A Historic Day

GC03STb Kodachrome
You give us those nice bright colors
You give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah!
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away

~Paul Simon

This was a historic day, Paul Simon lived to see the day when Mama Kodak would take his Kodachrome away for good.  A victim of the digital age.

Last Kodachrome Developer Stops Developing

Dwayne’s Photo, a lab in Parsons, Kansas, was the last lab still processing popular film, which was created by Kodak in 1935. Dec. 30 was the last day Dwayne’s would still accept rolls of the film for processing, according to Mashable.

Kodak announced they would cease production of the film in June 2009, as sales had declined. The rise in digital camera use among everyday people and professionals contributed to its decline.

At one point, 25 labs in the world processed the near extinct film, according to the New York Times. The Kodak-run facility closed a few years ago, and since then processing facilities in Japan, Switzerland, and other locations around the globe have since stopped developing Kodachrome.

Despite its use in many iconic photographs, including Steve McCurry’s National Geographic 1985 cover image, many photographers have traded in for newer films or digital cameras. According to Mashable, Kodak actually gave McCurry the last roll of Kodachrome film last year, and he has since posted the pictures he took to his blog.

As some of you may know I have been making photographs for over 40 years.  I have hundreds of Kodachrome transparencies, both 35mm and a few 6 x 6 taken with my beloved Hasselblad.  I scanned some of them like the one above.  By the time it became part of history it was rated at ISO 64 but when I first started shooting it was a very slow ISO 25 which is what made those ultra fast f1.4 lenses so valuable.  The color was rich but not accurate – it always looked like a sunny summer day.  Will I miss it?  Probably not – I have been exclusively digital for about six years.  If I go back to film it will be for black and white but even that’s not very likely.  But I will treasure my Kodachromes.

  

Author: RON BEASLEY

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