Kodak to sell off film division [UPDATE]

Kodak Portra 160

Kodak has made the decision to sell off its film and paper divisions, as it continues to restructure its business around printing

Author: Olivier Laurent

Kodak is looking to exit the film business, announcing that it would be selling its Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging departments, which encompass digital scanners, picture kiosks, souvenir photo products, photographic paper, as well as Kodak's legendary film businesses.

The news comes as Kodak continues to restructure the company as a printing business. "The initiation of a process to sell the Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses is an important step in our company's reorganization to focus our business on the commercial markets and enable Kodak to accelerate its momentum toward emergence," says Kodak's chairman and CEO Antonio M. Perez. "In addition, we continue our initiatives to reduce our cost structure and streamline our operating models in an effort to return the company to profitability."

Kodak hopes to sell off the Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses before June 2013, but it has moved to reassure photographers that it would seek buyers that share the firm's commitment to photography.

In a statement, Perez says that Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging divisions continue to be "valuable businesses that enjoy leading market positions as a result of superior products and service offerings. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our customers, and we will work to ensure that they continue to receive the exceptional levels of quality and service they have come to expect from Kodak. Customers remain the top priority of all our businesses - those we intend to sell and those that will remain part of Kodak."

A spokeswoman for Kodak tells BJP that prospective buyers will be able to use the Kodak trademark with all future film products.

She adds that Kodak "will continue to manufacture all its products (pro film, etc.) during this time [of transition]."

Kodak expects that the sale of these assets, as well as its continued cost-reduction initiatives, the curtailment of its legacy liabilities, and the monetisation of itsdigital imaging patent portfolio, "will be significant milestones toward completing the company's reorganization and emergence from Chapter 11 during 2013."

In his statement, Perez reaffirms his goal to transform Kodak into a printing company, claiming that it has the "broadest portfolio solutions - and enterprise services." He adds: "These businesses have substantial long-term growth prospects worldwide and are core to the future of Kodak. We are confident that our competitive advantages in materials science and deposition technologies, as well as our know-how in digital imaging, will enable us to capitalize on those opportunities and extend our leadership in key growth markets."

The printing business is currently dominated by companies such as HP, Epson and Canon. Before joining Kodak, Perez worked for HP, where he served as president and CEO of HP's inkjet imaging division before taking on the post of president of HP's consumer business.

Kodak also plans to retain its Consumer Inkjet, Entertainment Imaging, Commercial Film and Specialty Chemicals businesses.

BJP's technology contributor Jonathan Eastland says the announcement could push more photographers towards digital photography. "In the short term, this latest snippet in Kodak's sorry on going saga to regroup and rebuild will push many more photographers still dabbling with film but teetering on the edge of the digital divide, over the cliff. They'll simply give in to the inevitable, faced as they surely will be with ever increasing costs-per-silver-frame and further contracting lab infrastructure."

In recent months, both Kodak and Fujifilm have increased the prices of their professional and consumer films.

Eastland adds: "On a more positive note, the news ought to present Ilford with a golden opportunity to net significant gains from the fall-out of Kodak film enthusiasts pondering a switch in allegiance. Fuji has colour but Ilford's HP5+ black-and-white emulsion is up there with Tri-X; they just need to do a lot more to raise their image profile."


For a little bit of inspiration for my upcoming trip to the States I watched Wim Wenders Paris Texas. Together with his book, Written In The West (images made while looking for locations to shoot the film), it was a delightful and inspirational time. It had been a while since I last seen the film and I had forgotten just how many locations I had headed for thanks to the work of WW. The Wagon Wheel Cafe, were the T Rex rests, was one of those places and I would always a stop off on my way back to LA from the Salton Sea. I look back on the image with great fondness and look forward to finding more creatures lurking in the darkness..

Wim Wenders: Dinosaur and Family, California, 1983

The Secret Warehouse.

Secret Warehouse 1,2,3 & 4.


The Salton Sea series | 23rd October 2012 - 5th January 2013 |

Artist Statement

"Having driven thousands of miles across the United States and paying homage to American photographers such as Stephen Shore and Joel Meyerowitz, it was finally the work of Richard Misrach that introduced me to the Salton Sea, and in particular an image of an empty swimming pool he had made there in the 1980’s. Mesmerized by this image, and in particular the light surrounding it, I headed off on what was to become a year long project.

My first trip to The Salton was made in the July of 2004 unknowingly choosing one of the hottest days on record at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Even late in the day the temperature was still above 100 degrees and all consuming, but the excessive heat was not my only reason to work at sunset and beyond. The combination of warm soft light reflected off the salt encrusted ground gave the surrounding area a unique quality of light I had never seen before.

These images were made between 2004 and 2005 when I would set out from Los Angeles every Thursday, which soon became known as Going To The Seaside."

M Doyle 2012.


Conscientious Extended | The Single Photograph

Conscientious Extended | The Single Photograph

A Jerry Maguire moment...

Sitting in my overgrown jungle of a garden, on a wonky chair sipping Italian coffee on a beautiful warm morning, the breeze gently cooling my wise bald crown. I realize that no one reads this humble blog any more. After all with the likes of that Twitty thing and Facebook, why bother, as in those domains you can write and read what you like and not some fine art photographer scraping the gallery barrel for a bit of generosity. But here in the B Mode quarters it is different. It is a place where only truth is spoken and fine photography displayed. There are no dogs on skateboards here or holiday snaps, although some have been known to call my work that..
I have never wanted to brag about what I have done, with smugness being something I think needs to be destroyed. And I don't particularly like announcing the big things I am about to do. Its just not in my nature and I have no time for that look at me I am great, except in a jesting manner.
I have been working freelance in the gallery market now for long enough to know it can be as corrupt and financially ruining as any other business. The age old saying, 'Its not what you know, but who,' is never more so than in the realm of photography. Photography prizes are awarded to photographers by their spouses who judged their pictures, bursaries are given the select few, usually the ones the committee members live with they live with. Photographers fees are slashed and they are expected to work longer for less money while some Chelsea Girl fluffs a few pillows and charges four times more than the photographer.
Basically I could go on and write whatever I liked, but the truth shall remain and I will continue the small and mighty B Mode despite being surrounded by gasbags..

Having said all that, please check out my new facebook page. Details to follow..


"There can be no true beauty without decay."
Uncle Monty, Withnail and I.


An irrelevant image, but I like it. 2012


Shoot first, ask questions later.

I love junk. I love junk yards. I love decay and I love rust.
Sometimes you just have to take that camera off the tripod and be free....

As often happens in these situations, I wasn't sure if someone lived here or not. Shoot first, ask questions later, is a motto I have made my own these days. I did have one of those moments, which happens quite often, when I caught my own reflection in a window and almost laid an egg in my pants. But thankfully no one tried to get me and I went home happy.


a question of smell...

I do love the smell of a Green House, 2012.

Since the beginning of my flaming Memory Project (I am back to The Flowery Room title) I realized that above everything else, perhaps even more than a photograph, that smell can take me/us back to a time and place in our past. Corned beef is one particular favorite of mine, as is the usual cut grass, coal fires and Grannies handbag contents. I even dabbled with the idea of inventing some kind of scratch-and-sniff photograph that would add a double dose of nostalgia. But unfortunately I only got as far as a rancid Hot Dog sticker from WH Smiths. Then I thought of displaying this new work with a scented candle but could only imagine the flames igniting drunken students on opening night. (actually that might be quite good)
Good ideas these may be, but for now I am keeping it simples..


Meadow View, Cumbria 2012

There are places I remember all my life
Though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain