I thought it would be nice to ring in the new year with a bit of sarcasm , so here goes. The current big topic in the photography world is the demise of Kodachrome film. The last processing option ( a mail order lab in Kansas) eliminated it’s kodachrome service as of 12/31/2010. Is it the end of an era? Well actually it’s been over for quite some time. At best, it’s been tough to find the stuff, and with only one option for processing, Kodachrome has been dying a slow death for years. Kinda reminds me of qualudes in the 70′s. Looks great, feels great, makes me think of being all warm and fuzzy.
In the last month friends have forwarded me all of the “woe is me” articles from photo mags and even the New York Times. People I have not seen in years are writing me on Facebook about this tragedy. I like to think about the last few photographers shooting that “final” roll. Steve McCurry of National Geographic apparently shot the last roll, and his final 36 will go to some Kodak museum for permanent display. Man, I hope they have armed guards protecting the slides because I know some photo geeks that might risk their lives to have those slides. Not to mention the pressure on old Steve, what if he overexposes or doesn’t take the lens cap off?
So, the mourning has begun. Well I say it’s time to move on people. You still have Velvia and Extachrome. Don’t get me wrong, I am the king of the digital dart board, and if Kodak starts taking away other films then I will take to the streets, start a riot and burn down the Ritz Camera store.
Kodachrome films have made for some of our most memorable and treasured images, and the nostalgia factor looms large. I miss my Dad, but I’m grateful for the boxes and boxes of slides that he left behind. Maybe some day, someone will figure out how to bring back Kodachrome, like they did with Polaroid. Yes, a naive notion to be sure. So let’s put those slides somewhere safe, and keep a fresh bulb in your projector. It’s only over if you let it be over.