Quote Originally Posted by dr5chrome View Post
..as things evolve, folks who understand what real photography is, in the-mind, will not want to give up that notion. To these peeps 'cell-phone-photography' is a joke. But, they only have so many $$ resources.
With all respect to your lament about what film photography once was, it is no more - it is time to look forward to what is around us now, what ever that may be, and as ugly or meaningless as it might seem to us.

Quote Originally Posted by dr5chrome View Post
As a lab service its the same - the cost of chems & supplies, some of them up 250% this year alone, [not to mention ship costs & film costs]. These are business cost increases we cannot absorb. The result is to raise rates. As EFKE did, labs have to decide to raise rates and hope their clients will pay it, or close and do something else.

Real photography has all moved to the arts. There is no commercial or hardly any being done today. When the economy is bad, artists have no money, and arts related services suffer. This is now the state of our industry. By the time who-all is left in analog, decides to pool together, it will be too late for all of us.
Nothing is better then a good, sustainable business plan, and even with that as you note the world around us is changing and some things become obsolete.
Artists never have any money regardless of the shape of the economy, which if i read the WSJ correctly has never been better. And i say this after spending close to 10 years in art school and a working artist. Rich people who happen to be artists, however, always seem to have money to make their art regardless of the cost or the shape of the economy. I remember my professors telling me 12 years ago about how there are so few materials left to choose from and even those are so expensive. I do not even have a point of reference to give to my state uni students when i try to explain the base cost coefficient of the materials they need for my macrame photo darkroom class.

Quote Originally Posted by dr5chrome View Post
...specialty stores even as big as freestyle may be going bye-bye sooner than we all think. The Amazons of the world are going to take over this mail-market. As 'services' get more expensive, more artists will be doing the DIY thing to save money. As far as helping each other, it rarely exists, if at all.
Freestyle might go away or might flourish, but on a good note - a plethora of small, local business, catering to all new film users, who know nothing about DDX, or what chrome should look like (whatever that means anyways in 1/3 stop fanatics lingo) and are happy to use their cell phones to make type 55 look alike digital snaps, in the "everyone is a photographer" world, using plastic cameras to make bad negatives. Lomo is selling 100% more films then last year and that was 100% up form the year before. This is not just a shift in marker share - it is a new market reach, to customers who did not buy or use film before. I see it in my business first hand.

As the twp posts above me noted: Prices will go up, markets will change, people will pay more - right now it looks like everyone is winning - Jobo is coming out with a new product to a marginal market - so is tetenal, lomo, impossible project and the list is LONG LONG LONG. Users have materials to use, manufacturers are selling - all is well, and stuff is getting better, stuff is getting better all the time .