It's a snapshot of the times we live in: The Polaroid instant photograph is fading away.
Almost 60 years after Polaroid introduced its iconic instant camera, the company will stop manufacturing the film Dec. 31. Remaining film supplies are expected to dry up sometime next year.
''It's an end of an era,'' said Arnold H. Drapkin, director of the Palm Beach Photography Center's FOTOfusion Festival in Delray Beach and a former picture editor at Time magazine. "It's lamentable in a way, but that's one thing that happens. You get new technology and you have to move on.''
But not everyone is ready to let go: Groups and petitions are forming on Facebook, Digg, Flickr and other websites, pleading with Polaroid to continue manufacturing the film, or just uniting in memory of what one Facebook user describes as ''all the shameless photos and the white-framed moments'' captured by the camera.
A site called SavePolaroid.com has received more than 250,000 visitors, according to one of its founders.
Polaroid instant photos, with their white borders and softened, muted images, are cultural icons, dating to when station wagons were more common than SUVs and a stick of butter was considered a good source of calcium.
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