Sunday, February 3, 2013

The last roll of Kodachrome

(Video link) When photographer Steve McCurry heard that Kodak was going to stop manufacturing Kodachrome slide film, he asked them for the last roll, and brought along a video crew to show how he made the most of each exposure.

Video: National Geographic: The last roll of Kodachrome
Image gallery of the final exposures


Scorchfield said...

It is hard to say „why?”
No way, it is hard to say „good bye!”
I am blue.

Jim and Ruth said...

McCury is a great photographer, no doubt, but he seems to have merely done what it is he always does, instead of creating a specific theme around the last roll of Kodachrome. For instance, how could he have failed to shoot a photo of Paul Simon. Even as I watched this, Paul's, "nice Bright colors," and "greens of summers" kept playing on the radio of my mind -- and probably most other people's, too! A shot taken at Kodachrome Basin State Park in Utah, would have been appropriate -- and at least one shot taken in Rochester, NY (home of Kodak), might have been nice, too. But after that, when I think of Kodachrome, I think of all of the great vacation photos taken for decades by millions of Americans -- of children playing at Coney Island, of newlyweds at Niagara Falls, of families visiting Grand Canyon, etc. A frame or two shot in India would have been appropriate to the photographer, because he got his start there, but most of the roll dedicated to India seems to suggest that McCury might have been too close to his job as a photographer for National Geographic, and not thinking about the specific history and legacy of Kodachrome as an American institution.

James Gurney said...

J and R: True, another photographer would have taken another batch of pictures, and I would love to have seen the images you described. But I can't fault McCurry for taking more of the kind of photos that made him famous. The color of India was a beautiful choice, as well as his home turf of New York City.

It's not as if he wasn't taking risks doing that. With the low ASA of that roll of Kodachrome, there was a real danger taking portraits of strangers in dim light situations. People can blink or move, ruining the shot. He got a lot out of that roll. and his experience really paid off.

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fellow painter