Tag: Kodachrome

From Beyond the Grave …

I wonder how many rolls of undeveloped Kodachrome are still out there? Of course they cannot be conventionally developed, but they can still be processed as black and white, since Kodachrome is basically black and white film to which dyes are added in development. (This process of adding dyes in development is what made the process so complicated). I had a couple of exposed rolls that I just never got around to sending to Dwaynes in Kansas City for processing, so after reading about how some other people had done it, I gave it a shot last night.

I used a developer called Rodinal, (dating from 1893!) at a dilution of 100+1, and was thrilled to get usable results, such as the image below. I still have a couple of unexposed rolls of Kodachrome that I can now use; I just won’t get “nice bright colours.”

Kodachrome Processed As B & W

GoodBye Kodachrome

The deadline came and went yesterday: the cut-off for Dwayne’s Photo-lab accepting Kodachrome for processing. Apparently there was a huge surge of film being sent in to beat the deadline, but no more will be accepted now.

For seventy-five years Kodachrome has been used to illustrate the storyboard of much of humanity; what a priceless legacy!

The image below is one I captured on the Kodachrome Photowalk in October of this year. Nothing special about it, but as one of countless millions of Kodachrome images created in seventy-five years, it shares in that collective legacy.

Thank you Kodachrome. In a century where so much of the technology developed was for the express purpose of killing each other more efficiently and in larger numbers, your technology was made for creativity, truth and beauty.

And as a tool of creation, you are more powerful than any tool of destruction.



Time-Warp Tuesday: Ghost of Christmas Past

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about Christmas memories, and how times have changed, so for Time-Warp Tuesday this week I have a Kodachrome slide; I made this image, a close-up of an ornament on the family Christmas tree sometime between 1980-82.

Tree Ornament, 1982?

This slide looks pretty much like it did when I first took the image; the colours and sharpness have remained true. So much else about Christmas has changed though: relatives have passed on, and at the same time a new generation has arisen to be part of my Christmas memories.

My late mother was very proud of her Christmas tree ornaments, and her tree decorating. If such a thing as Yuletide Feng Shui existed, she was the master. Now the collection is spread out amongst various family members, so we will never see a single tree like that again. All we have are images like this one, capturing the memory of Christmas treasures.


A Great Day for the Kodachrome Photo-Walk

Thanks to “The Scarborough Dude” for the photo!

It was a great day for the Kodachrome photo-walk in Morningside Park in Scarborough, Ontario yesterday; we couldn’t have ordered better weather, and we had a really nice group of people in attendance. The most popular cameras were Nikons, from a Nikkormat FT2 (mine) to a beautiful F100. A couple of folks had Pentax cameras, and one lucky attendee (here from Texas!) had a gorgeous Leica M6 rangefinder.

What was also really neat to see was over one century-old view camera brought along by one attendee; he wasn’t able to shoot Kodachrome, but instead was shooting paper negatives. Imagine, in an era where digital cameras are declared obsolete after a few years, here was a camera from around 1901, still being used to make images!

The leaves were beautiful, and I can’t wait to see the images. Waiting is part of the experience of course; it will be about a month before we get our slides back. By then the leaves we made images of today will long since be gone, but thanks to Kodachrome the colours will last a long long time!

Kodachrome Now: The Aging Rose

My last post featured an older Kodachrome image, and today I’m posting an image I made on my trip to England and the Netherlands this past August. I finally got my slides back this week, and was thrilled with the results; there is a distinct quality to Kodachrome which I don’t think can be quite duplicated with any other process.

What struck me about the image below was the intensity of the reds. There is no fakery here, I did not play with the saturation settings in Photoshop. All I did was add some sharpening back (to compensate for my cheap scanner) and clean up some dust.

Aging Rose

I thought the subject matter of the image was appropriate as well; not only does it help show off the strengths of Kodachrome, but the fact that the flower is starting to wilt reminds me that we are at the twilight of the Kodachrome era, at least in terms of new images. Unlike the flower though (which by now I’m sure is wilted completely), these Existing Kodachrome images will be with us a long, long time.

Timewarp Tuesday: Kodachrome Then

It was 1981; I was in first year university and in a serious relationship with the woman in the image below. The image was captured using Kodachrome 64 and my old Yashica TL-Electro. I remember going through almost the entire roll of film (an extravagance back then for me) taking pictures of my girlfriend in the leaves.

Among the Leaves

The slides have been in storage now for almost three decades, but being Kodachrome, the colours have held up quite well, and if I continue to store them properly, they will last for quite some time to come.  So much has changed in my life since then (relationships, where I live etc.) but Kodachrome did capture the moment,  and made the moment immortal in a way that I don’t think digital can.

Goodbye Kodachrome Retro Photo-walk 16 October, 2010

I’ve decided to take the plunge and organize a photo-walk in Kleinburgh to mark the passing of Kodachrome once it can no longer be developed after Dec/2010.

I have set up a Facebook event for it, but if you are not on Facebook, the info is reproduced below. Please let me know if you would like to attend and whether or not you wish to reserve a roll of film!

Goodbye Kodachrome Retro Photo-walk LOCATION CHANGE!!!

Date/Time October 16 · 10:00am – 5:00pm
Location Morningside Park, Scarborough Ontario.

We’ll meet at 2nd last parking lot (beside a playground), shoot for a while, then how about a late lunch?

More Info What better way to mark the passing of this legendary film than to shoot it one last time, a photo-walk capturing the beautiful fall colours in Kleinburg, Ontario (home to the McMichael Gallery and its renowned collection of Group of Seven art).

As of December, 2010 the one lab that still processes Kodachrome slide film will stop this service, and the glorious era of Kodachrome will end. While Kodak no longer sells Kodachrome, it is still available on eBay.

Depending on numbers, I can provide some Kodachrome at my cost, and provide instructions on how to get it processed. I have bought 14 rolls online so far, at an average cost of $6.33. I will buy more if numbers warrant. One roll per person, and people who confirm attendance with me will get priority.

You’re responsible for providing a 35mm camera. If you want to reserve a roll, let me know ASAP either here, or via email jgmeadows@gmail.com

Note: Digital photographers also welcome!