Kodachrome Is Dead

A Fitting End To An Era: Kodachrome Is Dead

When Kodak stopped producing the film last year they gave Steve McCurry the last roll. He hand delivered that roll to Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas the last lab on the planet to process Kodachrome. On December 30 they discontinued the processing forever. Here’s a frame from that last roll and more can be found on McCurry’s blog:

There’s a fitting tribute to the Kodachrome Generation over on David Burnett’s blog (here).

Truth be told, the last ten or 15 years were not easy for anyone what actually WANTED to shoot KR. Kodak slowly closed labs around the world, and the mere act of getting your film souped became Herculean. (Actually, Hercules shot tri-x.) So when the marketing people at Kodak (this actually happened ten years ago at a dinner in DC) would say that “there is no demand for the film anymore… no one wants to use it..” I had to remind him that at some point anyone using the film — or any film — actually wants to be able to SEE WHAT THE HELL THEY SHOT! You can’t expect people to wait a week to see their work. The technology existed to create small mini Kodachrome processing machines which could reasonably be installed at any good sized one-hour lab in the country. But for reasons known only to the geniuses at Kodak’s planning department, no serious consideration was ever given to supporting that project. They sure could have sold a lot of film if only we’d been able to see it in a timely manner. Perhaps it’s a parable for what technology is doing to our society.


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