Jae Song | Oct 16, 2018 | 2
Two years of EMULSIVE – a retrospective
Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed readers and all of you who have no idea what this website is, welcome to two years of EMULSIVE! Time really does fly when you’re having fun or in my case, burning film.
As luck would have it, a slot in my editorial calendar just happened to be open on June 1st, EMULSIVE’s birthday, and I wanted to extend a huge thanks to all of you who regularly visit this website, as well as the band of crack community contributors, who help share so many wonderful words, thoughts and pictures.
While I’m at it, I should also send out to massive thank you to members of the film photography industry, whose support of events and activities here on EMULSIVE has been critical over the past year: Ilford, Eastman Kodak, Kodak Alaris, Billingham Bags, Cinestill, Film Ferrania, Lomography, Old School Photo Lab, Beau Photo Supplies and Shoot Film Co. – to name a few.
Thank you all. Yes, even you get a thanks, Dan K 👍
Looking back to year one
This time last year I wrote:
Anyone with eyes or ears knows that the film industry has declined significantly from its heyday but as technologies and consumer focus have shifted to instantly shareable media, the net effect has been to distil the industry (and by extension, the community) into something approaching its essence – film as a creative choice, film as art, film as an expression of the people and personalities within us.
Yes, there are fewer fresh film stocks to choose from and we haven’t seen a new film camera from the likes of Nikon, Canon, or Hasselblad in what feels like decades but what is left is good.
Leica are still at it, Impossible just came out with a new instant camera, Fuji are selling Instax cameras by the case load and Lomography are creating more new lenses and camera variations than all of them combined.
In some ways, this new phase of film photography is better that the golden age because we appreciate what we have left and whatever new cameras, film and lenses are trickling their way to us – at least, we should.
One year on and I’m sorry I didn’t start earlier.
Whilst we are all still waiting for a new film camera from Nikon, canon or Hasselblad, year two of EMULSIVE did see the film community and industry growing in leaps and bounds.
Kodak’s announcement that they were bringing back EKTACHROME was a particularly well received shock early in 2017 but news from Ferrania about FERRANIA P30® film, Bergger’s release of Pancro 400 in 135/120 and whispers from Bellamy Hunt about JCH Streetpan 400 in 120 format were also very welcome indeed.
We saw Cinestill crowdfunding (and delivering) medium and large format motion picture film, we saw Mike Padua bring out his Photomemo notebook and it seems self-publishing zines reached a tipping point in the mainstream photographic community. All great stuff.
Speaking of the community, there was a spring in community-led projects that are looking to the future of film. You can see the beginnings of this in Juho Leppanen’s #saveanalogcameras, the results of which can be seen by all here. There’s MUCH more to come on that front, so keep your ear to the ground.
These past 12 months also saw the release of the film/digital hybrid that is the INSTAX SQ10, as well as INSTAX Mini Monochrome film – perhaps the shape of things to come? …all that that’s without mentioning countless Kickstarter campaigns bringing cameras and lenses to the market.
I can’t wait to see what to year three brings but in short…
It’s. been. Packed.
Packed but not all been good. Fujifilm remain true to their word that they will only guarantee the production of film and related products into the early 2020’s, and have recently announced a number of discontinuations starting both this year and next (NEOPAN Acros being the deepest cut). But hey, they’re protecting their long term future and with a clinical business hat on, I can understand why they’ve been so cut throat, even though I don’t agree with how they’ve gone about it.
Doom and gloom, yes but I hope you’ll agree with me when I say that the future of film photography is looking bright, if not positively rosy.
EMULSIVE in year two
If the first year of EMULSIVE was all about photographer interviews, then year two was about community: contributions and community interviews.
I started the concept of Community Interviews close to the end of year one, with the lovely folks at Lomography helping to get the ball rolling. In year two we covered ILFORD, Kodak Alaris, Billingham and FILM Ferrania – the last two are being finalised for release as I write the this.
Helping build stronger, closer ties between the community and the industry it supports has been a big part of what keeps me going and I hope to keep on building through 2017 and 18.
In numbers over the past year, EMULSIVE has seen 64 film photographer interviews, bringing the total to 143. 224 photographs (created by yours truly), and an astounding 82 contributed articles written in seven languages from 63 authors in 27 countries.
These contributed articles are invaluable as we keep spreading the message that film photography is accessible by all and more importantly, increasing knowledge transfer across our relatively small but growing community.
A special thanks to everyone who’s stepped up to share their thoughts over the past year.
I can’t move on without a little patting of my own back and want to say that the two highlights of my own articles this year must be first, the six-part build of my AEROgraphic – a naked Graflex Speed Graphic camera and Kodak Aero Ektar lens combination. It’s probably my most rewarding project from over the past twelve months.
Second, would have to be the the Global Film Lab Map. It’s been a lot of fun to put together and to try to keep up with all the submissions over the past year – keep them coming!
Some community favourites over the past 12 months include:
EMULSIVE in year three
So, where does that leave us for year three?
More of the same and more of something different, I hope. The interview queue is stacked up for at least the next five months and my plan is to continue with at least two to three new articles per week.
There are six community interviews in the pipeline and over the coming months you’ll hopefully see the introduction of a new series of articles aimed at shining a light into the murky world of the Lab Rat.
Secret Santa will be back later this year and of course, there are the two new EMULSIVE Facebook communities: Film Photography Chat and Camera Detox – Buy / Sell / Trade. Both have gotten off to a resounding start and at least one idea discussed in the former has found wings as a result. You can look forward to hearing more about it in due course but what I’ll say for now is that it’s a community-led critique project and I couldn’t be more excited about it!
All this and much, much more to come over the next twelve months. I hope that you’ll join me on the journey, it’s going to be a blast.
As ever, keep shooting, folks!
Write for EMULSIVE
The driving force behind EMULSIVE is knowledge transfer, specifically creating more of it in the film photography community. You can help by contributing your thoughts, work and ideas to inspire others reading these pages.
Take action and help drive an open, collaborative community: all you need do is read this and then drop me a line.
Lend your support
Like what you see here? You can support EMULSIVE by helping to contribute to the community voice on this website (see above), or by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and considering financial support from as little as $2 a month.
As if that’s not enough, there’s also an EMULSIVE print and apparel store over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique prints of photographs made by yours truly
In short, I want to continue building this platform and I’d love your help to make that happen.