Picturing a Future for Kodak
From voaspecialenglish.com | facebook.com/voalearningenglish Jim Megargee is a traditional photographer. He struggles with how photography has changed from film to digital. JIM MEGARGEE: "There's a physical difference between a silver print and a digital print. There's just a physical difference to it. It's something not many people think of. And with a silver print, it's—that's actually an etching into paper into a silver layer. That's embedded in the paper. With a digital print it's ink on paper." Kodak is America's largest photographic film company. It may stop making film. But Mr. Megargee says that does not mean photographers like him will no longer be able to work. JIM MEGARGEE: "What happens with the photographer when you lose a material, like that, like say your favorite film gets taken off the market or, you know, the company stops making it, there are other companies. They're not going to replace that film, but they have maybe a similar product." But stopping the manufacture of a product will affect the people who produce it. Ray Rock works at Kodak headquarters in Rochester, New York. RAY ROCK: "Personally, [I am] very concerned. I still need a few more years before I can get full retirement benefits, I—we'll see what happens." Kodak may continue in business by selling rights to some of the digital imaging technology it created. Bruce Upbin of Forbes magazine says Kodak will be a different company from what it once was. BRUCE UPBIN: "My hunch is it will be mostly an intellectual property company, meaning it'll just be collecting revenue from licensing its patents and technology." Mr. Megargee says comparing traditional chemical photography with digital photography is like comparing watercolors to oil paintings. JIM MEGARGEE: "It's not unusual to see someone sitting on a computer station Okay, and doing the—trying to make—do the same thing and taking two or three or four hours." He is hoping for a continued supply of traditional products to work with. I'm Steve Ember.