NPF: TORCH-PASSING

Posted in No Politics Friday on January 20th, 2012 by Ed

Kodak declared bankruptcy on Thursday, which is interesting to me inasmuch as I've spent the week sick, mostly at home, and obsessively looking through NASA's newly released, true color, hi-res scans of the photographs from the Gemini missions (pre-Apollo). Incredible is an understatement. I'm not a photographer and I don't know much about the technical aspects of it, but I do know that nothing coming out of a digital camera looks quite like Kodakchrome (which they stopped making in 2009, incidentally) and other kinds of film.

Yes, I understand why film has gone the way of the dodo. It makes perfect sense. From an aesthetic perspective, however, it's sad. There's something about the way things are captured on film that all the Photoshop filters in the world can't reproduce. Besides, in fifty years I doubt we'll get the same kick out of looking through a flash drive full of cellphone camera pics as we do from flipping through an old box of pictures.

Bonus: If space isn't interesting to you, take a look through one of my other favorites, the Prokudin-Gorsky color photographs taken in Russia between 1900 and 1910. Or learn more about the pioneer of color photography here. It's pretty difficult to convince your brain that this photo was taken in 1905, isn't it?