Friday, April 27, 2012

Kodak Moment

There was a package for a Kodak disposable camera flattened in the street. It reminded me of all the bright yellow and red trash that I had generated in the years that I used film. Before digital photography. Before video. These days, most people carry a machine in their pocket that is a notch smaller than most of the disposable cameras you could find in abundance at your local drug store just a few years back. And those same machines do all the processing you need to see the pictures you take instantaneously. Those bulky photo albums now live on a cloud somewhere in Iceland. And don't get me started about having to set up a screen and a projector to show you my slides or home movies. Just push a button on your phone.
There have been plenty of corporations that have wilted and died on the vine of our new economy. I haven't shed a tear for them, but I have a soft spot for Kodak. Maybe it was my dad's camera that switched over time from being a recorder of his sons' passage through life to nature journalist. It could be my mother's Brownie that took pictures of every living soul that made their way up the path to our mountain cabin. It could be the time my older brother spent as yearbook photographer for his junior high. It might even possibly have some tangential connection to all those lovely pictures that Linda Eastman took with the Beatles.
It gave me pause, as I thought about all those cell phones making their way through the intense security to get into see Bruce Springsteen. No professional photography or recording devices allowed. That's okay, we'll leave the fancy stuff to the professionals. We just want a few snapshots to remind us of the night. Maybe a quick snippet of video to remind us of the encore. Even those pioneer moments as inventors of digital photography couldn't save the big yellow and red beast. Goodnight, Kodak. Sleep well.

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