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After the Kodak Century (2)

The irony, of course, is that instead of getting devastated by the digital evolution the Eastman Kodak Corporation could have owned it. The very first digital camera, after all, got born in one of Kodak’s own labs, the invention of one of its engineers, Steven Sasson, in 1975. […]

After the Kodak Century (1)

In September 2013, just months before I wrote this, Kodak emerged from bankruptcy, much diminished as a consequence of having sold off most of its patents, downsized and reconfigured now as a new-tech company concentrating on developing commercial and consumer digital printers and inks for the publishing, packaging, and advertising sectors. An enterprise that for almost a hundred years ruled as the undisputed alpha dog of its industry has fallen abruptly back into the pack. […]

Alternate History: Robert Capa on D-Day (16)

Richard Whelan’s account of Capa’s D-Day films qualifies as neither competent research nor responsible historianship. It constitutes the desperate Hail Mary pass of the terminally compromised and corrupted hireling. A perfect illustration of the dilemma of the bespoke, in-house curator and historian in the employ of the subject, or his or her estate, or some other entity with a vested interest in the outcome of the research. […]

Alternate History: Robert Capa on D-Day (15)

The physical evidence proves inarguably that the persistent sprocket-hole intrusion in Capa’s exposures did not result from the mythical one-time “emulsion melt” in LIFE’s London darkroom, but instead represents a persistent minor malfunction in one of Capa’s two Contaxes. It is visible to the naked eye in dozens of Capa’s rolls of 35mm film from January 1944 onward. The fact that some rolls don’t show this suggests that they were made with his second Contax, which didn’t have this problem. It also indicates that no one at LIFE noticed or cared about this enough to advise Capa to get his camera checked and realigned. […]

Alternate History: Robert Capa on D-Day (14)

These negatives in the Capa Archive at the International Center of Photography constitute portions of the rolls sent by Robert Capa to John Morris, LIFE magazine’s London picture editor, upon docking at Weymouth, England on the morning of June 7 — in other words, they represent the negatives supposedly “ruined” in the demonstrably mythical darkroom mishap caused by the possibly mythical “darkroom lad” Dennis Banks. […]