Here at the end of 2010 we can look back and go “wow” a lot of celebrities died in the past year. I know, it’s a morbid way to think. But there was another celebrity that passed away in 2010, one mourned by thousands of photographers. Well probably not thousands, but a good number. The celebrity….Kodachrome. The film it self hasn’t been produced since 2009 but the many rolls still out there has been processed by Dwayne’s Photo, the last lab in the world that still did the long and complex K-14 process, and then on Dec 30th at noon, Dwayne’s would not accept any more Kodachrome for processing. But they’re still wading through all the film they’ve been flooded with.

Kent Street
My first experience with Kodachrome wasn’t a good one, poorly stored expired film…

What made Kodachrome so special? The colours, as Paul Simon immortalized in words “They give us those nice bright colors, They give us the greens of summers, Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, Oh yeah” in his song Kodachrome (which many people still sing whenever I mention the the film). Also the sheer stability of the film. Kodachrome was unique, it was a game changer when Kodak introduced it in the mid 1930s, it was also the first consumer colour slide film. At it’s very base Kodachrome is a black and white film which is what gives it the stability (Kodak says you won’t start seeing degradation for a good 100 years, and then just the yellows will start to fade (if stored properly), the colours are introduced during the processing. This alone makes Kodachrome near impossible to duplicate in a home darkroom, unless you just do it as a black and white film.

Standing Against the Wall
Although by Roll 4 the results were much better!

Also there’s a state park in Utah named Kodachrome Basin Park. Yeah, it was that special.

Niagara On The Lake
I felt very akin to the professionals and tourists that had before me shot probably this very building in Niagara-on-the-lake on Kodachrome (some even with a Nikon F3)

So what was my Kodachrome Toll…having getting into the game late and getting a limited stock of the film from 2009 to 2010 Here’s the break down.

  • Total number of Frames shot: 324
    • Total number of Kodachrome 64 Frames shot: 252
    • Total number of Kodachrome 40 Frames shot: 36
    • Total number of Kodachrome 25 Frames shot: 36
  • Total Number of frames shot on the Nikon F3: 180
  • Total Number of frames shot on the Nikon F4: 108
  • Total Number of frames shot on the Contax G2: 36

The Horseshoe Falls
The Horseshoe (Canadian) Falls at Niagara Falls they have probably been captured thousands of times on Kodachrome.

The only thing I’m sorry for is that I won’t be able to use Kodachrome in my Project:52.

Kodachrome
They give us those nice bright colors
They 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

2 Comments

  1. Hope they don’t take away our Tri-X next!

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