Photography pioneer Kodak files for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

2

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  • Reply 21 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by enzos View Post


    Pioneers and innovators since the year dot. Here's a test of a Kodachrome two color process in 1922. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_RTnd3Smy8 a treasure from the past.



    Amazing quality... Looking at those girls and realizing that this was before the invention of hair dryers, talking movies, and modern brassieres.
  • Reply 22 of 54
    nceencee Posts: 855member
    They like Apple had the ability to change or create change in the world of photography. They were in the forefront for many years, and by not putting their balls on the chopping block and going with the digital age, they shot themselves in the foot.



    How much this could have changed or be different nobody will ever know, but I for one feel that many of these changes over the last 10 or more years, gave Kodak plenty of time to join the masses. But hey, what do I know ? not enough for anyone to care or listen.



    Skip
  • Reply 23 of 54
    techboytechboy Posts: 183member
    What a shame...they failed to adapt and transform their core business to digital age. They may re-emerge in a few years and still with little to show for. It is another classic management failure in the making for years.
  • Reply 24 of 54
    Another company completely f***** up by former CEO Patricia Russo, they never recovered since then. Another company led not too long ago by Patricia Russo: Alcatel-Lucent. They're also in trouble, shocking...
  • Reply 25 of 54
    dbtincdbtinc Posts: 134member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post






    Sad - the Great Yellow Father is near death. Another example of the Big not adapting to the Now. Lousy management. As said in the song - Please don't take my Kodachrome away - but they did.
  • Reply 26 of 54
    obamaobama Posts: 62member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


    Really? And here I was thinking film was going to make a comeback in 2012 and overtake digital. This is utterly shocking news.



    Seriously, not sure if I'm so sad. Not like nobody could see this coming years ago. Was it also a sad day when casette tapes, VHS, and CRT TVs died off? It's called progress.



    Every day the people on this forum show their age.
  • Reply 27 of 54
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TKu View Post


    Wow, a bit unexpected.



    The film business was going down the drain, the few enthusiasts that still use it are not enough.

    But as they are also making big sensors for middle format cameras and probably also for medical and research companis, thought that would bring enough cash to keep them afloat.



    Actually, the few enthusiasts who still use film probably ARE enough for a film business to succeed.



    The problem is that Kodak never seemed to grasp the idea that it was going to change from a high volume low cost business to a low volume high cost niche. Had they restructured years ago, the specialty film business would probably be profitable - albeit at a much smaller size than the current size of their film business. A few hundred employees instead of tens of thousands, for example.



    And, with proper leadership, Kodak would have been leading the way into digital rather than being a 'bit' player.
  • Reply 28 of 54
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,334member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BryantR View Post


    What is the leadership saying regarding this? Do they have an excuse?



    They 'didn't see it coming' more than likely!
  • Reply 29 of 54
    hodarhodar Posts: 336member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Really?



    Did you mourn this much when they put a bullet in 8-track tapes?



    Poor analogy. 8-Track was simply one of many media.



    Film, for over 100 years was the ONLY practical media for preserving memories - available to every family.



    I'm sure you are too young to realize, but for over 100 years the only way to capture memories, was through film. Museaums are full of the artistic expression that used to be only available through years of experience working with film - and Kodak was the king.



    When homes were destroyed by fires or floods, people risked their lives rescuing family members, pets and the most cherished possessions they had, photo albums. True photography is an art form that has been killed by technology, and thousands of lives were influenced by this. If you dig through almost any home, somewhere in the house is likely a shoebox full of memories - taken on Kodak film, and likely printed on Kodak paper.



    A little respect for a company that is passing, that harmed no one - yet brought happiness and preserved memories for generations isn't that much to ask.
  • Reply 30 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hodar View Post


    I'm sure you are too young to realize



    Careful.



    Quote:

    True photography is an art form that has been killed by technology,



    That's untrue.
  • Reply 31 of 54
    hodarhodar Posts: 336member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post


    SO what happened? Were the Kodak board and the CEO really old old people? Were they so out of touch that they could not even compete and lead the industry? Are they all 90 year old men with a backwards attitude? Really Kodak created the first DSLR camera. The Nikon (Kodak) DCS 100. WHy didn't they work on this technology? What the hell went wrong?



    IMHO, I believe Kodak leadership was so arrogant at the superiority of film over the early digital photography; they believed that digtal photography would "never" over-take film. While they were correct, in the early digital photography quality (pixelated, poor color quality) - the fact that they could not imagine the digital age coming quickly, should serve as a harsh reminder to other companies. Kodak's arrogance killed them.



    This is where I'm fascinated by Westinghouse. Did you know that in the 1800's Westinghouse was a rendering plant, that made candles? Their claim to fame was that their candles were 'flicker-free'; and then the lighbulb was invented. Instead of concentrating on making better candles - Westinghouse managment had the forsight to embrace the new technology, and quickly made a name for themselves as a premier supplier of lighting products. Westinghouse today, makes thousands of products, each embracing technology - and Westinghouse is extremely rare in this accomplishement. Kodak had their "Westinghouse" moment - and failed to adapt, and like the dinosaurs - is facing extinction.
  • Reply 32 of 54
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    I did say the lawsuit stuff would not hold outside of going straight for bankruptcy or wholesale selling off.



    From Kodak Moments to... rock bottom. Welcome to the digital age, for better or worse.
  • Reply 33 of 54
    hodarhodar Posts: 336member
    Quote:

    Re: Tallest Ski

    "True photography is an art form that has been killed by technology, "



    Your reply: "That's untrue."



    Part of what made the 'great' photographers was not only their skill in using photography as an art form, but the fact that the pictures they took were "real" and not photoshopped. This skill took years, in some cases lifetimes to master. Artists like Ansel Adams took their pictures, at great personal risk, in adverse conditions - and got it 'right' the first time. They didn't know if they got their picture 'right' until they got to the development lab. This meant that for every 'great shot' they got, there were several opportuntities that were lost forever. IMHO, one of the trademarks of good art is that you can't mass-produce it. Sure, you can mass-produce the result; but you can't mass produce the creation.



    With digital photography - you can take 100's of photo's of any given moment; you can salvage or create any variation you want with software. Literally, anyone can mass produce almost any shot - as the art learned by the masters has been compressed into a simple filter that anyone can use. Thus, what was once an artform that demanded a thorough understanding of focal length, exposure, aperature settings, focal lenghts of lens and various development techniques - has all been boiled down to clicking on a button.



    Thus, I submit that you are mistaken - we have removed the 'artistic' element from photography and replaced it with commerially available 'creation' filters that anyone with the interest, can master within hours.
  • Reply 34 of 54
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hodar View Post


    Poor analogy. 8-Track was simply one of many media.



    Film, for over 100 years was the ONLY practical media for preserving memories - available to every family.



    I'm sure you are too young to realize, but for over 100 years the only way to capture memories, was through film. Museaums are full of the artistic expression that used to be only available through years of experience working with film - and Kodak was the king.



    When homes were destroyed by fires or floods, people risked their lives rescuing family members, pets and the most cherished possessions they had, photo albums. True photography is an art form that has been killed by technology, and thousands of lives were influenced by this. If you dig through almost any home, somewhere in the house is likely a shoebox full of memories - taken on Kodak film, and likely printed on Kodak paper.



    A little respect for a company that is passing, that harmed no one - yet brought happiness and preserved memories for generations isn't that much to ask.



    I respect film photography very deeply. I'm 33 but of course grew up with Kodak and Fuji, dabbled in SLRs when 12 years old.



    You have a point about technology, but such is change. You must remember, for a long time even in the 1980's and 1990's, film photography was considered second to drawing and painting. Let alone 100 years ago when people thought your soul would be lost when a photo was taken of you.
  • Reply 35 of 54
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hodar View Post


    Thus, I submit that you are mistaken - we have removed the 'artistic' element from photography and replaced it with commerially available 'creation' filters that anyone with the interest, can master within hours.



    On the point of Photoshop and Filters, anyone can learn it within hours, but digital art and interactive media will take many years to master. Even then, trends will have moved on ~ but that's always been the case for commercial art, right?



    That's why instead of technology being the differentiator fine art and commercial art is a more relevant line to draw.



    If you look at the say "Dutch Masters etc" paintings, they are no doubt superb, but that's actually commercial art in some sense because that was the "trend" everyone was into and it was done for money. Several artists mastered that style of painting but then broke out of that to create new ground. That's fine art.



    So I'm fine if somebody says, that's commercial, it's rubbish. But to say that because it's only because they used technology, then that might be a bit harsh.



    There is average Photoshop stuff and then there is some amazing stuff that you just stand back and go, well, that's beautiful. We will never have another Ansel Adams capture, or another Da Vinci drawing... But that's what history is for, not necessarily just art. Art is creation, it's living, breathing, ongoing.



    Some of the CSS stuff being done now for web pages, and Wordpress templates, iOS apps, there's some crazy shit going on that's pretty impressive taking things to a new level. They've taken command-line and text-browsing in 15 years to a whole new visual language.



    I know what you say about film, color grading film for example will die out very soon... I saw Sherlock Holmes 2 in digital projection and you can obviously tell like most modern movies the color grading is all done digitally, not like say, Three Kings from 10+ years ago. There's some color tricks they use that clearly would never be possible even with the best film stock and best color grader in the world. But they are creating a new art form...



    We cannot hold on too much to the past because our lives should be defined and influenced by more important things.



    I wish I could pause in a moment, I wish I could listen to everything in analog. I wish 3D games didn't have so "3D" looking human characters. I wish I could hold original Da Vinci stuff in my hands. But the world is too vast, too wide, and too old to embrace everything.



    Imagine the time when art went from medieval side-shot paintings to more realistic "3D" paintings (Renaissance period?). That must have been quite a transition.



    Even in my mind I can't keep track of all this history, art history, computer history, technology and innovation spanning thousands of years of human civilisation.



    We can cluck our tongues and shake our heads, just as I do with what I consider garbage pop music of the past five years, but I still like Trance and Progressive and they have created new impressive stuff and remixed the "oldies" of Trance in nice ways.
  • Reply 36 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hodar View Post


    Part of what made the 'great' photographers was not only their skill in using photography as an art form, but the fact that the pictures they took were "real" and not photoshopped. This skill took years, in some cases lifetimes to master. Artists like Ansel Adams took their pictures, at great personal risk, in adverse conditions - and got it 'right' the first time. They didn't know if they got their picture 'right' until they got to the development lab. This meant that for every 'great shot' they got, there were several opportuntities that were lost forever. IMHO, one of the trademarks of good art is that you can't mass-produce it. Sure, you can mass-produce the result; but you can't mass produce the creation.



    With digital photography - you can take 100's of photo's of any given moment; you can salvage or create any variation you want with software. Literally, anyone can mass produce almost any shot - as the art learned by the masters has been compressed into a simple filter that anyone can use. Thus, what was once an artform that demanded a thorough understanding of focal length, exposure, aperature settings, focal lenghts of lens and various development techniques - has all been boiled down to clicking on a button.



    Thus, I submit that you are mistaken - we have removed the 'artistic' element from photography and replaced it with commerially available 'creation' filters that anyone with the interest, can master within hours.



    I understand and respect your point, I just think it's wrong.



    I wish I didn't have to have this disclaimer, but? (you'll see)



    I shoot both digital and film now. My dad just handed down to me his Nikon camera that he bought in Tokyo in 1971. Works like the day out of the box, save for the battery for the built-in light meter (we're trying to get that fixed). It's a great camera with an even better lens that he got for much cheaper than it's worth now. I absolutely love the nuances that it affords in taking pictures and I'm learning how to use it properly as quickly as I can.



    I also shoot digital. I have this cheap-o point and shoot Nikon (10MP, pathetic lens, no corrections, no manual anything, horrible press-to-shutter delay, the usual) that I bought before a college semester in Ireland. I REALLY want a real digital camera. (that's my disclaimer. I have a trash digital camera that doesn't afford me the same level of control as a real one) One with the same level of control as my (dad's, now mine) traditional one. But anyway, I shoot digital, too. Ever since I got it, I don't modify anything, but that's me. I understand that many people do, but to me, modifying the original picture just feels wrong.



    It's probably because my dad raised me exactly how you've said in your post. He adored all the famous photographers, and he himself has taken some pictures that would give them a run for their money. He has an extraordinary mindset about what makes a photograph. It's not a scene. Anyone can shoot a scene. Tens of billions of photos taken by teenagers with point and shoots every day are 'scenes'. It's finding the beauty in a thing that gives photography its purpose, he says. Yeah, you can look at a landscape. That's not interesting. Zoom in. Zoom in all the way. Find something interesting within it. Find a subset, something that no one else will ever see or that they'd otherwise pass by, get your settings, and snap it. That's the beauty of it.



    All I'm saying is that there are digital artists who keep the traditions of film alive. Sure we have viewfinders now. That doesn't mean you can instantly take, not "good" pictures, but RIGHT pictures. That doesn't mean the ART of photography is dead.
  • Reply 37 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Actually, the few enthusiasts who still use film probably ARE enough for a film business to succeed.



    The problem is that Kodak never seemed to grasp the idea that it was going to change from a high volume low cost business to a low volume high cost niche. Had they restructured years ago, the specialty film business would probably be profitable - albeit at a much smaller size than the current size of their film business. A few hundred employees instead of tens of thousands, for example.



    And, with proper leadership, Kodak would have been leading the way into digital rather than being a 'bit' player.



    Correct.



    Fuji Photo was able to make the adjustment and they are thriving quite well. They are constantly tweaking their business and after years of rolling out a bunch of entry-level crummy cameras of limited distinction, they have found a niche in designing and selling high-end point-and-shoot cameras like the X100.



    Kodak missed that opportunity.
  • Reply 38 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hodar View Post


    When homes were destroyed by fires or floods, people risked their lives rescuing family members, pets and the most cherished possessions they had, photo albums. True photography is an art form that has been killed by technology, and thousands of lives were influenced by this. If you dig through almost any home, somewhere in the house is likely a shoebox full of memories - taken on Kodak film, and likely printed on Kodak paper.



    Really? Maybe technology has diluted photography as an art form, but there's no way it's been killed. If anything, it's more accessible. Have you seen the work of professional photographers this millennium? The photographer we hired for our recent wedding took stunning pictures, and his portfolio includes tons of amazing pictures of cultures, landscapes and architecture from around the world. And what did it cost to hire him? Less than my parents paid for their photographer 25 years ago! Counting inflation, that's a huge difference. And it's not like he's getting shafted either, for the work he's putting in, his $/hour rate is more than fair. It's just the effort and costs behind the scenes has dropped tremendously.



    Family photos of old are no more art than a picture of friends posted to Facebook today. The memories are just as precious. The only difference is you don't have to risk your life to save them anymore. Between the cloud and $0.10 CDs, offsite backups are so cheap there's no excuse not to do them. It's not like you have to pay for a second copy of every single print anymore. If anything, technology has made the memories part of photography even better. You don't waste money on film/prints for inept mistakes that we all inevitably make. You can instantly share the memories with all those involved for free. You can save way more memories since you're not paying for each photo. Most importantly, they're now easier to relive. Before you'd have to sit down and go through a photo album. Now you still can, but you also have digital picture frames, screensavers on an AppleTV while playing music, etc that makes the memories that much more accessible. I can't tell you the number of times an old photo that came up randomly at my parents house sparked a conversation reminiscing about the old days.



    And yes, losing Kodak is sad and they deserve respect. But in the end, they did it to themselves. Photography went a new, amazing, direction, and they were too slow or short sighted to keep their position as market leader.
  • Reply 39 of 54
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by enzos View Post


    Pioneers and innovators since the year dot. Here's a test of a Kodachrome two color process in 1922. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_RTnd3Smy8 a treasure from the past.



    Bly me! Amazing quality; thanks for sharing! A crying shame Kodak is going down/away. One of not that many companies who truly go to the extreme to create the best. Like Apple and the lot.
  • Reply 40 of 54
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Actually, the few enthusiasts who still use film probably ARE enough for a film business to succeed.



    The problem is that Kodak never seemed to grasp the idea that it was going to change from a high volume low cost business to a low volume high cost niche. Had they restructured years ago, the specialty film business would probably be profitable - albeit at a much smaller size than the current size of their film business. A few hundred employees instead of tens of thousands, for example.



    And, with proper leadership, Kodak would have been leading the way into digital rather than being a 'bit' player.



    All photographic technologies, whether film or digital, have unique capabilities and unique limitations. Understanding how to make the most of those unique aspects has enabled photographers to capture wonderful artistic visions in both formats. To meander through great exhibitions of an Ansel Adams, an Edward Steichen or countless lesser-known portraitists - to page through National Geographics's astounding photo compilations - is to come away touched to the core of our spirit.



    Time passes. Times change. Technologies evolve, but there is still a place for creativity using methods and processes that have long since been supplanted by newer innovations. People of great talent still use paint and brush to produce great portraits of people. So do the Steichens and Karshes using film. And so will the current and coming generation of digital photographers.



    Each has a lasting place in our civilization. Although Kodak's original film innovations have receded into the background of our daily visual experiences, we have them to thank for their huge and enriching contribution. As you point out, let's hope that Kodak still has a continuing place in our world as a film technology specialist.
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