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Steve Smith
01-12-2013, 04:38 AM
I gave a talk last Monday to a Camera Club, they told me they were mostly armchair photographers, few even print their images.

I took part in a debate on another forum a few years ago (a forum of mainly digital users). Someone asked "Who prints their pictures?". The conclusion was that only about a quarter of the respondents printed and the rest just looked at them on their computers, digital frames, or uploaded them to websites.

The non-printers were the same people who always had to have the newest and best cameras with the latest high megapixel sensors when in reality, they would not see any difference in output if they used cameras of less than 1M.


Steve.

ajuk
01-12-2013, 06:10 AM
Trouble is in many smaller towns, I bet Jessops is the last place you can buy B&W and Slide film, If I go back to Leamington Spa now, I bet there is nowhere, Boots maybe, but I'd need a mortgage.

benjiboy
01-12-2013, 07:01 AM
Trouble is in many smaller towns, I bet Jessops is the last place you can buy B&W and Slide film, If I go back to Leamington Spa now, I bet there is nowhere, Boots maybe, but I'd need a mortgage.
You mean you didn't "need a mortgage" at Jessops ? :).

steven_e007
01-12-2013, 07:10 AM
I took part in a debate on another forum a few years ago (a forum of mainly digital users). Someone asked "Who prints their pictures?". The conclusion was that only about a quarter of the respondents printed and the rest just looked at them on their computers, digital frames, or uploaded them to websites.

I've got several digital cameras - and picture taking widgets in phones and tablets and things.... They'll be sticking them in toothbrushes and hair dryers next. I never, ever print any image from any of them.... They are great for creating illustrations to accompany scribblings on the Internet, great for recording the dismantling of proper cameras so I can remember how to put them back together again... .

For printing I personally want a negative.

I think much of the reason for the demise of traditional photography was aggressive marketing convincing people that using your iPhone to capture of your drunken work mates at the office party which you then emailed and uploaded to YouTube is actually 'photography'. Of course it is, of a sort, but it was never the reason why people were buying fibre based baryta paper and slow black and white films.

In reality the number of people creating pictures to hang on the wall is probably very much a minority interest and always has been - 20 years ago office party goers used instamatic cameras and sent their films to the local mini lab - now they use their phone and avoid the prints altogether...

As for those of us who wish to make prints for aesthetic or artistic intent - it is unfortunate that so many seemed get caught up in the idea that cameras are a fashion accessory and film photography is outdated technology for nerds. I would say it was the other way around - rushing out to buy the latest widget suggests an interest in widgets that exceeds the desire to be creative and take pictures. That seems the more 'nerdy' behaviour, to me. Of course digital does offer great advantages in many areas and I'm not criticising photographers who want to use these advantages that digital can offer, creatively or professionally, but I am critical of the aggressive marketing by widget sellers who were so determined that analogue must die and everyone has to get 'with it' and buy some trendy new equipment. Alas Jessops have blood on their hands in this regard. They tried to kill film and become widget sellers.... But then found themselves unable to compete with supermarkets and online sores.

Consider the shops that serve artists. Most towns seem to manage to support one - and they are like Aladdin's caves, packed with wonderful things. When acrylic paints appeared on the market (cleaner, safer, easier to use, better colours and cheaper than traditional oil) they appeared on the shelves alongside oil paints, not instead. There seems to have been no equivalent of the anti film hysteria that was spread by those marketing digital. 'oil is dead, all hail the new technology! Only nerds use oil paints!' Art shops stock whatever artists want to create pictures - and accept charcoal, pen and inks, acrylic paints and laser jet printer paper along side each other as equally valid techniques for creating pictures.

I wonder if some of the old traditional photographic shops may have managed to hang on in this way? A small number, possibly, but alas Jessops and the like seemed determined to swallow them all up before jumping off the cliff themselves, so we may never know.....

[/rant]

benjiboy
01-12-2013, 08:32 AM
This isn't just about the demise of one multiple photographic retailer, but about the death of the high street which most consumers won't realize until it's gone, and as long as people use the shops for them to handle and demonstrate the products and buy them on-line the decline will continue.

Steve Smith
01-12-2013, 08:47 AM
I can't speak for the rest of the country, but I live on the Isle of Wight which is only 26 miles wide. Despite this we have (had) a Jessop's store and two branches of a family run photographic business (which also sell hi-fi equipment).

I'm sure that if our tiny island can support two independent shops, then there are other similar businesses in the rest of the country. Perhaps they can now do oven better without Jessop's there as the obvious first place for a customer to try.


Steve.

R.Gould
01-12-2013, 09:54 AM
Steve, I live in an island that is 9x5 and until Jessop moved in we had 2 very good and long established photography shops, one great for all things darkroom, both equipment and materials, selling all Agfa and Ilford and with a treasure trove of darkroom equipment, enlargers both new and secondhand, plus everything else you could ever need the other, just around the corner, great for smaller stuff and film, Jessops bought out the first, and within days the second floor with all the enlargers went, the papers and chemicals went, all execpt for Jessops own brand, but for a while the prices stayed competive, then within a year the shop around the corner was forced to close, it could not compete with Jessops, this after 2 generations of the same family running the shop,Within a few weeks film stock was reduced in Jessops to just a few Ilford films, 5 rolls of HP5 and a few of other Ilford films, a handfull of color films, and the prices of the few films available doubled, so film and darkroom supplies all became, for me, mail order, but if I ran short I could get one or two to tide me over, Now we have no photographic shop at all, and also Jessops also drove the mini labs out of busines, now they are gone we have nowhere on island left to get films processed,
Richard

Steve Smith
01-12-2013, 10:21 AM
Richard - do you think there would be enough business on your island for an independent photo shop now? I'm surprised we have enough for two but I suppose the digital and hi-fi stuff keeps them going.


Steve.

Ian Grant
01-12-2013, 10:55 AM
This isn't just about the demise of one multiple photographic retailer, but about the death of the high street which most consumers won't realize until it's gone, and as long as people use the shops for them to handle and demonstrate the products and buy them on-line the decline will continue.

It's a complex issue but I know from experience that when a town/city has good shops they are enjoyable places to shop and busy. My local town centre is dying partially killed by recent new developments which took the big stores like Boots, M&S etc off the High Street, however the county town Worcester (actually a small city) thrives with few empty shops. I can think of other places like that as well but also unexpected exceptions.

I think when shops sell what people actually want they do well, LCE in Worcester sells new (digital) and secondhand (a good selection of analog & digital) at reasonable prices, there's always customers when I go in.

Away from photography (although they do sell frames) one gift shop always amazes me, it's small but has a good turnover because the stock is constantly changing, there plenty of items items in various prices bands.

Ian

perkeleellinen
01-12-2013, 12:22 PM
My local was shuttered up today, many people peering in as the lights were on (I think they're always on). I think that a closed Jessops gained more interest than an open Jessops today.

Just up the road is a small independent photo finishing store which doesn't have much film to speak of, but I hope Jessops' demise brings business their way. Maybe they could be persuaded to stock chemistry.

R.Gould
01-12-2013, 12:37 PM
Richard - do you think there would be enough business on your island for an independent photo shop now? I'm surprised we have enough for two but I suppose the digital and hi-fi stuff keeps them going.


Steve.

With Jessops out of the game then yes, there are a fair few analoge photographers still over here, and an awful lot of digital, and a lot of digital prints, plus if one could incorparate film and digital printing then yes, certainly whenever I passed the Jessops they always seemed busy here, but they had a total monopoly within Jersey.Many I speak to, including myself, would prefer to buy locally as Mail order is expensive,the carriage from AG is 13.5 and Firstcall is around 15, which means you need to get a biggish order to make it worthwhile, for just a few films it adds a lot to the overall costs.
Richard

Steve Smith
01-12-2013, 12:49 PM
One thing I liked about Jessops was that if I wanted to order just one item, such as a bottle of fixer, I could request that it was sent to my local shop then go and pick it up and pay for it without paying for postage.

The actual cost was higher than most of the other dealers but without the delivery charge, which is a large percentage of a small order, it made it worth it.

Have you thought of opening a shop?!!


Steve.

R.Gould
01-12-2013, 12:57 PM
I too have found that very handy and have used it a number of times, if it was just some fixer, maybe a box of paper of developer then taking the carriage it indeed worked out cheaper, as far as opening a shop, If only I had the time, I am too busy with my photography business, I am the only remaining pro photographer in the Channel Islands, as far as I know, still working with film and working in Black and White and it keeps me busy, people over here like what I do and keep coming back
Richard

benjiboy
01-12-2013, 01:33 PM
That's it folks,Jessops ceased trading and closed their doors for the last time last night.

batwister
01-12-2013, 01:34 PM
This isn't just about the demise of one multiple photographic retailer, but about the death of the high street which most consumers won't realize until it's gone, and as long as people use the shops for them to handle and demonstrate the products and buy them on-line the decline will continue.

We all know the staff in Jessops couldn't tell anyone anything about photography. For a 'specialist store', why wasn't this of paramount importance?

I use to love Warhammer when I was little - despite never being particularly nerdy - and going to the Games Workshop store was a real joy; the enthusiastic staff painting models and playing the game on the store's huge tabletop battlefield. There are very few people who go into that store solely to buy models and leave, they will always interact with the staff and discuss their hobby. My Dad, who has always carried himself as Mr. Cool, ended up buying a 50 set of the models after taking me there for the first time - the atmosphere was that infectious. It was completely out of character. Getting home and painting our models on my birthday was one of the few times we really bonded.

I'll never understand why we don't have an analogue photography store like this. I'm sure there are more of us than Warhammer fanatics, and we're just as enthusiastic.
I don't see Lomo places as counting - being boutiques, essentially - somewhere to pop into after Starbucks and the vintage fashion shop. I'm talking about a serious place for serious people... with a lighthearted and welcoming atmosphere. :)

I wish the business headed APUG members could make something like this happen.

Steve Smith
01-12-2013, 01:53 PM
That's it folks,Jessops ceased trading and closed their doors for the last time last night.

I thought that was last night. This morning our shop had the windows and doors covered up with red paper and a sign on the door saying they had ceased trading.


If only I had the time, I am too busy with my photography business

That is good.


We all know the staff in Jessops couldn't tell anyone anything about photography.

Some of them could.


Steve.

railwayman3
01-12-2013, 02:41 PM
We all know the staff in Jessops couldn't tell anyone anything about photography.


That's rather harsh, given that there are likely many hard-working people who are going to lose their jobs in the next week or two.

There's good and bad staff in any organisation, but, like-it-or-not, the fact is that Jessop have been a "digital store" for quite some years. The management chose way for the company and, if staff (and young staff in particular, who may never have used film) have not been trained in analogue, you can't blame the staff.

RalphLambrecht
01-12-2013, 02:43 PM
i never bought anything at jessops, because theynever offered anything worth while for a darkroomworker, as a very early adopterof the digital craze. i won't miss them.more business for better retailers.

pentaxuser
01-12-2013, 02:57 PM
As someone said on another analogue site, called FADU and with a lot of members in the U.K. it's the speed with which this happened that seems strange. It is just after Christmas when such a chain might have expected to have done enough business to allow a review and yet it has gone from administration about a week ago to all stores closed yesterday.

Even Comet in the U.K. was able to give about 2 months notice of closure and under U.K. law the company has to have a 90 day consultation period with its workforce during which it has to pay its employees so why not sell stock and conduct an orderly closure?

There seems something strange in the way it has gone over the cliff at this speed. More to the whole end game than meets the eye I suspect but what that might be I have no idea. A great shame for all its employees. Losing your job with no notice is bad enough at any time but just after Christmas has to be one of the worst times

pentaxuser

Ian Grant
01-12-2013, 02:59 PM
My experience was they were quite mediocre then under Tom Brookes became very good, I'd always used trade suppliers in Birmingham but coinciding with a change in job suddenly found my loaca; store could fill all mt needs at the same proces. Yes I did have to explain to the manager of my local store that they coul supply 5x4 film, he told me it had been discontinued years earlier. After that they were good for anything but O moved abroad when I used them again all that had changed.

Ian