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Email Campaign To Save Kodak HIE-135 Infrared

James C. Williams , Nov 21, 2007; 03:21 p.m.

Dear Fellow Photographers,

As you may be aware, Kodak has announced plans to discontinue manufacture dsitribution of HIE-135 infrared film by the end of December 2007.

Below I have copied an email I just sent to Patrick Hamilton, Public Relations Director, Kodak CDG EAMER: patrick.hamilton@kodak.com

Mr. Hamilton has encouraged me to write Kodak and is aware that I am attempting to start an email campaign to save HIE-135. He has assured me that he will get the messages to the appropriate people.

I ask each and every one of you to please take a moment and write an email to Kodak. Copy my letter if you like. Even if you don't ever plan to use film again, consider those of us who do and make this tiny effort.

I plan to post a very similar message to APUG, Infared Forum, and to flickr's IR group. If any of you know of other forums I should post to please send me that information. Please contact me offlist if you like: nighthawkjw@gmail.com

Thank you all for your assistance. I know we can make this happen if we try!

Sincerely, James C. Williams


Dear Kodak,

This message is to be distributed to those responsible for the choice to delete or discontinue Kodak's HIE-135 infrared film. The purpose ofthis message is to persuade those people to reverse that choice.

Among the many applications of photography there is a unique type of film that produces very unusual photographs, infrared film. It's initial and major commercial purpose has been for scientific and security purposes. However, aside from these mundane applications, a much more visually appealing application is fine art photography using infrared film.

Many fine art photographers recognise the great benefits of using film and prefer film to digital. In the case of infrared photography, there are many people trying different approaches to using digital cameras, but that system has problems to be solved and the results are not nearly as good as those produced by HIE-135.

Among other infrared films, HIE-135 is also unique and superior. The extended range of 900nm produces a greater sensitivity to the infrared spectrum, and the absence of an anti-halide backing makes it ideal for producing images evoking surreal and ethereal properties that no other film produces. No other film manufacturer producing infrared film today makes a film like HIE-135.

Discontinuing the manufacture and distribution of HIE-135 infrared film will mean that photographers like myself will have to compromise future bodies of work. It will mean that perhaps the best infrared photographer, Simon Marsden, who has dedicated 30 years to producing thousands of images on HIE-135, will have to either adapt or end his career now.

The responsibility of a creative medium for many people lies in this decision. It not only represents the choice to stop making a specific type of film, but is indicative of the future of all film. Kodak was responsible for the popularity of photography, and needs to be responsible for safeguarding the future of it as well.

-- Sincerely, James C. Williams

Photographer specializing in infrared photography.

Online Galleries: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nighthawkjw/sets/


Nestled Turf Shed, Healy Pass, Ireland - Copyright 2005, James C. Williams


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Marcelo Pandolfo , Nov 21, 2007; 04:28 p.m.

Isn't that anti-halation backing?

Jim Appleyard , Nov 21, 2007; 08:32 p.m.

I put in my $.02.

Anthony Valvo , Nov 22, 2007; 07:28 a.m.

Sent mine in

Thanks for doing this.

Aaron Muderick , Nov 22, 2007; 11:27 a.m.

I sent mine in. Though, honestly, Kodak is not going to revive this. The only possibility is licensing the formula and trade secrets to a 3rd party who can also spend the engineering $$ to make this film in smaller runs.

Keith Lubow , Nov 22, 2007; 03:44 p.m.

$0.02 and e-mails may not do it. Lots and lots and lots of income from selling the film might sway them.


Luke Ballard , Nov 24, 2007; 12:00 p.m.

I put my response in and here it is, I believe if we all work together, we can make this happen. It is banding together as a group of advid film photographers that will make the difference. As said above, even if you don't use HIE, please post en email anyway, who knows what film might go next. Who would love to see Kodachrome back on shelves? Well this is just another example of a loss of a great film and if we don't show Kodak that there are many of us out there that appreciate and love these products, then why should they continue to make them. If you want to copy my response feel free, just put your name at the bottom of the letter I am posting here that I wrote to Kodak about the ramifications of discontinuing such a great film.

My Letter to Kodak:

Dear Mr. Hamilton,

I am writing in regards to the new decision to discontinue Kodak HIE from its line of films. I am writing to make you aware there are THOUSANDS of film photographers that are extremely disappointed and devastated that this decision has been made. We Fine Art Photographers use this film and cherish this film for our work that produces images for websites and Art Galleries across the world, I am currently working on an Infrared project for a gallery in my state and now my inability to get any Kodak HIE film has made my project all but useless, if not just plain difficult because no other film matches the beauty of Kodak HIE. I am an avid user of Kodak Products, including developers, fixers, stop baths, and more. I don't mind that sometimes I can find a cheaper alternative to a specific product, I believe in Kodak and trust Kodak! I have been a loyal user of these products for over 20+ years and I am extremely disappointed that Kodak is discontinuing HIE film. As said by some of my other photographic brethren, it might have had some mundane uses as security and other commercial applications, and there might be better ways to do those things now, but we are Fine Art Photographers continuing the tradition of showing the public beautiful, amazing, and moving images that further culture and art in this world and Kodak HIE has been a very important part of that progression. The people that made this decision have hurt our community and are going to make the people that enjoy our Fine Art photos in Art Galleries and on Websites alike suffer and be at a loss of so much Fine Art Photography and I think that is a travesty. Please forward this email to the people who have made this decision and hopefully they will understand how much we cherish this film and want it back in production. Within 4 days of the announcement being made, I couldn't find a roll of Kodak HIE anywhere in the country, all photographers went and emptied their bank accounts if they had to, to buy up the remainder of what was left on every shelf of every distributor and I believe that is good proof to the loss that Kodak is going to see in its profits from not having this film available to our community anymore. This decision in my opinion was a bade business decision and I hope the mounting pressure and overwhelming response from our community petition will help Kodak representatives to change their minds and put Kodak HIE back on the shelves so we can continue our tradition of making Fine Art with your wonderful product. We already have had to suffer the loss of one of the finest films ever made, Kodachrome, please don't make us suffer even a greater loss of such a unique and beautiful film as Kodak HIE.

Thank you for your time in reading this and forwarding it to the proper representatives in hopes that we will see a bulletin released soon that says, Kodak resends its prior decision of discontinuing Kodak HIE due to an overwhelming response from Fine Art photographers and many other photographers alike. I believe Kodak will appreciate the response it will get from us as a community for putting that amazing product back on the shelves for our use. If Kodak only knew of the 10's of thousands of websites that contain photos used with Kodak HIE and how many thousands of galleries that contain beautiful art used with Kodak HIE, I certainly believe they would have not made this decision, because we as film photographers always tell our audience what we used to make that beautiful photo they are buying, or appreciating in a gallery or online website and that is major marketing for Kodak in general. All of that publicity will be a memory if this decision is not reversed, and when you consider the numbers of websites, and galleries that have photos using Kodak HIE and a photographer explaining that he could not have made such a fine work without the use of Kodak HIE film, the publicity loss to Kodak is enormous!

Thank you for your time in reading and forwarding this email to the people that made the decision to deprive our community of such a wonderful and brilliant Film!


Luke Ballard, "Luke Ballard Photography LLC."

At least I tried. As the quote goes, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act"

Please act on this even if you don't use it, maybe one day something you love and use to make your work will be discontinued and you will feel the same. We have to keep all good Film alive! That is why this forum exist, to share the great and amazing art of Film Photography! My hat is off to you James for making an effort to at least try and keep one of the great films alive! I am fairly new to IR, and I have been shooting some other IR films as practice and was just about to really start puttting HIE to use now that I have some experience with IR when this happened, and Im not lieing, I can't find any of it anywhere, B@H is sold out and everywhere else I look it is gone also. The only ppl that are going to make a fourtune from this are the people with a good stock of it that don't use it and are going to sell it for outragious prices on Ebay. We should all be able to buy it as we have been for many years.

Thanks James, Keep the faith!


Bob Michaels , Nov 25, 2007; 05:51 p.m.

Folks: I hate to see HIE go. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but......

Recent history has shown that Kodak cannot make a profit selling HIE at the current sales levels.

Kodak is a for-profit business, not a supporter of fine art photography. The investors (owners) of the company demand this.

Your best bet is place an order for several million rolls of the HIE. Or however big an order they would need to be able to produce it at a profit.

Alternatively you could just buy control of Kodak. That should cost about US$ 4 Billion. Then tell management that as the new owners you want them to make fine art film without regard to how much money they lose.

Sorry but that is the reality of the world.

Kelly Flanigan , Nov 25, 2007; 06:41 p.m.

Probably a more effective "Campaign" would be if each person who wanted the product actually commit with cash to buy some product over the next few years. Wages, taxes, tooling are kept afloat by actual cash flow; not emails and requests. The facts are that products cannot be kept alive without sales; hard profitable sales figures.

Luke Ballard , Nov 25, 2007; 08:12 p.m.

You know, I just wrote a semi long email in response to the 2 comments above, but I deleted it. I don't have the care to get into it. All I want to say is, thanks for the support, and thanks for the Economics and Business knowledge you just gave me, makes me wonder why I went to college and got 3 degrees. I should have just learned all I needed to know here.

Appreciate the support. When they discontinue one of your favorite films, I promise I will be a true Film photographer and support your Campaign to get it back. That?s a serious promise. I support all my fellow film photographers in any Campaign, even if I don't shoot the same film, or camera they do, it is about Film and shooting film. It is slowly going away and it starts with things like this. I am not just a Fine Art Photographer, I have a digital that I make my money with also, but I love and was born with film and will always shoot it until the last roll made. Let?s hope that a trend doesn't start of more and more films disappearing. Hey, since you are educating us, can you tell me why they discontinued Kodachrome? I?m really seriously curious? It was only one of the finest films ever made, and now ppl pay top dollar just to get a hold of expired Kodachrome. I think something should be said about the fact that most all Retailers sold out of HIE within days of its Demise. Guess nobody uses it or needs it. That is a pretty stark reality wouldn't you say? Kind of makes you wonder hu? Anyway, an answer to the Kodachrome question Would be really appreciated, cause I seriously don't know why they quit making it, expired lots of it are like gold now and sell for top dollar! EXPIRED LOTS. Hmm..Makes you wonder about demand. Anyway, off my soapbox now, but I will promise to support you when they discontinue one of your favorite films, that is a serious promise, whether I shoot the stuff or not, just because you are a film shooter and film is true photography. Keep up the Campaign James, who knows, the small man has changed large corporate America in many ways before! All it takes is action and dedicated people!



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