Retail Tales – The $32000 flash memory card

Once upon a time in the early days of digital I carried a huge selection of media cards. Compact flash, including the brand new IBM 1 gig hard drive. SD cards, and others. At the time the general retail price was about $1 per megabyte. That 1 gig card sold for about $900! I noticed on amazon today a 32 gig card for less then $20. Amazing how fast things change.



Afghan Girl – New at my house!

Just brought her home from The Great Frame-Up!  Jan did a great job in getting this organized. The poster was signed by Steve McCurry at a PMA show in the late 80s. The National Geographics are originals. I think it came out amazing.This cell phone picture doesn’t do it justice. I’ll enjoy this for years!

Afghan Girl

For Sale – SOLD AT AUCTION! Epson 9880 44″ Printer and 1640XL Scanner!

Includes all original software and cables. In excellent shape, Was used just a few weeks ago. Currently out of yellow ink, but has usable amounts of all the other inks installed. Includes a total of 4 spindles and an unused black conversion kit. $3000 OBO. Go here for more info! Call 242-8165 and ask for Tony. Go see it at Gene Taylor’s!

Also available is this large format scanner. Has the film scanner top. Includes all original documentation and a full version of Silverfast. Alas the film holders are gone Go here for more info! $500 OBO. Call Tony at 242-8165. Go see it at Gene Taylor’s.


Yum! Only one left in box. Someone loves them some bovine and flightless bird snacks! Picture taken at Albertsons, near the cash register.

So its been a while since I’ve posted. Sorry about that. Sometimes life gets in the way of fun. I’ve been training for a new position at Big Red and its a bit all-consuming. Lots of paperwork and systems to learn. I don’t want to talk to much about it because I’m trying to separate my work from this blog. Maybe later.

I ran into an old customer the other day in the Target store. It was nice to see him again and he said very flattering things about me to my wife. All of which I disavowed. He expressed the desire to go to a ‘real’ camera store, but there were none locally. He was going to travel to Denver or Salt Lake City to look for new stuff. We parted and Jen and I walked by Targets camera counter. Lots of people there looking for Christmas gifts. Most of the cameras are of the point and shoot type. The clerks were busy in the pit talking to all of the customers, telling them about cameras they have never used, telling them about styles of photography they have never experienced. Today we went to Best Buy for a few gifts. Their camera section was also busy. Best Buy has a few more choices in the upper end of cameras. All tethered to displays and a few extra lenses locked underneath plexiglass. Ask for help and hope it is someone with experience.

It is unfair for me to dig on the big box stores and their camera counters. The camera companies chose them to be their retailers after all. (Read the very first post way at the bottom for a full understanding of these changes.) But it is not unfair for me to feel a bit nostalgic for a real local camera store. I think there is a big hole in the local community without a prosperous camera store. Supporting local clubs and schools. Teaching and selling. Donating and giving away. If you have one of these in your community, support it as best you can.

I sold all of my equipment a few months back. I haven’t picked up my camera gear in years and decided to sell it all before the prices dropped so much they weren’t valuable at all. So now Ive been coveting cameras. I have been using my iPhone to great success. But it is limited in scope and capability. I would love to have the Leica M9 with 2 or 3 lenses, but just look at those prices! I have been reading a lot about the new group of mirror less cameras. The Fuji x100 interested me for awhile. But it has only one lens. I am currently infatuated with the Nikon 1. The V model with the 10-30 and 30-110 lens. If you go to Kirk Tucks site he says nice things about it, and reviews on the photo sites are encouraging. So maybe later. It might be fun to get back into photography in this limited way.

Walked downtown the other day and noticed that local photographer Rob Kurtzman and a local painter are opening a gallery downtown in the 500 block. It is right next to the Colorado Public Radio office and the Italian Bistro on the corner. The sign says they will offer classes and such. I really hope they are successful. Didn’t have time to go into the new art gallery on Main St. Has anyone else?

So Merry Christmas to all of my 20 daily readers. I hope to post before Christmas again, but you know, life gets in the way sometimes!

Too big to fail, and yet…





By the mid 80s I had 6 Kodak reps. From amateur film, pro film, photo lab papers and chemistry, pro digital cameras, photo lab equipment, the list seems expansive. Kodak offered almost everything you would need, and they were the 800 pound gorilla in the room. Whatever they wanted they would buy or do. If you were a big enough retailer or photo lab, then Kodak would throw money at you to have a bigger share of your pie. In return for carrying more product they would subsidize many different things. Displays for your retail floor, photo lab equipment, reduced pricing on photo lab papers and chemistries, and more.

If you were a retailer then you probably were at PMA. This is a convention for those retailers in the photo industry. Photo Marketing Association. This was THE place to be to see and experience all of the new photo products for the coming year. Kodak would have a HUGE amount of floor space. Yellow was everywhere. And for a time they had working relationships with Nikon, Canon, Noritsu and many other photo companies.  They were a force to be reckoned with.

Every year at PMA they would have a evening party for their retailers. One year they rented the ballroom at the Hilton in Las Vegas. Ice sculptures with champagne flowing over it. Stewards in white carving roast beef with all the trimmings. Shrimp the size of your hand. We are talking about a huge event. Probably cost them millions. And now they wish they had that money back.

I think the change started in the late 90s with the quick shift to digital from film. Kodak was caught flat footed. They were still trying to push their APS cartridge films and cameras and lost sight of what the industry was doing. Too late to the party was Kodak. They had always made decent cameras, but they tended to sell low end type models found in the big box stores. Many of the better camera shops didn’t carry Kodak cameras, except if they needed to fill a low price point. Forget anything that needed a removable lens. Kodak didn’t do it. Once upon a time they had partnered with Nikon and Canon to produce some nice SLRs. But Canon and Nikon learned from them and then started producing their own designs.

Kodak had its own sensor factory though. These sensors were used by many other camera companies. Leica bought their sensors from Kodak. This was a good money maker for Kodak. They just sold that part of the business to an investment firm from California. And Kodak is selling of more and more of its patent portfolio (Link) to stay afloat.

Kodak is now an empty shell of what it was. Their stock is trading around $1. Rumors persist as to their demise. We will see if Kodak can pull a rabbit from the hat and stay in business. I hope they can. They made good stuff mostly. Now they will have to reinvent themselves. And that takes money they don’t have.

01/19/2012. And now they are bankrupt!

And now I’m watching to see what Olympus will become. (Link)

When in Rome…


The mist hangs in the air, enveloping everything. Trees and fenceposts grow a nice layer of lichen and moss. Old concrete shows its age in the bricks of the churches. Ancient tombstones lean towards the earth as if ashes to ashes, dust to dust also applies to them. Driving the narrow roads, sliding through small towns and communities, through burroughs and townships, slowly invades your soul. Life here is hundreds of years old as many of the headstones tell me.


Training has brought me to the rural part of Pennsylvania, just south of Pittsburgh. My hotel is about an hour outside of the facility and as such lends me time to drive and think. To view the fall colors in the hardwood forests. To grab lunch in the small hamlets around the area. Look up Carmichaels PA in your Google Earth. Its a nice place.


Next up is Fort Worth TX for a week. More training there. I’ve been to Ft Worth a few times in the past. Another lifetime ago, another profession, another memory. I traveled then in the heat of the oppressive summers, not in the fall. Will the colors be as vivid? Will there be a chill in the air as there is here? I hope my schedule will lend me time to contemplate and explore. I want to post from there as I am from here. We will see…..