There is a short story by Orson Scott Card about a beleaguered group of photographers sinking into depression as film becomes completely unavailable in a digital age. While that is a distant prospect, if it is ever to come about, I am nonetheless feeling some sympathy towards those hapless fellows. It seems that Kodak has decided to discontinue my favourite colour film: their High Definition series, formerly called Royal Gold. Impossible to find in England or Ireland, it is now no longer stocked by any of the Vancouver photography stores that I have dropped into to talk shop with the employees.
After a period of time, a film becomes very familiar to you – even friendly. You know what conditions are likely to make the sky blow out; you know when a portrait really needs a bit warmer light; you know how complex patterns will be rendered on the film grain. While I certainly cannot claim to have mastery of any film, HD100 and HD400 were certainly the colour emulsions I understood best. All my colour photos from the trip to Europe with Meghan Mathieson and company were shot on it; likewise, all my colour shots from the Arizona Road Trip, Prague, Malta, and many other places.
The High Definition films were versatile, reliable, and attractive. Their passing will be lamented by me, among many others.