As you probably know by now, the Eastman Kodak Company announced Monday that it's retiring its most senior film because of declining customer demand in an increasingly digital age. The world's first commercially successful color film, immortalized in song by Paul Simon, spent 74 years in Kodak's portfolio. They give us those nice bright colors. They give us the greens of summers. Makes you think all the world's a sunny day.
Indeed, Kodachrome was favored by still and motion picture photographers for its rich but realistic tones, vibrant colors and durability. It was the basis not only for countless family slideshows on carousel projectors over the years but also for world-renowned images, including Abraham Zapruder's 8-mm reel of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.
As a tribute to the film, Kodak has compiled on its website a gallery of iconic images, including Steve McCurry's Afghan girl and others from photographers Eric Meola and Peter Guttman.
Did you know? Unlike any other color film, Kodachrome is purely black and white when exposed. The three primary colors that mix to form the spectrum are added in three development steps rather than built into its layers. Because of the complexity in manufacturing, only Dwayne's Photo, in Parsons, Kansas, still processes Kodachrome film. The lab has agreed to continue through 2010, Kodak said.
Let the stockpiling begin.
:ylebiann via flickr; tribute to kodachrome