A Wider Angle: February 2012, by Geoff Dickinson
Here we go again. If it’s February it must be the start of a new season of Society activities and a gentle reminder from Helen that I needed to compose this piece.
I have to confess that my off-season photographic activities have been very limited. One of the perils of doing and photographing a sport is that I want to do both at the same time which, until science comes up with a way of cloning me, is of course impossible. Not wanting to let the side down in races later this year means more saddle time and less shutter time.
I have not been entirely idle with the camera though and just as with sport, in photography practice makes perfect. Of course for anyone with a true passion for something, perfection is never attained and the journey is what counts. Lots of instances recently of “Now what does this button do?” “How do I…….?” and the less said about my reaction times the better.
The big photo story in recent weeks has been Kodak’s financial problems and subsequent filing for bankruptcy protection. I don’t pretend to know the full story but it seems Kodak were either unable or unwilling to adapt to the digital era. They may have pioneered the digital camera and it might reasonably be asked why they didn’t capitalise on it. Hindsight is 20/20 of course and anyway Kodak made lots of money selling film and paper at huge margins. It would have been a brave CEO to take this innovative technology forward and effectively cannibalise the company’s core business. The horns of a dilemma indeed and sadly for Kodak the moment, so to speak, passed.
I no longer use film and I don’t really do nostalgia. However I grew up with film and learnt photography through that medium. Brands like Agfa and Ilford just didn’t have the Kodak cachet. OK I confess to occasional dalliances with Fuji Velvia but I could never quite warm to those eye popping greens. How exciting it was to send your slide film away in those little yellow envelopes and wait eagerly for the cool plastic yellow box to arrive. It was almost like Christmas. There was that frisson of fear that the killer image you took in some obscure corner of Europe might turn out to be a dud. And EVERYTHING was processed, warts and all. Many slides ended up in drawers and projector boxes, some found their way into albums. But most of all they were there, ready for a family evening with projector and screen.
See you around, Geoff