these. And yet, he must be doing it on purpose, because certainly he could've achieved better results with a $100 used video camera if he wanted to.

So if this is intentional, I guess it must be some kind of reference to the dawn of cinema, back in the early days of experimentation with photography and moving images, the salad days for George Eastman, who probably couldn't imagine the level of quality and consistency we'd be able to achieve in this industry a hundred years later in his wildest dreams.

And I guess it also makes me kind of sad, because we had a good run, that lasted more than a hundred years, and now the company is, frankly, kind of in decline - we're selling off a lot of our patents, for processes and techniques which took some of the lab guys their whole careers to develop.

The official line is that we're adapting and evolving, and you know, getting into all this digital acquisition and projection and whatnot - and that's great, don't get me wrong. But even though we're all excited about the future here, at Kodak, it seems unlikely that we'll ever be in the enviable position of like 90% market share of photographic technology in the USA again.

Oh well.

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