Monday, February 11, 2008

News Briefs - February 11, 2008

Polaroid has announced that they are completely getting out of the (instant) film business by the end of this year and will concentrate on television and digital photography technologies. This is a sad day for all the photographer/artists that used Polaroid materials to such good ends for so many decades. Gone will be all the square little SX-70 pictures. Gone will be all the cool and unique image and emulsion transfer prints. Gone will be the black-and-white images with the distinctive edges, such as Mark Klett’s. While their decision is understandable from a business sense, they will be missed.

Trading on the enduring reputation of Swiss bank accounts for security and discretion, the Swiss Picture Bank is now offering the first online, guaranteed permanent digital archive. Their catchy motto is: “Safe. Forever.TM” Since most digital photographers are a hard drive crash away from losing most or all of their images, this could be seen as a valuable resource. The costs start out at a reasonable one-time charge of $.03 an image for 30 years of storage. Seems like a good idea to me.

This last item is not photo related, but I found out today that actor Roy Scheider died this past weekend from complications of cancer. He was 75 years old. His notable film roles include The French Connection, Sorcerer, 2010, Marathon Man, All That Jazz, and, of course, Jaws. He always brought a genuine sense of the everyman to his characters and carried himself with dignity and gravitas. Every movie that he was in benefited from his presence. I’m sorry to see him go.


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