The Last Roll of Kodachrome

It was the original. A saturated, low grain, super sharp, transparency film that changed the way photographers created. Kodak’s Kodachrome slide film put beautiful images on the covers of magazines like National Geographic, Audubon, and National Wildlife. It was the film that started the fine grain revolution that continued with films like Fujichrome Velvia. Kodachrome was a staple of many of the photographers, including Art, during the films days. Now when technology is getting the better of the past Kodak has discontinued Kodachrome. Photographer Steve McCurry has exposed the last roll of 36 exposures for a National Geographic story. In time, we all will get to see those final images. Here are a couple of Art’s images taken before he started shooting digital using Kodachrome from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

3 Responses to “The Last Roll of Kodachrome”

  1. John N. Cohen says:

    About Kodachrome and the top international award-winning photograph ‘Spirit of Spring’ that was created without any computer, yet consisted of a negative and a positive image on the same Kodachrome film emulsion.

    ‘Painting with light’ is a term often used by photographers. But John N. Cohen used his own invented form of ‘Painting with light’, a very different ‘special effect’ technique, without any computer, to create his stunning unique transparencies.

    The picture titled ‘Spirit of Spring’ by John, was the first ever picture (taken on a Kodachrome transparency film) that included both a negative of a tulip and a positive image of a girl’s portrait, all on the same emulsion!!! No one knew at the time how this could be possible as it was created well before anyone had the use of computers.

    John discovered and then invented this form of ‘Painting with Light’ that was/still is, a very original, but different photographic technique. This is pure photography on film and has nothing to do with moving lights to make light graffiti, or of lighting specific parts of a dark scene with a long exposure.

    His free publication titled ‘The Magic Lantern’ fully describes ‘Painting with Light’ and explains exactly how anyone can do it without any computer, darkroom chemicals, or expensive equipment! Digital camera users can also use many of his techniques that have certain qualities that are a little different from those achievable by digital manipulation. Please have a look at: –

    ‘Spirit of Spring’ won the London Salon Trophy in 1967; this was then the first time a colour picture was deemed worthy of this much-coveted Trophy, for it had only ever been awarded for Black and White studies before. John was then also the youngest member to have won it.

    Reference: Wikipedia about John’s ‘Painting With Light’

    John had Over 20 One-Man Exhibitions
    2 held in New York, 4 in London, The Edinburgh Festival and many other UK & USA Cities.

    Favourable reviews and comments about John’s photography have been received from; Cecil Beaton C.B.E., Sir William Russell Flint R.A., Lady Clementine Spencer-Churchill, ‘The Times’ and ‘Arts Review’ to name a few!

  2. clytie says:

    A bittersweet moment.

  3. I like the look of the scanned film better than digital capture. The colors seem richer and truer, particularly with drum scans. The main drawback is in the case of my father, landscape photographer Philip Hyde, who made much of his early photographs on Kodak E-3 and E-6 film. Those early Ektachrome transparencies are color-shifting, turning pink-magenta due to degradation of the other colors, spotting and showing blotches and all sorts of aging damage. Hopefully the Kodachrome film will last longer.

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