The photographs are thanks to Kurt Gardner and were captured in 2001, seventeen years ago. Now, turn back the clock and think about the industry then. This post will, unfortunately, be a partial testimonial to what an old fart I am, but at the same time, it doesn't seem that long ago.
However, for all you "kids" out there...
- Digital was in its early days of getting a foothold. I remember getting a gift from good friends at Kodak of a DC220 1.0-megapixel camera a few years earlier. If I remember right the initial cost was around $1000. It came in a kit with an 8mb compact flash card!
- Most of the artists we admire most today had their foundation in film. You had to know your gear and the craft. With film, there was no chimping! You sent the film to the lab and waited for the results.
- Many of us had more film in our freezers than we did food!
- Portra was a favorite for so many photographers. This is also where a lot of great friendships were founded with our good buddy, Terry Deglau. By 2002 Terry had left Kodak, but it was in his role as the manager/industry liaison in the portrait/social categories that so many photographers were introduced to Portra, the leader in print film at the time.
In the ad, there's a statement about "rich color and beautiful flesh tones." Well, here's another little piece of history for many of you. Getting accurate flesh tones was one of the most important challenges for the labs. Kodak was a leader in good color rendition and had several mannequins they used for setting the standard on flesh tones. The mannequins were nicknamed "Shirley." So the expression, when appropriate, was print to the Shirley when it came to a photographer sending film to the lab.
Bambi was shooting Canon at the time, and digital had finally taken a solid foothold in wedding photography. Well, the flesh tones were so bad and inconsistent, I still remember my call to the publisher, "This book is printed so badly that if Canon doesn't sue you, we will!" The publisher went back to the printer and reprinted the book with excellent quality.
Throwback Thursday has become part of my weekly routine and while it's fun sharing my walks down Memory Lane with you, my readers, it's really like an energy drink for me! It's no secret how much I love this industry, and when I look in the rearview mirror once a week it leaves me in awe of not only today's technology but what the creative tools will be ten years from now!
Happy Throwback Thursday!