In August 2014 Kodak Alaris confirmed that BW400CN, the company's flagship chromogenic black and white film, was to be discontinued.
"Due to a steady decline in sales and customer usage," Kodak Alaris will no longer be producing the film, though they expect stocks will still be available up to February 2015. They were sympathetic with their consumer base, stating: "We empathize with the Pro photographers and consumers who use and love this film, but given the significant minimum order quantity necessary to coat more product combined with the very small customer demand, it is a decision we have to make."
As a kid, one of my favourite pastimes in the school library was to scrutinise old copies of National Geographic. Especially the musty, over-thumbed NASA specials which seemed like they were printed a lifetime ago.
The lurid photogravure pictorials of the recent past fascinated me. Trios of Florida-tanned astronauts wearing oversized goldfish-bowl helmets and heavily padded white spacesuits - often posed next to toy-like models of their oddly-shaped spacecraft - accompanied fold-out maps of the moon and detailed maps of their trans-lunar journey. It was all giddy stuff compared to the sedate low-earth orbit trips of the Space Shuttle at the time.
Most captivating of all were the photographs taken by the astronauts themselves. The experiences of these pioneers, evidenced in the universal language of the still image, ensured that space exploration continued to be an inspiration for multiple generations born after the event - just like me.
I'm just getting used to my new exposure...
Instructing film photography, developing and printing in the darkroom.