By Paul del Rosario
Several years ago, a photographer friend of mine, Hiroko Enseki and I went to the reception party for Herbie Yamaguchi's photo exhibition at the Japan Camera Museum (click here). Interesting place if you want to know about the history of Japanese cameras.
Most of the people that attended were photographers, and those who have ties with the photographic industry in Japan. While at the party, Hiroko says to me, "Paul, Paul...there's someone I'd like for you to meet." I said sure. So, she led me through the crowd of people, and introduced me to the man that "developed FujiFilm's Velvia film," Mr. Munehisa Fujita. It was hard to believe that the man standing in front of me was the engineer that designed Velvia. THIS DUDE MADE VELVIA! DAMN! I shouldn't get too excited because I consider myself a TRI-X guy.
After introductions and small chit-chat, we got on the subject of film quality, of course. I can't remember exactly, but he starts going off on how digital can't compare to film, as well as some of the technical aspects of Velvia which I couldn't understand because of my limited Japanese proficiency. So, the only thing I could do was just nod my head and pretend I understood and put on my genuinely amazed face. One thing that I did understand was that he really admired Kodachrome.
During his small lecture / rant about digital and the good ol' days of film, his eyes began to swell with tears just a bit, and that was enough for me to know what he wanted to communicate. No explanation needed.