Thursday, December 30, 2010

Kodachrome we didn't see much of each other lately, but now that you're gone I'll miss you. R.I.P.

R.I.P. Kodachrome
The venerable 75-year-old slide film Kodachrome dies of old age today, as the world's last processing lab shuts down its complex machinery.
An unlikely pilgrimage is under way to Dwayne’s Photo, a small family business that has through luck and persistence become the last processor in the world of Kodachrome, the first successful color film and still the most beloved.

That celebrated 75-year run from mainstream to niche photography is scheduled to come to an end on Thursday when the last processing machine is shut down here to be sold for scrap.
Photographers loved Kodachrome for the film's fine grain, rich colors and long life in dark storage. Last year, when Kodak announced it was stopping production, with enough chemicals left to process through the end of 2010, I paid a visit to some of my old Kodachromes. After more than 30 years, this image of a peeling billboard is tack-sharp, the whites are as pure and pristine as ever, and the reds still just as rich and saturated.

Kodachrome, we didn't see much of each other for quite a while, but you were my favorite when I was shooting color film, and it's sad knowing you won't be there anymore if I ever pick up a film camera again. R.I.P.