Monday, June 22, 2009

Mama, They Took Our Kodachrome Away!

Kodachrome, the world's first commercially successful color film, is the latest victim of the digital age. Representing less than one percent of Kodak's sales, the company pulled the plug on it today, ending its 74-year run. Remarkably, there is only one photo lab in the world that still processes it -- in Kansas!

Like its famous ad campaign, Kodachrome will itself become the stuff of memories.

Kodak offers a slideshow tribute to the fabled film, from three photogs whose work helped popularize it: Steve McCurry, Eric Meola, and Peter Guttman.

McCurry shot the memorable 1985 National Geographic cover image, "Afghan Girl" (above), using Kodachrome.

"The early part of my career was dominated by Kodachrome, and I reached for that film to shoot some of my most memorable images," he says. "While Kodachrome 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."

Kodak's "1000 Words" blog offers more reflections on Kodachrome from McCurry, Meola and Guttman -- and this celebratory slideshow.

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