All day the twitter messages have been flying — bye bye Kodachrome. The last Kodachrome processing lab closes today - Thursday, December 30, 2010. After 75 years, no more Kodachrome.
Good article in NY Times web site.
Last week, I got my final three rolls back from Dwayne's photo but couldn't go through them till last night. Something called Christmas got in the way.
I had spent a recent Sunday afternoon at Santa Monica Pier, above photo, shooting those three rolls with only a 50 mm lens. A good exercise in composing each image one frame at a time.
There were several good images, but many frames had a blue shift in shadows. I was bummed. I suspect it was a combination of underexposure and out-of-date film purchased on ebay. Oh well. I posted fifty frames to my Kodachome flickr set.
From 1935 till about 2000, nothing could beat Kodachrome. The entire World War Two and baby boom generations grew up using Kodachrome. Today I have several boxes full of my parents Kodachrome images.
Two good examples of how Kodachrome holds up are these Bob Hope images at photography and the mac.com
and this 16 mm Kodachrome movie footage of 1945 VJ day in Honolulu.
Dwayne's Photo is closing their Kodachrome processing line and selling T-shirts marking the event.
Last three rolls of Kodachrome
Those three rolls of Kodachrome kept shouting — use us or lose us!
Sunday looked bad — overcast and downright crummy weather. Then it hit me, no crowds at Santa Monica pier. Off I went for my own photo walk, armed only with one old Canon Rebel film camera and 50 mm lens.
Was fun, shot all three rolls. But I found two downsides. After shooting a frame, I kept looking at the back of the Rebel, but alias, no little video monitor. Boy am I hooked by digital cameras.
Second bummer, was writing a check to Dwayne's photo lab. Processing, mounting, scans onto cds and postage runs $50 for three roles of Kodachrome. And I have to wait two weeks to find out how my pics came out.
A few good reminders why I love digital.
Reminder: The last Kodachrome processing lab, Dwayne's Photo or Parsons, Kansas, closes its Kodachrome lab on December 30th.
Its in the mail!
Boy, I didn't think going retro and trying to shoot Kodachrome would be so complicated. I finally finished my first roll on some fall foliage, filled out the processing form, wrote a check and mailed the entire package. Now I am waiting for the film to return.
Looking at the TV monitor on the back of the camera is so much quicker. I've been spoiled by digital.
Yes, I can actually say: The check is in the mail!
They're taking my Kodachrome away! update
Part two: film has arrived.
Last week my first two rolls of Kodachrome arrived. An old Canon Rebel was loaded, but so far I have only exposed about a half a roll. I've been very busy with work and the Los Angeles Times From the Archive blog — a blatant plug.
More to come. In the meantime I ran the above image through Topaz Simplify, below. I call it my ghost of Kodachrome.
They're taking my Kodachome away!
Kodachrome's days are numbered. Lets see, 78 days till Christmas means 83 days till they take my Kodachrome away.
Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas, is the last Kodachrome processing lab anywhere. December 30, 2010, is the last day they will run Kodachrome.
Announcement at Dwayne's Photo: "Film that is not in our lab by noon on December 30th will not be processed."
That is blunt. That is cruel. That is bye bye Kodachrome.
So time to check Ebay. Yep - Kodachrome prices are dropping. I got two rolls for five bucks, but six bucks shipping. My June Ebay price check found Kodachrome mucho higher.
Good old supply and demand. In January, no processing, no demand. Sellers better unload now.
So tonight, paypal. Next week I get my Kodachrome!
Part 2: What should I shoot?
Email suggestions on my "Contact Scott" page.