Since 2005, photographer and photography lecturer Robert Burley has been documenting the demise of film photography through film photographs. He has traveled around the world with his 4×5 field camera in tow, capturing the demolition of buildings, the equipment that once powered a giant industry, and the desolation of factories that were once teeming with workers.
The photograph above shows a crowd watching the implosions of buildings 65 and 69 at Kodak Park in Rochester, New York on October 6, 2007.
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Kodak may be “a shutter click from extinction”:
Once ranked among the bluest of blue chips, Kodak shares sell today at close to $1. Kodak’s chairman has been denying that the company is contemplating a bankruptcy filing with such vehemence that many believe Chapter 11 must lurk just around the corner.
The Rochester, N.Y., company said it had $862 million in cash on hand as of Sept. 30, but at the rate it’s losing money from operations (more than $70 million a month), that hoard would barely last a year.
No wonder the company is trying to find someone to purchase its online photo sharing service for hundreds of millions. Even if it did manage to find a buyer, the sale would only buy a few more months of life unless the company can figure out how to stop the bleeding.
Kodak’s long fade to black [Los Angeles Times]
Image credit: Money Going Up in Smoke by Images_of_Money
The AP published an article yesterday titled “How Much Longer Can Photographic Film Hold On?” that gives a pretty grim outlook for the future of film. About a decade ago, Americans were purchasing close to 1 billion rolls of film and 19.7 million film cameras every year. This year, only about 20 million rolls will be sold and film camera sales may fall below 100,000.
For InfoTrends imaging analyst Ed Lee, film’s fade-out is moving sharply into focus: “If I extrapolate the trend for film sales and retirements of film cameras, it looks like film will be mostly gone in the U.S. by the end of the decade.”
As high schools and colleges find the rising costs of analog photography prohibitive, they’re transitioning to a completely digital curriculum and shutting down their darkrooms, further reducing the demand for film. Film lovers, enjoy it while it lasts!
How Much Longer Can Photographic Film Hold On? [NPR]
Image credit: Death of Film by blue_quartz
What you see here is the history of Kodak stock starting from 1978. In the mid-1990s the stock peaked at over $90 per share, but has experienced a slow demise since then, and is currently at $3.70 a share. What’s more, the company just announced yesterday that profits fell a staggering 95% in the fourth quarter of 2010. During that quarter the company earned just $22 million, compared to the $443 million it earned during the same period a year earlier.
Acquisition rumors have been swirling around for quite some time now as the stock continues its free fall. Any predictions on what will become of this once-great company?
Kodak profit plunges 95%; sales fall short (via Photo Rumors)
Update: Kodak still sees a “big silver lining” amidst all this bad news.