If you find yourself online in a photography forum somewhere, anywhere these days (and this happens in just about any of them, I belong to a group on Facebook where the conversations deal more with the art of photography and someone recently posted one of these articles), you might notice a particular opinionated discussion come up. This discussion keeps coming up again and again and again and for some reason it won’t die (and because it won’t die, articles like this one pop up complaining about them):
One thing that quickly becomes evident when you get serious with photography, is the expense of everything; buying new bodies, buying new lenses, etc., etc. etc. And one of the negatives things people like to bring up about film photography is the expense of buying film. And unfortunately you have to pay to play, if you want to take photographs on film, you have to buy film. There’s no way around that. So to lessen the sting, we do things like buying expired film. Nothing wrong with that at all, it’s a great way to stretch your money to do the maximum amount of shooting.
Unfortunately buying expired film does nothing for the sales of Kodak, Ilford, or that other company that sort of sells film when they feel like it. And when those companies don’t see sales, they don’t have any reason to keep producing the product for sale. Kodak may say they are committed to film photography, but they are also a business, and businesses have to make money from selling their product. If they aren’t making money, film stocks start disappearing. And with Kodak’s announcement of the return of Ektachrome, we can see that we have some control over the market. Kodak saw there was a demand for the product, and now they are working hard to bring that product back to the market.
You might be reading this at home, asking yourself, what can you do? The answer is buy fresh film. As much of it as you’re able to, often as you can. Shoot that film, send it to labs (bonus points for a lab local to you) for them to process it, repeat.
Load up & get out shoot, your cameras miss you…