This and that and film is back for now....
Every once in a while I have been just a tad vocal about the state of the world of Photography. Maybe even a bit more vocal then some of my peers. I've even been called the print Nazi!
I suppose that when you butt heads with folks who see things in a different way you will get to wear the uniform so to speak. I have been pretty happy about all that as it does keep life interesting. You know: Banging your head against a brick wall; day in, day out. Thick skull, dumb as a post, strong back, weak mind, etc...
The Game Is Changing!
I came across a great Blog by Kirk Tuck, "Has The Bubble Burst?" I found it to be a very interesting discussion on the direction of digital technology and where the future of our industry may heading. The best part I can quote from this is "No one ever intended for the latent image to die on someone's hard drive". I wonder where I heard that before? The Blog does give hope for the skilled Photographer describing him as a craftsman. If indeed there is revolution or as some say a Tsunami on the retail landscape, I like how it's starting out. I think the best part of belonging to a company that has been kicking around since 1942, is that we get to steer the ship in the storm, knowing that if we keep doing what we do as well as listening to our customers we will always find smoother seas.
Yes folks, after what I would consider about 17 years since the first affordable digital cameras came onto the market things are changing again. They are changing and not in a way that I would have expected. The first thing we have noticed is a growing trend to yesteryear. That would be film! Not just here in our little neck of the woods, but in other corners of the globe. Whether you are a lab like Fotofast in Brisbane Australia or Fromex in Long Beach California, film is resurfacing. Granted it most likely is a retro trend that may be short lived in the cultural cycle. Granted we are almost the only ones still processing and printing C-41 color negative film in our region.
On the other hand, that gives us more feedback.
I think it's great because the folks I see embracing it are the 20 to 30 something age group.
Do the math. If you are 25 now you would have been 8 years old when film started it's decline. We see customers who have bought a Canon AE1 on eBay buying film with great enthusiasm striking out to experience the joy of film. One guy had several DSLR's but just wanted to be creative without the LCD screen and all the other beeps and whistles. Imagine that! The latent image stored on silver halide!
It's not just film; we noticed that there had been a upswing on Fuji Instax cameras and Media, mostly with the University students. Last but not least is the Impossible Project, the resurrection of the once mighty Polaroid. A wonderful story about the employee's and scientists who believed enough in their product to save it for all to enjoy the instant experience. A true tribute to the founder Edwin Land. All this may signal that film is not dead and for the short term there is room for both the old and the new.
Praise The Print Gods
The other thing that is happening is that the average consumer is printing again.
We have seen it here in our Lab and others are seeing it as well. One owner described it as rejection of the trend of the last 10 years. The baby boomers want their prints back and the hipsters want what we had.
Atlantic Photo Supply has added a gifting lab called The Foto Boutique. Everything we can possibly put your image on we will. Print on Metal, jewelry, licence plates and lawn flags. Add that to a far easier upload system and people get better access to our labs quality printing.
Check it out and get with our future. Thank you for all the support in the past.