I’m pretty much back on the film train. I haven’t seen one frame of film that I’ve taken the last couple of weeks, but I am loving my new, old Canon EOS 620. I bought it from keh.com for a whopping $30. I wonder what this tank fetched in its day. $500? $1000? But it has found a new home and an absolutely giddy owner. What’s great about this is that I can use all of the lenses for my Canon digital system on this guy. I’m a hybrid shooter and loving it.
Well, since I boarded this film train I’ve been doing a lot of reading. Learned a lot recently, but picked up on something just in the knick of time. I learned that even though Kodak has ceased production of its legendary Kodachrome film, there is still Kodachrome to be purchased on ebay. So I did. I bought 4 rolls of Kodachrome 64. According to the seller, it’s about 4 years old and has lived in a freezer since they purchased it. Fantastic. I’ll take it off of your hands. I also learned that dwaynesphoto.com is the one, the only, the last remaining Kodachrome processor anywhere. In the world anywhere. Shooters have until December 30, 2010 to get their exposed rolls to Dwayne’s and then after that, it’s done. No more Kodachrome. No more Kodachrome processing. A legend takes its place high upon a darkroom shelf, proudly reminiscing its 75+ year run. Think of it. 2011 will be the first year in over 75 years that Kodakchrome will not be a viable medium for photography. Photography has only been a medium, a technology, an art for about 150 years, and of that 150 years, photography has only been accessible to the general population for less than 100 years. Can film be canonized, much like literature is? If so, Kodachrome has earned its place in the film canon.
I’ll be honest…and feel free to laugh at this point. I’ve never shot a roll…not even a frame…of Kodachrome…well, my grandfather might have let me snap a few frames with his camera when I was a kid, but I have never intently used Kodachrome. But I have to now. I have my grandfather’s slides, the majority of which are Kodachromes. Some from as long ago as the 1940s. They’re beautiful. Rich colors, inky shadows and muted highlights. Most of the slides are of my mom and my uncle as kids, some of their childhood home, my aunt and uncle’s wedding, my parent’s college graduation. Many more are of my grandparents’ travels, some are of people I am not familiar with and some are just slices of life. It is my desire to not only shoot Kodachrome, but to have Kodachrome slides of my sons. My wife. And not to be narcissistic, me. My house. Our cars. My wife’s family, my parents and sister. My dogs. My Mac. My Canon 40D. My grandfather’s Leica M3. A flower. A leaf. A sunset/sunrise. The building in which I work. My living room and a bookshelf. A shoe. A pencil. Why all of this random stuff?
Because chances are I’ll never have the opportunity to photograph with Kodachrome again. Just as a journey is coming to a close, a journey is beginning for me, one that will be documented in Kodachrome.