Invented Here; 104; Kodak, Kodachrome and the Digital Revolution
Yeah. This is a story about a quite visionary a one time bank clerk whose relentless passion for his hobby would change the world. I think if we really look at George Eastman in the context of being in inventor and someone who starts in the spring in the innovate of that and I think the kinds of people that we could compare him day would be to compare him with people like Bill Gates and Larry Ellison's in the information technology industry. It's a story about two musicians who didn't see Eastman's new world in black and white. In kitchens and back rooms and in their spare time they developed what many still see as the perfect color film.
It's like one of the things that comes along once in a generation or once in a lifetime or once in a and IT industry almost that is so unique that words really can't describe what it what it can do and what it has done what it's influenced in the in the world of photography. It's basically the original color film.
It's a story that almost had an unhappy ending. This man would not allow that final chapter to be written thanks to him. A color film that some say is the best ever has a new life. And while all of that is changing in the world of film there is a new world of images emerging.
The rapidly changing increasingly digital world. And through the vision of universities the Democrat and Chronicle and Eastman Kodak Rochester is near the center of that digital revolution.
Rochester is a key place to be. People say why. Why do you stay in Rochester. The weather is cold. It's gray. Where else are you going to find this kind of think tank for ideas images and technology. I'm just not going to find it elsewhere.
It's a story you'll want to hear. A story about exciting technologies that are still invented here.
You. Know when looking at this young boy not his parents or relatives not the photographer who took the picture. No one could know how profoundly he would change the world. Twenty years later the people who paid his salary could only have told you that the young bank clerk was honest and hardworking if perhaps a little too serious. When he finally did allow himself a vacation friend suggested that he bring a camera along.
We end up going over and taking some photographic lessons with a local photographer joy George Monroe and he made a few wet plate images.
George Eastman one eventually to England where the relatively new technology of gelatin drive plates was taking hold.
So he comes back in 1879 and starts making some plates by hand and then he later devises a machine for coating plates on a table.
Photography in the latter half of the nineteenth century was anything but a casual hobby.
Even wealthy amateurs and professional photographers found the going difficult and expensive the process well it was kind of complicated you had to make your own emulsion you had to process it you had to make your own prints. So yeah it was it was not readily done by by the way the average person on the street.
He swims first contribution his first major step into professional photography was to make an excellent commercial drive plate before Eastman dry place had been manufactured.
But it was a pretty slow process he and he designed and patented and manufactured a machine for making it. And at this time large numbers of plates.
It was his next step that was the key. Pictures had been made off of roll films Eastman perfected the idea. It would be one of perhaps 20 patents Eastment would ultimately receive. But for those who study his career Georgie's man's real genius began with discovering a product consumers didn't yet know they wanted or needed.
This product took something that was of the real serious hobby used in the professionals and gave it to the consumer market. This camera that he invented that had the roll of film you need that you took the picture using and we do the rest. The motto of the company at that time to get it created a market in I think sometimes that's what innovators do they create a market.
How to cameras were simple but well built. One of the last a feature Eastman's personal touch was this 1888 model.
The only thing that's original in this is the shutter design which Mr. Eastman did do a barrel shutter very dependable. These cameras for the most part always work. Which isn't bad for something that's a hundred and eleven years old today.
Kodak cameras caught on slowly but steadily. Time in which he's been used perhaps his greatest skill recognizing talent and potential. A man surrounding him in this picture were key to the company's later successes.
He was able to assemble the people around him who had the technical knowledge based on his his ideas and his concepts and they were able to bring for products that really went into the marketplace and were long term success is always one such town.
A camera designer whose crowning achievement was the camera that bore his name the brownie. Kodak didn't know how to predict its success but thought it might at least equal sales of previous cameras perhaps 10000 units or so.
Except for the end of selling one hundred fifty thousand of them in the first year which is reasonably close to eclipsing or at least equaling the camera production for the previous 12 years that's a big change.
If I remember correctly there somewheres around 100 or so different Brownie models. The last one that I know of was was sold as an anniversary in England in one thousand eighty multiple models. It came to represent.
Basically photography ordinary people lots of them were taking pictures. Eastman made millions. Money that would not have been possible if you hadn't found someone with similar vision and the money to back it. He's been found such a person. And Henry Alva strong strong under the sea money for what would be Eastman Kodak by making buggy whips.
Mr. Strong certainly would probably be considered to be a pure capitalist. His day for investing in the ideas of a person who didn't have a tremendous amount of technical expertise in the area in which they wanted to start a business but who really just had a vision of where they thought things could go.
I think that you know we would find some similar parallels in that investment in him you would find in people who use investments right now in companies that might be starting on the Internet.
Georgie's been you some of that money to establish something relatively new to America. A corporate research department. He chose as its head. Charles Edward Kenneth needs. Meas didn't want to leave his in-laws drive plate business in England and solve the problem by buying the company he sent me to find the best and brightest minds that in part explains the story of the two Leo. The Apple Banus and Leopold were boyhood friends who grew up in homes frequented by the wealthy famous and powerful.
I got to know Mr. Darcy and fell very much in love with that whole atmosphere because in that house he showed me pictures circulated in his family's house and he said you're still living with his parents circulated people like like. Albert Einstein like Fisk Chrysler like Charlie Chaplin.
And others. Surrounded by bright curious minds. Madison could ask you with themselves interested in many things both follow the lead of their parents and played classical music professionally.
While they were good at that. The real fame began with a trip to a movie theater.
They did two men had seen a color film called a movie film called our navy which was billed as the first full color film and they came out of the film thinking that was horrible it was brown and white if in effect there must be a better way to ask in menace were typical of an age when easements research department was the exception instead of the rule.
Like other gentlemen chemists their work was done in places one doesn't often associate with lab coats and breathtaking moments of discovery.
They did all the experimenting initially at home in the bathroom and in the kitchen of their parents. And one night they were pro-Gadhafi Sr. It was a rather portly person had to go to the bathroom and while walking in the back of the step but this wasn't a tray of development splashed all over the place and smelled and he got really angry and that's the result of this was the next morning he would come in set out. Up with all that stuff.
Their work wherever it was done came to the attention of Kodak. Eastman met the pair but dismissed them as naive. He's been out of research CETA meis disagree. You saw the potential of their work and persuaded them to come to Rochester. It wasn't an easy sell. Good ASCII was first violinist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony. Mannus a concert pianist ran a school of music in New York City. They agreed to come to Rochester for five years and wound up staying for eight. In that time they put their musical training to work in the name of invention. Their nascent film required total darkness for development. No luminous watch styles no red lights. Now then to properly time the development process.
They knew of the music from their musical background that the Brahms sonata see and see. Lost it exactly as so many minutes because it had a cadence of two beats per second and they knew that so well from playing into piano violin that they whistle this in they in a normal cadence that they used during the concert and they knew that would last them so many minutes.
After years of whistling in the dark Madison Gadhafi got the credit for inventing what many believed was the first quality color film in 35 millimeter slides. And later on movie film it caught the attention of the photographic world unlike its imperfect predecessors Kodachrome gave back a richness and depth of color that captured. And sometimes improved on all that came into its focus.
Look at any well equipped camera store and the word that comes immediately to mind is choices. Amateurs and professionals weekend shutterbugs and those who aspire to art have a world of options. Those choices are in part market driven. There are so many choices because so many people are willing to buy them. But if only one role could be had. If your store narrative shelves to just one brand what would those who know choose Kodachrome it's always been my favorite. Reid Hoffman has been a professional photographer for 20 years until the recent conversion to digital. This Democrat and Chronicle photographer had loaded his cameras with many different kinds of film then or now. His off hour film of choice is Kodachrome.
Richness saturation brighter colors deeper colors more color. You'll get pictures with Kodachrome that appear even more intense than the scene you were photographing So you know if you find a beautiful scene you can walk away from it confident that you're going to get at least you know what you saw. And sometimes even a little more.
Growing up in Brazil you have to rely on the black market help of relative strangers to get a rare roll of color film.
It took months to develop but the weight was always worth it was extra color at the time but their colors were much more a weaker color as they were much much more pastel. Some people like that but Kodachrome was much more that much more of the vigor of saturated colors and sharp.
It's a passion shared by Kodak technician buck carpenter.
The snap. I mean you look at a print I can see prints coming off this machine and it's like be in there. This guy just came back from Indonesia and he had like twenty six rolls that we ran off for him and the colors the green rivers in the blue sky and the flowers and the jungle the forestry it's just I mean it's breathtaking It's like being there.
And perhaps most importantly Kodachrome is a film treasured by Richard Maxim a long time Sports Illustrated photographer.
It's unique color palette. It can record colors and subtleties of colors another film can do a lot of the newer films now are you know these cartoon films were you know it accentuates the color it does this to the color it so it's so saturated that it's surreal Kodachrome gives you natural reproduction. And now that we're moving into the digital world that's even becoming more important again because you can do so much more when you have a true representation. And then you take the gain and then you do the color enhanced and then you do that.
This machine developed by Richard Nixon is why Kodachrome is still alive.
Before Caleb Kodak had moved out of the business of processing over the last 10 or 15 years it's almost become impossible to get processed. More and more labs were consolidating. They're closing down the Kodachrome labs they call it a business decision. You know being a photographer I don't really look at the business aspects of it first I look at the artistic in the crass part of it but. The business of photography has become just that as a business is business decision was made that you know Kodachrome was.
Declining in volume became more and more difficult for the photographer to get films processed so they stopped using Kodachrome film and as they stopped use in the film the film volumes dropped once a film by humans dropped more labs closed. So that got down to the point that there were only about 12 cities in the world that you could get Kodachrome film processed.
The company had also given up on trying to improve the cumbersome and complex system needed to develop photographs.
I think you have to purchase store and mix and analyze about four hundred thirty eight different chemicals the processing equipment is huge it takes up about a thousand square feet for just the machine about another nine thousand square feet for the analytical lab storage and support that's needed to go along with it.
You need chemists. He needed technicians. It was very very labor intensive very long process.
Every machine was custom. None of them ran the same. The chemistry was different for each machine. You have five different machines in the same lab running five different specs on chemistry different parts different components. It was a mess. And quite frankly nobody really looked at the process to see what they could do to streamline it to change the business model. And that's basically what's happened in the last five years of the project.
Maxon cared about Kodachrome. He was one of a devoted group of professional and serious amateurs who wanted to continue using the film. The only place to bring his ideas was Kodak.
Richard came along and said he got a lot of technology that you're applying in different areas. Why don't you put it back in the Kodachrome. Because the passion for shooting the film is still there.
Basically I was taking a very non establishment view of the Eastman Kodak Company and then forcing myself upon it.
Codecs researchers claimed they had looked at what was possible and improving the processing of Kodachrome was not.
I don't give up. It was one of these that I came to Kodak three or four times to approach him about doing something and really each time I got a new set of excuses and you know you can't do this the chemistry will do this you can never do this the agitation path is wrong all of this. You know Sonny come back when you when you've got the answers. Well. I came back when I had the answers and got the right people in the room at the right time was almost as if it was it was Carmen the astrology tables. Then maybe the Earth the Moon Saturn in your anus came together in the proper alignment and it hit on that oh gee maybe this can be done.
Maxon knew that reducing a machine that once took up a total of ten thousand square feet wouldn't be easy.
We basically went back through and took a 60 year old process and said OK fundamentally we know how to process film. Now let's make it to modern standards. Let's take the process of the 30s and take it up and make it a process of the 90s or even the next century.
That's what we did. Maxon and his teams had to fight battles on a number of different levels beyond the complicated chemistry entrenched attitudes were every bit as difficult to change.
Well you have to write a high rate of speed because we've always run a high rate of speed. Well that wasn't a really good excuse. So basically went back in and started looking at each one of the steps that were involved with Kodachrome process from splicing the film to drying the film and just said OK if we can change it to this it'll make it a better process.
And basically that's what we did.
Maxon another spent years answering the questions and critics. It's now a show that's on the road. Caleb fits into a special trailer one that Kodak brings to every major sporting event of the year. It's a success that leaves Richard Nixon with a feeling for the people who made his passionate inquisitiveness possible.
Manison were rebuffed by these men Kodak company several times. So that's the first part of history. They're both musicians and at one point I was a fellow at the not a really great musician but I certainly studied music. There's a legacy there that is really neat.
And to be at one end of the spectrum from them I state it's amazing what they did they basically did what we have big research labs and facilities here to do they did it in their bath tub. You know when you look at how preposterous even the concept is that they were able to pull it off. It's amazing. And I lot of people thought this was fairly preposterous talk.
And thinking back of all the all the problems and trials and tribulations we went through to get it going and getting it approved it's a lot of people call it amazing. And I just say no it's just the thing we have to do.
The pictures you're seeing were taken by students students from the Rochester Institute of Technology to be exact. All right he has long had a renowned photography program since 1984. All righty students and faculty have worked to be on the leading edge of a new branch of photography.
I was doing demonstrations in 1984. I was showing other faculty and students they were saying are going what we're going to make pictures without film I said yeah I'm going without film I'm sure the results right away right here in class and they'd sit there and go Oh OK.
Douglas Ford Ray was in on the ground floor of the still emerging digital technology scene there at the beginning. He was just as green just as new as anyone else. He had an open mind and a penchant for using Polaroid cameras and film.
Polaroid is instant. OK. And it gives you immediate feedback and media gratification. Digital Photography was a natural thing for me when I heard about it and said well this is interesting I capture pictures work with my students throw up on a page have them see how pictures lay on the page. And we don't have to have hours or days go by between capture and review.
Ray didn't couldn't see all the possibilities at first but sensed enough of them to want to make digital A special to be a pioneer if you will I don't like to use that term but I guess I'm the guy with the arrows in my back because for a while there a lot of my colleagues and a lot of professionals on the outside were threatened by digital capture they saw it as changing their lifestyle and consumers don't see that if you look at a consumer and you say would you like to use electronic care they don't sit there and go wow I I don't want to give up by my traditional camera or conventional camera.
They're willing to let professionals are very tied to their tools. They rely on.
Reid Hoffman knows the truth of that in the two decades he's been shooting pictures for going at newspapers. There have been two major changes in his profession.
First the introduction of color to the newspaper page and now the digital age people are the amazing thing for us is that in 1900 we had a black and white darkroom Lewisham black white film processing and you know it when less than a decade we've gone all digital on there's no dark and on like it now chemicals.
Hoffman and Ray had again as recent efforts to make the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle totally digital. It was the first American newspaper to make such a dramatic change.
When the when it get that said we would like you to work with our photographers and our delimiters some of the timers would have very long faces like. We have to do this. There was a mandate was a corporate and their allies were going to change in a very large way they're going to put down their film cameras pick up the digital cameras and business was going to be changed overnight. It took a lot of getting used to.
You have to take some of the technical considered technical problems into consideration when you're shooting digital. He doesn't have the latitude in other words you can't overexposed underexposed like you can film stuff. Picture. Here it's a little tougher and high it's a people's car with. Handles flash as one of the people that helped us get started so you know you're not shooting a film anymore you're shooting a piece of metal essentially not shitty camera you're shooting a computer. So for right now yes it's harder to shoot digital and everywhere to shoot film.
It brought the photographer closer to real time capture it brought them closer to the concept that what they were shooting was ultimately for a price and the quality of the printing process that we have here Rochester would not only promise but it would deliver on that concept. We have the state of the art printing facility on the planet right now in terms of newspapers. Nobody does it better than what we do here and all it takes is ONE trip to Canal ponds and a good family or ization with our newspaper you'll understand why.
They're a model newspaper right now for anyone in the country who's thinking about moving to digital photography. Proof for that is a lot of my students well will go home and they'll say you know I was looking I will mention the cities here. I was looking at the newspaper and I I don't understand why the pictures were so flat or washed out or unsharp. And then they start to realize what we do here in Rochester.
The newest generation can mean that the codecs just come out. So much better than the cameras we bought just two years ago. And you know advancements like that I mean I think it'll be a long time before digital matches all you know. It's going to get a lot better news papers news magazines you speed you get to.
Be. A frontier field we put a phone line down into the dugout which is one of the areas we shoot from will take a laptop computer and put in the dugout with us and between innings later in the game we'll go ahead and add it and transmit from there and it lets us stay longer on assignment. And that's a that's a big thing for us now.
Well I will be connected. With the phone line the phone line of. People to call and to write. Me to the moment I'm back at work. It's actually means we can stay quite a bit later than we used to be able to. Before we were able to shoot a couple of innings. You have to get out of here and make the deadline. But by having this. System. If I'm in a very you know we can transmit back in a matter of. Minutes.
Which is. Nothing like what it used to be for. The best part is just going out you can also keep shooting games. Starting in the dugout. You keep an eye on everything.
While that revolution continues in photojournalism it has been slower to reach the rest of us. The digital age for the rest of the world is daunting. But it is still just a glimmer on the horizon.
Well I often think of it as we're at that point just as when George Eastman in our days to buy a handheld camera then introduced it to the masses. So again photography wasn't in the hands of necessarily any more of a skilled practitioner. Whether a professional or a highly skilled amateur anymore. Commercial companies such as studios now everyone can take a picture using a digital camera and share it via the computer. And so I feel that we stand right there. We're still at the beginning of what will be I think an incredible revolution and photography.
What about the concept of making prints that's the real problem. You go on vacation I go on vacation. I don't want to come home and make prints on my beautiful little inkjet printer. I'm going to do other things like do the laundry and pay the bills.
Kodak has a number of answers for that. It's strategy for entering a new era of imaging takes a number of new avenues.
Digital imaging allows consumers to do more thing with pictures whether it's takes pictures in hand some. Share or be able to print out locally or remotely. There's a whole variety of benefits for consumers that we think of the more fun they get out of pictures the more pictures I want to take whether they're pure digital pictures from digital cameras or film based pictures. We think we in the rest of the industry when the more we convince consumers and professionals to take more pictures it was pretty simple concept from our perspective.
Kodak's future may in large measure rest on the success of three key product lines. Each is related and each is calculated to make you want to shoot sand and archive more pictures.
We have a kodak picture disk which are relatively low resolution images on a 1.4 megabyte floppy disk with a very simple viewer application. We have something called the kodak picture CD which is a brand new product that we've just recently introduced which you get a very high resolution images back on a CD product which has lots of software to do things with using it and then the third offering is what we call our online offerings which really made up of two things a Kodak photo not online or the AOL You've got picture service which essentially if you check that box in the photo finish an envelope you'll receive a claim card back whether you're with your friends a day or two later and allow you to access your images over the Internet which even speeds up the ability to share images back and forth amongst other people connected on the Internet. So you get to any sort of Internet connected terminal go to that Kodak photo that that COM website and you'll enter your code and you can now see all the images and high resolution format up on foot and with that you have a number of options. You can download images if you want to on your hard drive. You can order prints you can order gifts. But more fundamentally have a sharing mechanism that's a little different than a standard e-mail kind of sharing of an image.
Step into some local supermarkets and you may also have seen a Kodak photo kiosk. It's part of the largest refugee but one that relies on tapping a market that Americans as yet don't know they desire.
Typical uses to make an enlargement from a from a normal four by six inch print. The consumer would walk up to the kiosk which is really a color darkroom in a box simply lay the print down on the scanner indicate to the to the kiosk that they're starting with a print and then they have a bunch of options in terms of package prints that they could order. I'm going to make prints here using one input and I'm going to order two five by sevens. So I go into editing tools and there's a whole variety of choices here like pitch or CD. I can zoom in crop reduce redeye adjust the color restore the color if the print is faded at text. In this case I simply want to zoom in crop. So in this case I'm going to nudge the box over to the right that looks about right now I've I've zeroed in on the three boys I hit save and once I hit save Now the key goes back in those a high risk and just in the area of the print that I want to enlarge. That's what it's doing right now. I'm done my edit. I don't want to do any any other type of that I mean it shows me my two prints I save one that looks great. You hit the print button and 70 seconds later the print is ready for the consumer.
An interesting sidelight to the relatively new kiosks is their ability to make everything old new again. When you go on that occasional trip to the attic and rediscover old shoe boxes full of photographic memories chances are that age has not treated them well. Heat cold and light are the enemies of photographs. Their latest ally is the Kodak photo kiosk.
While the case of black and white. There there are. There is an ability in the machine to touch up some scratches and bruises. In the case of cholera there's a restore power feature. There's algorithms in the computer that know how color paper fades over time. It actually analyzes the pixels in the scene makes the color adjustments before the print is made.
So you can lay down a faded print restore color and out comes a print that looks brand new. Again Kodak is relying on consumers to discover that enlargements are a good non-threatening in fact easy and inexpensive thing.
They think of it as a professional service they don't think of it as something they can do themselves. If you walk around most homes you typically will see smaller prints in frames. You may see a professional portrait on the wall but what you don't see very often is a consumer's personal image zoomed up to and large up to an 8 by 10 in displayed probably on a mantel or or a table.
What this what this technology allows the consumer to do is to take that favorite 4 by 6 snapshot spend two or three minutes customizing that enlargement pane they're six to ten dollars and walking out the door within minutes with with a friend enlargement.
Kodak has managed to knock the time down on processing in its kiosks from several minutes to 70 seconds. Even that short amount of time has proven to be time well spent.
One interesting question the retailer asked us as well what can you do to entertain the consumer for 70 seconds while they're waiting for their print to come out. This actually shows what the product would look like displayed in the various frames that the retailer is selling.
What we found is after we had a dispute through the sales of frames just shot through the roof.
It's easy to question a strategy that calls for changing long entrenched attitudes. While it's quite possible to see the implications for welcoming a you've got pictures message on your computer. You've got mail isn't that old but now very familiar. It's a further stretch to accept that America is slumbering soon to be awakened to a new desire to make its photographs larger. Kodak clearly does believe that.
I like to think of this as a photo. If you think about the transition that occurred in the baking industry 10 15 years from ago most people didn't know whether you know bank etiam was they first interacted with NATO within the bank itself.
They then got courageous enough to actually drive up to the bank in use at 8am but they knew that if there was a problem or if they had a problem understanding how to use the machine they could always walk in the bank and get some help.
And then over time you find ATF is now in malls airports shopping plazas everywhere. We expect the same transition to occur here as the functional awareness gets better and better for this product. People will be comfortable using it in shopping malls hotels airports. So we expect the number of locations that offer this service to increase dramatically. We also are in the process of networking the picture maker kiosk right into Kodak photo on line so that you can access your images away from home or give the password to a relative or friend who may not have a computer at home and let them come in to retail and access your images and make the prints they what they would like to make.
Digital advocates see a wide range of opportunity.
We all take this for granted a patent. We are using it all the time you've got one in your hand right now making notes. When is the digital camera going to get I have. To carry it and use it for recording for study for transmitting images. It isn't there yet but that's where we're going.
With these technologies is the fact that cameras will get so small. And so familiar that when we go not just on vacation but when we go to work we'll take it when we go out to look to shop for something we'll take it. We were with our children are our colleagues are loved ones or we're working on a project at home. We may want to share some of that information. It's not that user friendly. Yes we can make a picture pretty quickly. But can we move it quickly to a computer or to a print.
Not that fast hearing a prediction like that might prompt sympathy for Richard Max and his efforts in making the case a lab might have come too late.
Kodachrome and film in general should give way in short order to the rising possibilities of digital.
Is film Dead. Absolutely no film is going to be with us for quite some time. I think what's really exciting about this period that we're in right now the end of this decade millennium really in the next millennium. Is the fact that people will be making a lot more pictures. They'll be making more film based images they'll be making more digital pictures. Especially as pictures become easier to deal with laptops in your personal computers now the ones the PDA Zefi personal digital assistants. When that becomes much more of a familiar tour like a cell phone. A pager or a traditional telephone. Will find the digital photography and film based photography. Well the evolution of the Internet transmitting images many times right now. Myself my colleagues my neighbors are shooting both film based images and they're shooting digital pictures and they're sending directly to family and friends.
For those of you directly to Boy do I see a film ever leaving no. Do I rely on film you bet. It's always my master. I don't believe in shooting then digitizing because that way I know it's a technology film technology will be around for a long time.
The reason why we're going is helping the George Eastman House enter the digital age in a number of ways. Mulligan and other curators have been busy digitizing the collections making them available in ways hard to dream of only a few years ago.
We're even going further now and beyond just cataloging information to include interpretive functions so that the public or the staff here and. Look and practice interactively. Some of the kind of educational activities that we do here through a new online. Program that we have which is an educational resource site that goes public at the end of this year. I see a lot of great adventures coming forward for us. It becomes a new kind of ground here which I as a curator working for a museum can meet artists from different geographic locations. And SHARE. I can see their work I've just recently judged. A digital art show not only in paper but also websites. And so that you have a kind of open frontier now that this is the kind of exciting part of the digital world. As I said we're right at the beginning. So everything is out there and everything is fair game. And. So there are different kinds of planes from which the artists can meet the public can meet the curator. And to share their work to discuss their work and things and allowing artists who can't come to Rochester to be able to survey our collection maybe creating a collaborative site with us online.
The future is not so bright for all things related to photography. Many of the pictures you've been seeing were developed in much the same way that George Eastman did more than a century ago in a dark room.
I'm going to lay it right here on the table for you. The traditional darkroom is dying it's dying very quickly. I'm talking about for artists and for studio photographers or active amateur photographers who make prints.
The computer is so powerful and the control is so finite compared to a darkroom that those people who have moved over to a digital darkroom whether using digital cameras or film based cameras their traditional darkroom is closing up. We have certain colleagues here who are essentially put their darkroom. They make coffee in there now.
Like the buggy whip the darkroom may well fade away into. The future is too bright too full of possibilities to want to ignore or to look back.
There are things I like about and there are things I don't like about the things I don't like about getting rid of you know as they get better with the cameras. I'm excited about the future I mean for from talk of arson that have been in one place a long time. This will be my 20th year in Rochester. You know I know the city I know the area I know how to go out and take pictures of almost every scene that I'm going to run into. This adds a new challenge you know lets me play with something and photographers are gearheads. You know almost everybody in our department you know own more toys OK you know they like playing with them so you know computers are just kind of an extension of that. You know it's a choice of you know where they're going to stand still where they're going to move forward I think right at the center of it.
We are so. Technology oriented and here that's our audience is very much that way and that's one reason last year we did the digital show that we did. And it speaks to Rochester the universities here the most wired schools in the country in terms of being able to offer whether it's still our moving image is a great resource in terms of digital technology. So the people who will inform the future are coming to school here. They work at the companies here.
Quite frankly there are a few places like AURITI they can provide this kind of broad base education experience in the imaging technologies that could allow someone to come into the industry of the day and make a meaningful contribution. I think that that broad base of knowledge that's required in the industry today is something that really gives a great opportunity to these students particularly from the newer point of view. Many of the existing businesses are finding very difficult to adapt to the new technologies that are out there. Our students on the other hand are being exposed to those technologies and become very comfortable in using them and also pioneering in some cases in new ways of applying them so I think that they can be the leaders of the new business model of the future for this industry.
So can I tell you where the marketplace will go in the next three to five years. But I can tell you that because I don't know but fundamentally were. We're going to help drive the marketplace were it were excited about what we see we do a tremendous amount of consumer research seen at watching consumers play with the product see what they like about it see what they don't like about it see what additional leads we think we can solve with these products.
If you went out in the mall right now and said Do you have a digital camera do you have a digital camera. I want to be what I have no idea what you're talking about. OK. That will go away in the next two years the next two years people will have film cameras they will have digital cameras they'll be able to make prints as easy as going to the mall. They may not.
You can read my lips they may not even have to go in the store to order prints. They may be able to do it from their car.
I don't know how anyone imaging today could not be very excited because the opportunities keep opening not just for my students but for people who want to use cameras in business.
I don't think George Eastman could have ever imagined this and that's really the exciting part of working in the in the digital world 10 20 30 40 years from now I don't think we can imagine what products and services will be offered.
It's it's exciting very exciting or old.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been corrected. It is likely there will be errors.
- Invented Here
- Episode Number
- Producing Organization
- WXXI (Television station : Rochester, N.Y.)
- Contributing Organization
- WXXI Public Broadcasting (Rochester, New York)
- AAPB ID
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- This episode explores the developments in photographic technology in the Rochester, NY area. Included are accounts of George Eastman's founding of the Kodak Company, Leopold Mannes and Leopold Godowsky's invention of Kodachrome color film, and the transition to and growth of digital photography.
- Copyright Date
- Asset type
- Copyright 1999 WXXI Public Broadcasting Council, All Rights Reserved
- Media type
- Moving Image
- Embed Code
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Producer: Doremus, Wyatt
Producing Organization: WXXI (Television station : Rochester, N.Y.)
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
WXXI Public Broadcasting (WXXI-TV)
Identifier: LAC-1295 (WXXI)
Format: Betacam SP
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- Chicago: “Invented Here; 104; Kodak, Kodachrome and the Digital Revolution,” 1999-00-00, WXXI Public Broadcasting, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 21, 2019, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_189-83kwhgdf.
- MLA: “Invented Here; 104; Kodak, Kodachrome and the Digital Revolution.” 1999-00-00. WXXI Public Broadcasting, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 21, 2019. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_189-83kwhgdf>.
- APA: Invented Here; 104; Kodak, Kodachrome and the Digital Revolution. Boston, MA: WXXI Public Broadcasting, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_189-83kwhgdf