Never really thought about how much longer this service would be available… I guess we just always figured that someone was doing it. I was certainly glad to know if I wanted to shoot some color film, I could get it processed and scanned.
As I just wrapped up shooting a roll of Kodak BWC (Black & White C-41) and went to the Walgreens I had previously had process my film. And to my surprise it appears that Walgreen’s no longer does this service “in-house” anymore. In fact said it would be about a week before I got the film back. Funny thing is that when I first got into photography, that waiting a week to see your results was quite normal. Unless you shot and developed black & white film and printed the images in your own darkroom.
But in the age of gotta-have-it-now, it seems that even waiting an hour to get film processed and then scanned to a CD is too long of a wait. Since I had purchased a vintage Nikon FE and even more vintage Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens, I was really eager to see the results from a test roll of BWC I shot. As I had then planned to go out and shoot a serious roll or two, over the holiday weekend.
One of the sad parts of it all, is in how we preserve moments in life and how those digital images are very easy to lose (delete accidentally) as it is to lose a negative. Back in the days of film, you could look through a handful of prints and relive the moments when you captured them. And even as people and generations passed, we still had those prints we could hold in our hands and wonder about the history of the image.
Digital devices change and become obsolete quite often. I personally feel that the long term lifetime of a digital image over a negative would lead me in favor of the negative. At least a faded image is better than no image.