Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.

— George Eastman.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Walmart Does NOT Return Negatives

Please note, the following applies to 35mm color negative film, C-41 process.

In the last month, there has been a resurgence of frenzied threads, first seen in 2012, where people are outraged that Walmart does NOT return negatives. For every three or four posts that says Walmart does not return negatives there is one that says they do return negatives. Others say that if you have your film "sent out" by Walmart you will get your negatives returned. Walmart sends ALL film out for processing, since removing 1-hour film labs from their stores in 2009–2010. As the customer receipt from a Walmart store in Sacramento, CA plainly says, "Your negatives will NOT be returned. Your images will be on a CD at no extra charge."

I called the "Photo Help" phone number printed on the Walmart Customer Receipt, 800-937-4686. I was told by Debbie at Fujifilm Printing Services Group that when they process 35mm color negative film, they send the images (files) over the internet to the local Walmart which then makes the prints and burns a CD with your JPEG images. She said that they DO NOT return 35mm color negatives.

The bottom line is: if you take 35mm film to a Walmart, they send it out to Fujifilm Printing Services Group for processing. The film is processed by Fujifilm, the negatives are scanned and the digital images are sent to your local store via the internet. Your actual prints are done in your local store on a Fujifilm printer and the files are burned to a CD in your local store. The negatives are discarded by Fujifilm.

For PROFESSIONAL photographers, a list of Fujifilm Professional Printing Labs is available on the
Fujifilm website here:

If you want to know more about Fujifilm USA, their website is here:

One last comment, Debbie said that they do still process 120 color negative film in the C-41 chemistry. If you send 120 color negative film out from a Walmart, Fujifilm Printing Services Group will develop the film and return the prints and negatives to your local Walmart. Seriously though, if you are taking the care of shooting medium format film, do you really want to take it to Walmart? See the link above to find your nearest Fujifilm Professional Printing Lab. For any of you taking 35mm film to Walmart, be aware that they will NOT return your negatives.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Another one bites the dust.

Calumet Photographic suddenly closes its doors,
Files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Chicago-based Calumet Photographic has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the liquidation of a business's assets, as contrasted with a Chapter 11 bankruptcy during which a company hopes to reorganize. 

As reported in the Chicago Tribune and by the Associated Press, Calumet's bankruptcy filing lists assets of $50 million to $100 million and liabilities from $10 million to $50 million. This would seem to indicate a healthy company. However, Petapixel, citing court papers, reported that Calumet declared less than $50 thousand in assets and $1 million to $10 million in liabilities. Whatever the details of the financial situation, Calumet's doors were closed on Thursday, March 13. 

Although employees were not given any official warning of the closing, on at least two occasions Calumet had not been able to pay their employees and paychecks that were due on Friday, March 7, never made it to employee bank accounts. One manager indicated that Calumet had been on credit hold with Nikon, Epson, Sony, Fuji and other vendors. 250 people lost their jobs.

Customers had no advance warning of the closing. With the phones disconnected, their website down and Facebook page offline, customers have no information about what will happen with gift cards or equipment left at Calumet for cleaning or repairs.

Just one year ago Calumet had bought assets of bankrupt Penn Camera and Ritz Camera stores in the Washington DC/Baltimore area.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Is it "Art" or is it not?

Norman Rockwell biographer Deborah Soloman reports that when Willem de Kooning saw Rockwell's 'The Connoisseur', an image depicting a Jackson Pollock painting, he said to the owner of the gallery, "That painting is better than anything Jackson could do." "The Connoisseur" can be seen here.

de Kooning said of his own work, "I make pictures and someone comes in and calls it art.