i Editor's Letter: Kodak, I will miss you

  • @stefanohat


Some brands leave us all cold, but there are others that really touch a nerve with virtually everyone. Kodak surely falls into the latter category – that is among over-20s. Eastman Kodak's bankruptcy would once have been unthinkable to all of us who grew up with its black 'n' gold film rolls.

To borrow from its wonderful advertising, which of us does not cherish our "Kodak moment(s)"? I can't remember my first camera's brand name (it was chunky, cheap, ugly, probably from Woolworths and I loved it), but I do recall the thrill of loading it with my first roll of Kodak film, ensuring once, twice, even thrice that I had not spooled it on incorrectly. Oh, the so-grown-up joy of taking my very own first photograph.

It just HAD to be Kodak film, not Agfa, and certainly not Boots or another "own label". Of course, I didn't know my 35mm from my single lens reflex. But I did know that the disappointment of those shots with your finger in the way was more than made up for by the excitement of eking out one extra free frame from that 36-shot roll.

Teenagers won't understand it, but – in my family – those photos were luxuries. The roll, the prints, the albums – they all cost money. I didn't snap away guilt-free until I got my first digital camera – at 40!

As for safety, I have never lost a photo album, but on a dead laptop resides at least three years of my girls' childhood, lost unless some kindly geek comes to my aid.

That said, I used my iPhone as a camera for the first time on my recent holiday. A revelation! And, everyone else knew how to use it instantly too. So, Kodak, I'm sorry you are no more. I will miss you – even if you only have yourself to blame for your own demise.