Lost Love > Digital FX (Louisiana Production, Post, & Rental Services)

Lost Love

More than anything, the end of Kodachrome marks the end of an era for photography.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love technology. I grab the latest gadget, use it until something better comes out and then sell it on Ebay. The cycle is endless. But, the truth is my “love” for technology is really more akin to lust. I can’t get enough of digital gadgets, but as soon as the shine smudges, I’m off to find a newer, sexier version.

My true “gadget” love comes from my own history, my own memories. I love those things I started with – namely film. And Eastman Kodak Kodachrome was my first true love, I never left home without her in my bag. I spent a year living in Belize and my only regret was that I didn’t bring along enough Kodachrome to supply my happy trigger finger. Kodachrome holds some of my most treasured memories in life – images that would surely fade in my memory, are made permanent by the unique and unmistakable character of Kodachrome.

So, when I read this week that Eastman Kodak was discontinuing Kodachrome, I honestly felt a twinge of sadness. I understand Kodachrome makes up less than 1% of Eastman Kodak’s sales. I understand there is only one developer on earth who still develops Kodachrome. I understand it’s business, it’s not personal. But man, I’m having a hard time not taking it personally.

Think of the images caught on Kodachrome that have changed our culture, our view of each other. We all remember Steve McCurry’s remarkable image of the Afghan girl, with those big mesmerizing eyes, shot on Kodachrome. In fact, the reality is the vast majority of the historical imagery caught on color film in the 20th century were caught on Kodachrome.

Kodachrome is nearly 75 years old and for the majority of its life, it dominated the color film world. It was then, and still is today, the most archival color film on the market. When developed properly, the richness of its images will last a hundred years. You can’t say that about your thousand dollar photo printer.

More than anything, the end of Kodachrome marks the end of an era for photography. There was a time, before digital cameras and photoshop, when photographers had to wait – wait for the perfect shot, with the perfect light and the perfect time. And, of course, you had to simply hope you got it right. But if you did, Kodachrome would repay you for your patience, your skill. Digital makes all that go away, as sexy as it may be.

Yes, I use a digital camera for 99% of my photography. And yes, it’s faster, sexier and more convenient. I thought I loved my digital camera, until today. Now I realize there’s only room for one love in my life – and Kodachrome will always occupy that spot.

A Tribute to Kodachrome:

More than anything, the end of Kodachrome marks the end of an era for photography.

Comments are closed.