Dear Privileged 1st World Film Photographer : Cory Verellen

With just 5 days left in the New55 Kickstarter campaign, Cory Verellen of wrote a very direct and to the point blog post encouraging people to either donate to the campaign or up their original contribution. We can not stress enough how important this project is. To be blunt, this is not just about New55. This is about sending a direct message to other companies that we are about more than petitions and we can put our money where our mouth is. Believe me, other companies are paying attention to this campaign. Ilford, Kodak and Impossible are all watching to see how this community embraces new analog products. Want that film stock you love to stick around? Donate! Want to show Fuji that they are loosing a community? Donate! Want Ilford to put more time into R&D for new B&W films? Donate! Want Impossible to keep perfecting its film and put more R&D in it’s 8×10 line? Donate! You get the point. This is not something you can just sit back and watch to see what happens. You have to act and ACT NOW!

Below is Cory’s original post. Please share this! Either from our site or through his with this link. Also, if you shoot instant film, do yourself a favor and add to you vendor list. Cory is a great guy and supports his family through the instant film community.

Disclaimer: Contained in this article will be some libelous and harsh words directly addressing you. If you don’t like the finger pointed at you, I suggest you move on. Go look at pretty pictures on Tumblr, go lament the death of real film in a forum, and in other words go find a sympathetic ear somewhere else. This article contains straight talk directed at people who want to make a difference. Not meant to offend, but meant to bring a different perspective to what kind of situation film photographers find themselves in here in the first quarter of the 21st century.

FP-3000b BoxThe writing is on the wall folks. Film is being killed off. Strip out all the emotion from the facts and we can see the following: Corporations will behave as corporations do, they’re in it to make money. Long gone are the days when the big film companies could hide test, experimental and underperforming (monetarily) film products within their product portfolio. All the major manufacturers have their product offerings stripped down to the bone. This is the part where you probably feel some anger or resentment towards the big bad company who took your beloved xxxyyyy iso 1600 slide film away. Release that, it happened, the party is over, and it’s not 1985 anymore.

I own an online Polaroid camera store as well as a retail location in Seattle, WA. Some would argue that I should be the most outraged at Fuji’s decision to discontinue FP-3000b instant peel apart film. I’m mean seriously, I’ve pegged my livelihood to the continued availability of this film. But I don’t. It’s our fault, it’s the vibrant community of enthusiastic film photographers who is to blame. We could mince words here but let’s not be pedantic, or righteous, and just move on. We didn’t buy enough film.

The photography world fell in love with digital. It’s easy to see why and I don’t blame anyone for their decision. But as we can see many photographers are doing a walk of shame back to film. Like regrets and the hangover from a fast and furious love affair, the photography community is starting to wake up and realize that film DOES have a place in art. So, here we are it’s the next morning your head is pounding with anger that this company or that had the audacity to discontinue your favorite film. What can you do, you feel powerless, outraged. So mad it makes you want to tell someone about it… on twitter.

New55Enter Bob Crowley and the New 55 project. If you don’t know what this is, go read up on it here. I’m not going to waste your time or space holding your hand or playing cheerleader for this project. What I do wish to say about it is this. If this crowd funded, home-grown film project fails to get funded I will slap the next person I have to listen to bitch about Fuji discontinuing FP-3000b. Don’t tell me about your 1st world problems, I don’t care. We are being given the opportunity to send a clear and direct message to the patent holders.

As of writing this piece, the New55 project is not funded with just 5 days left. There’s over $100,000 dollars to go and it’s anyone’s guess if it will get funded in time. So you say, you don’t have a 4×5” camera? You don’t like the ‘look’ of the film? You don’t shoot instant? You’re confused as to what it’s all about. Well let me say this, I can guarantee you that there are eyes watching this. Eyes that make decisions that affect the film industry going forward. The bottom line is this: If this project fails, we the people will be sending a very clear message. “The market for film is dead”

I don’t care if you have a perfectly good excuse for ignoring this project. If you shoot film you need to donate. I don’t care if you donate at the lowest level, or drop $1,000 towards this project or wouldn’t know what to do with the perks. This is about communicating the importance of saving the legacy of film photography. If you have the privilege to afford to shoot with real film in 2014, you can afford to put a few dollars towards New55.



  1. If the post does in fact contain libelous content, you yourself become party to the libel by republishing it.

    You might want to reconsider your rhetoric. Or pull the post.


    • We do not alter someones post when we repost it. The disclaimer and all content was part of the original post. No plans to alter, change or pull the post. Just take it as is and I’m sure it will be ok.

  2. Pete Jordan says:

    Biggest load of garbage I have read for a long time. Old mate is running short of money to fund his project and goes on a scaremongering campaign to raise it! Film photography has naturally had a downturn with the advent of digital but, it is not in a state that you are describing here! In late 2013, Leica were still producing 35mm cameras. Vivitar (lens makers) have recently marketed the 3800N, a 35mm film camera! Voigtlander produces the Bessa r2a in 35mm, Nikon still produces the F6 and (I believe) the fm10 also, there are also numerous 35mm Lomo cameras and the emergence of pinhole cameras for those who enjoy a little ‘bohemianism’ in their pursuit of an alternate art form.

    I know of many pro photographers returning to film because it now sets them apart as serious photographers as opposed to Joe Bloggs who buys a DSLR and considers himself a pro because he also has photoshop.

    There is still a large demand for film. You just have to look online at the many groups, forums etc etc to see how many people still shoot film.


    • Thank you Pete for taking time to read this garbage and respond so passionately. You are correct that there are still film cameras being made. And you are right that many photographers are returning to film. But you are wrong in your assumption that the film market is in a steady state because cameras are being made. Most pro wedding photographers use cameras that are no longer manufactured (Contax and Pentax 645n to be exact) and they have watched film stocks they love keep getting the axe. Lets see, Polaroid died as a company, Fuji has discontinued all 4×5 instant film, 3000B, 100B, Pro 400H in 220, 160S in 220, Neopan 1600 & 400, 800z, Velvia, just to name a few. Kodak, the company most of your friends that returned to film are probably shooting, discontinued Kodachrome, Ektachrome, E100vs, Portra 800 in 220, T-Max P3200 and more.
      Weather you want to believe it or not, films we shoot with are going away. Portra 400 is amazing and I’m glad it’s still around, but the film community cant rely on just a few film stocks. Companies cant either.
      So, this may be garbage to you. It may be just some dude out of cash. Great. Don’t contribute. Move on. Go buy an FM10 or Vivitar whatever. Grab some lomo film and go nuts! But don’t ridicule us for wanting to support a new company. A company that wants to make a new film product. A product that we would like to see back on the market.
      Oh, and incase you haven’t noticed, this is an Instant Film Community. We are aware of the large demand for instant film and we have watched it slowly go away. Thanks to companies like Impossible and hopefully New55, we will be able to enjoy our medium while Fuji keeps axing products and Polaroid puts it’s name on DVD players.

      Thanks for reading!


  1. […] people gave $50.00 it will be passed. Yesterday we posted Cory Verellen’s thoughts on New55. (link) Today we are posting an excerpt Michael Ash Smith posted on Facebook. Please take a moment to […]

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