Friday, 31 December 2010

The death of Kodachrome


A truly rotten way to end 2010 with the news that Kodachrome slide film is no longer with us. Kodak announced the cessation of the production of  chemicals required to develop this film back in the summer. After complaints they agreed to supply one production line in Kansas, America until the end of the year. The last film to be processed went through the machine this week.  To mark this momentous moment in photographic history, fans from around the world travelled to Kansas to watch their film being developed. 

The death of this film is of course due to the vast strides taken in digital imagery.

Kodachrome to me will always remind me of my father. Kodachrome 25 with its slow speed and luxurious colour reproduction made it the choice for the discerning photographer of the time. It was a pig to get the exposure accurate, and with only 24 or 36 exposures to a roll of what was very expensive material, you were very careful on the choice of your subject. Development was included within the cost, it came with a little yellow envelope in which you sent the film away. After a couple of weeks the slides were returned, mounted and ready for the projector.  Many a happy evening was spent reviewing the images. I still have all of those slides safe and sound.

I too used Kodachrome, although at the time my budget as a student made it more difficult to justify, and so the cheaper products made by Barfen which I then developed myself were often used. For those special assignments and holidays it was always the Kodachrome though.

RIP Kodachrome

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