Today my wife asked me to get some ice for Christmas dinner from the freezer in the garage. While I was doing that, I noticed a big stack of film that had been sitting in there for years. I gathered it up into a paper bag. 220 rolls of Tri-X and Portra 160. 4×5 Ready-Loads of TMax 100. 35mm rolls of Kodachrome. And, way in the back, was a surprise: 8 36-exposure rolls of Ektar 25. I threw it all away.
The whole process made me feel sad. I tried to figure out why:
- It seemed like a waste to throw out good film, even though it was all quite outdated.
- I especially loved the Ektar, and I was sorry I never got to use it.
- It marked the end of an era for me. Even though I haven’t used film for years, throwing all of it out put an exclamation point on my transition to digital.
- I felt sorry for the photographers who are staying with film, and find their choices diminishing.
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