Triptych | The Iconic Kodak Eastman Chimney | Harrow | London
Sapna Dhandh-Sharma London Photographer | Travel Photographer | Fine Art | Street Photography | Documentary | Portrait
The first time I visited the Kodak factory in Harrow was in 1993. Built in 1891, Kodak's first factory outside the US was, by then, over 100 hundred years old. That was the actual building that made the films I used in my camera ~ this thought gave me goosepimples.
Film photography was at its peak, and so was Kodak. That building was not going anywhere (or so was the mistake I made in thinking).
I noticed the semi-grey smoke coming out of the chimney on an overcast day. Loved its imposing presence.
I took a few rounds around the plot where the structure stood to get a 360 degrees view.
The chimney stuck as a haunting memory from there on.
Digital photography changed many things. This led to the decline in film sales and printing equipment.
Kodak, the film giant, could not keep up with the digital giants in the new tech-race.
The factory closed in 2016 after running into serious financial problems.
In early 2019, I was curious to know what was happening with the factory, but was dreading too, as newer development were springing all across London, and the disused buildings were being demolished to make way for them. I was a few months late. The factory had just been demolished to build several hundred residential flats.
My heart sank.
Without giving a second thought, I picked up my camera and headed to Harrow, keeping my fingers crossed in the hope to seeing the chimney one last time.
It was still there. The building works were going on at full swing.
Due to health and safety reasons, I wasn't allowed to go near to have my tête-à-tête with the old beauty.
So, I stood outside the boundry wall to pay my last respect. Then, circled around the wall to take some photos.
These might look like random pictures, but they are anything but that. It took me many hours to get the birds in the scene, and then wait further until they flew where and how I wanted. I knew in my head what I wanted in my pictures.
Black birds flying over the majestic 128-year-old, hauntingly beautiful structure would be the last of such images of this 'monument'.
I considered myself lucky to have caught the scene before it was hidden behind the buildings of the, aptly named, Eastman Village.