Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Buh-bye, Kodachrome

[Image from Engadget]

For all those relentlessly tied to their digital camera, cell phone camera or web-cam, it can come as no surprise that just as Polaroid killed their instant film line, Kodak would inevitably start to pare down its film offerings as fewer and fewer people use it. Even loyal film users had been lured away from Kodachrome by E100SW and E100VS which was faster and easier to process.

[© Steve McCurry. Sharbat Gula, Afghan Girl, at Nasir Bagh refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan, 1984.]

Steve McCurry, whose picture of a young Afghan girl captured the hearts of millions of people around the world as she peered hauntingly from the cover of National Geographic Magazine in 1985, offered these words:

"The early part of my career was dominated by KODACHROME, and I reached for that film to shoot some of my most memorable images," said McCurry. "While KODACHROME Film was very good to me, I have since moved on to other films and digital to create my images. In fact, when I returned to shoot the 'Afghan Girl' 17 years later, I used Kodak's E100VS film to create that image, rather than KODACHROME Film as with the original."
[Quote from Kodak's A Thousand Words]

The discontinuation of Kodachrome will eliminate about 20 percent of the business at Dwayne's Photo, the last lab in the world still working with the film. Dwayne's currently employs about 60 people and is based in Parsons, Kansas. Dwayne's will continue to process Kodachrome through the end of 2010.

In other news, there are efforts being made to revive Polaroid instant films.

I love the immediacy of my digital cameras and I strongly believe that they have made me both a better photographer and a lazier photographer all at the same time. I miss having actual physical images – prints that I can hold in my hand and the joys and agonies that film photography brought into my life.


Maira said...

It would be the best news if pollaroid instant films came back!

I am also a photographer and there's nothing like having your artwork in your hands and in a tangible world. I love digital cameras as well, but having the films in my hands and printing them by myself is one of the best feelings i can have.

I love your blog, keep the good work!

kirsten said...

So sad. I agree with you. Digital is great. I love to see instantly if i got the shot, but it isn't the same as film. I love having pictures and developing the film.

happy to see that polaroid might return. yay!