Saturday, July 24, 2010

Last Roll of Kodachrome Manufactured Last Year, Processed Now

"Death of Film: Last Roll of Kodachrome Processed"
Gadget Lab, Wired (July 23, 2010)

"What do you know about Dwayne's Photo Service of Parsons, Kansas? It is the place where the very last roll of the Kodachrome was processed...

"...The last roll was shot by National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry..."

"...McCurry's film may have been the official last roll off the production line, but Dwayne's will still process any Kodachrome that you might have until December 10th this year. And then it will shut down, forever. People may still shoot analog, but with the death of Kodachrome comes the spiritual death of film."

Kodak discontinued its Kodachrome slide film last year. The transparency film didn't require E6 chemistry, which is more usual for transparencies - and apparently not enough folks were using Kodachrome to support the costs of its special processing.

Besides, taking photos by exposing a thin layer of chemicals on a flexible strip is rather old-school these days. Quite a few folks use digital cameras.

Steve McCurry shot 30 exposures of the last manufactured roll in New York, and took six more photos in Parsons, Kansas. The pictures, we're told, will be in an upcoming National Geographic magazine. I'm guessing that "New York" is "New York City," but I could be wrong about that.

That last bit of the article: "...with the death of Kodachrome comes the spiritual death of film." That's a bit over-the-top, I suppose. But this certainly is a sort of milestone in photography's history.

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