Thursday, December 30, 2010

Adios, Kodachrome.

Today was the last day that rolls of Kodachrome were accepted for processing at Dwayne's lab, in Parsons, Kansas. After the last batch is processed, the K-14 machines will be sold for scrap, and an era in Photography comes to an end. Kodachrome, specially the K64, in my opinion, (and I shot thousands of rolls of it) was not truthful, simple, honest nor sentimental. It was the first film for photographing in a hyperreal color mode.

It blew the doors of perception off the hinges. It didn't even attempt forensically faithful reproduction. Anyone who owned a Macbeth chart can tell you this. What was unique about it, and set it apart from every other photon-embracing medium (except for the Lumiere dyed potato starch grain process) was that it was designed by artists, the Leopolds Mannes & Godowsky, not just scientists or technicians. Kodachrome, dripping with character, poetic in nature and almost able to sense the invisible was an extraordinary palette, a work of art in itself. Literally, an art film, not in the sense that it conferred "instant art" status (what does?), but if you allowed the right light and vision to rain down on it , Kodachrome would sing in your hands as nothing else does.

So long, Kodachrome. Rest in peace.

--- Luis

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, Kodachrome.

1 comment:

  1. It lives on in our archives, fungus free.
    It was a tight space to work in but the discipline was liberating.