Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kodak Memories: Close to home

It has been an innately odd day. I could not quite place my finger on why. Then, having seen the news about once mighty Kodak’s filing for Chapter 11 protection and it hit me: this must be at least part of the reason for this minor funk.

The one of my four grandparents that I did not know as well as I would have liked (he passed when I was quite young, as was he, relatively), my grandfather Bruce was a Kodak inventor in its glory days of at least the first half of this century. I understand that he even earned at least one Academy Award for his accomplishments with Kodak. And we are fortunate to have home movies that include my father - now 77 - as a crawling baby. Home movies from the 1930's and 1940’s: maybe I am delusional, but that seems like a rather rare gem to have.

My grandfather with his three children, including my father, one Christmas morning in the 1940's.
(screen capture from one of the wonderful home movies)

Anyway, art is in my blood and I would be remiss without crediting my grandfather for having influence in my photographic endeavors. Nature versus nuture, indeed…

Aside from a brief mid-90’s foray into Polaroid, all of my cameras were Kodak, even my first digital in 2005.

As I made the decision to upgrade the tools or my art, I migrated first to Canon and then settled into my ongoing affection for Nikon.

But we will always have the lasting memories and inspirations of countless snapshots of family moments, large and small, embossed on Kodak Paper with its inimitable fragrance – especially as the paper aged from years in storage.

Wherever the corporation may stand today, I thank Kodak for its effect on so many lives. And I want to offer special thanks to my father’s father, whose memories live on thanks to his connection to the house that George Eastman built.

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