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Rumors => Third Party Manufacturers => Topic started by: Rienzphotoz on March 03, 2013, 11:32:31 AM

Title: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 03, 2013, 11:32:31 AM
Got an email from Planet 5D with the below content ... thought it was interesting enough to share

Posted on 03. Mar, 2013 by planetmitch in Stills

I found this on youtube yesterday and wanted to share it… a very poignant story about Steve McCurry’s personal project to use the very last roll of Kodachrome off the production line.

I’d sure have a hard time deciding what to shoot with this monumentally significant last roll of Kodachrome – and from the film, it is obvious that Steve had trouble with it too.

Steve McCurry is very well known and is probably most famous for this cover shot from National Geographic:

As posted in http://blog.planet5d.com/2013/03/the-last-roll-of-kodachrome-what-would-you-shoot-with-the-last-36-frames/ (http://blog.planet5d.com/2013/03/the-last-roll-of-kodachrome-what-would-you-shoot-with-the-last-36-frames/)

National Geographic: The Last Roll of Kodachrome (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUL6MBVKVLI#ws)
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on March 03, 2013, 11:43:18 AM
It was news back in 2010   http://www.npr.org/blogs/pictureshow/2010/07/23/128728114/kodachrome (http://www.npr.org/blogs/pictureshow/2010/07/23/128728114/kodachrome)
I guess it came back to life recently.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Don Haines on March 03, 2013, 12:33:56 PM
I would celebrate by photographing the most photographed subject of all time.... the lens cap :)

Seriously though, wouldn't you hate being under pressure to perform and screw up big time instead?
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on March 03, 2013, 12:53:23 PM
I would celebrate by photographing the most photographed subject of all time.... the lens cap :)

Seriously though, wouldn't you hate being under pressure to perform and screw up big time instead?

It was the last roll to be developed, not the last roll to be shot.  If he had screwed up, he would just have pulled out another roll and used it / had it developed.
\There are still untold numbers of rolls of the film out there, just no one left to develop them.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: hgraf on March 03, 2013, 01:00:45 PM
Actually no, it was the last roll to come of the production line. I'm sure people are still shooting and developing Kodachrome today.

As for the pressure, this guy shot ALOT of rolls in his life, I don't think there was much pressure. He was using his DSLR to try out the shot and only when he got exactly what he wanted on his DSLR did he pull out his film SLR and commit the shot to film.

TTYL
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: m on March 03, 2013, 01:02:25 PM
I think you couldn't do this roll less justice than to pre-shoot all pictures of it digitally.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: RGF on March 03, 2013, 01:20:22 PM
 First I would need to find a camera that takes film  :)

Next question, one location or one theme or highlights across time and space.   In honor of kodachrome I would opt for highlights to crown it's long history
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: distant.star on March 03, 2013, 02:14:20 PM
.
To answer the OP:

I'd load the roll into Steve McCurry's camera, take one picture of him, then turn it over to him for the last 35 shots! The last roll of THAT film deserves a lot better than me!

As for last roll:

Yes, it was the last roll produced by Kodak. If he had screwed it up and put another roll in, that wouldn't have been the last roll. It was also the last roll processed by the last remaining U.S. Kodak processor -- the place in Kansas they document in the film (long time since I first watched that so I don't recall the name).

As for current processing:

I've done research and can find no one on earth processing Kodachrome -- the necessary chemicals just don't exist apparently. I'm sure there are folks with freezers full of Kodachrome film, but it will all probably end up in land fills someday in the future.

Finally, as for doing justice to the last roll:

The greatest justice you could do would be to take perfectly exposed and composed and lighted pictures. I would do whatever it took to make that happen.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: TexPhoto on March 03, 2013, 03:57:15 PM
I think you couldn't do this roll less justice than to pre-shoot all pictures of it digitally.

I agree.  I honestly think a photowalk through NY city with all the pics taken in the same day would have been more interesting.  Grand Central Station, then Robert Deniro, then India...?
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: mb66energy on March 03, 2013, 04:23:48 PM
I would shoot an earthrise from the moon.

That would be a great opportunity to shoot that great film. But I think there is no way to book flights to the moon on the fly - just have seen a lot of movie stuff from those great times 1969 till 1972/3 where the Apollo program was very prominent!
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: MrFotoFool on March 03, 2013, 04:54:35 PM
Young forum members may not realize why Kodachrome is different than other color films.  It is actually a black and white film with no color dies built in - the color is added during the processing stage.  That is also why it is more stable than all the earlier generation color film.  I work at a pro lab and we often scan people's old slides - the kodachromes look great while the ektachromes are all red (or some other color).  BTW the newer films no longer have this problem - especially Fujichrome slide film.

That is also why no one with remaining Kodachrome will ever be able to process it.  The machinery is huge, you need a certified chemist on site, and the chemicals are so toxic they are illegal in many areas.  My lab had to ship ours out to Los Angeles because it was illegal in our county in southern Arizona.  After they stopped doing it and Dwayne's in Kansas was the last place, we just gave people Dwayne's contact info.  Now they are done too.

Back to the original topic, I would shoot one shot at each of America's 36 top national parks.  A shot of the Grand Canyon, as shot of Yosemite Valley, a shot of a redwood at Sequoia, etc.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Ewinter on March 03, 2013, 05:30:14 PM
A portrait, in different locations, of 36 different people from Kodak. From the chairman to the Janitor.
Get them misty about their jobs, record their thoughts on what they loved about what they did. Get them emotionally built up and then catch images so punchy and full of emotion that anyone who looks through them can't help but think what a shame it is and think about what we've lost
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: distant.star on March 03, 2013, 05:54:49 PM
.
Thanks. That's a lot of great info. While I shot a lot of Kodachrome, I never knew the basis for it. I did experience what you suggest of Kodachrome vs Ektachrome. When I started scanning old slides a few years ago, the Kodachrome, even 20 or 30 years old, was perfect. The Ektachrome was faded, greenish/bluish/pinkish and had to be worked in post to get even close to correct colors.




Young forum members may not realize why Kodachrome is different than other color films.  It is actually a black and white film with no color dies built in - the color is added during the processing stage.  That is also why it is more stable than all the earlier generation color film.  I work at a pro lab and we often scan people's old slides - the kodachromes look great while the ektachromes are all red (or some other color).  BTW the newer films no longer have this problem - especially Fujichrome slide film.

That is also why no one with remaining Kodachrome will ever be able to process it.  The machinery is huge, you need a certified chemist on site, and the chemicals are so toxic they are illegal in many areas.  My lab had to ship ours out to Los Angeles because it was illegal in our county in southern Arizona.  After they stopped doing it and Dwayne's in Kansas was the last place, we just gave people Dwayne's contact info.  Now they are done too.

Back to the original topic, I would shoot one shot at each of America's 36 top national parks.  A shot of the Grand Canyon, as shot of Yosemite Valley, a shot of a redwood at Sequoia, etc.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: zim on March 03, 2013, 06:08:23 PM
I think you couldn't do this roll less justice than to pre-shoot all pictures of it digitally.

+1 That's exactly how I felt, but much more politely put than this old Kodachrome user would have managed
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Zlatko on March 03, 2013, 07:35:23 PM
I think you couldn't do this roll less justice than to pre-shoot all pictures of it digitally.

Kodachrome required pretty accurate exposure.  A digital camera is a fantastic light meter.  McCurry certainly knew what he was doing.  I don't see any injustice in that at all. 

About the "last roll" stuff -- I believe McCurry shot the last roll made, but his roll was not the last to be processed.  I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that the owner of Dwayne's lab shot the last roll to be processed.  I've also heard that any remaining rolls of Kodachrome out there can be processed as black & white film, so they are not necessarily useless.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: crasher8 on March 03, 2013, 07:40:10 PM
I'm not shooting mine, it's sitting right next to the last Twinkie.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: distant.star on March 03, 2013, 09:11:52 PM
I'm not shooting mine, it's sitting right next to the last Twinkie.

The Twinks are coming back. Kodachrome isn't!
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Mr Bean on March 03, 2013, 09:53:53 PM
A portrait, in different locations, of 36 different people from Kodak. From the chairman to the Janitor.
Get them misty about their jobs, record their thoughts on what they loved about what they did. Get them emotionally built up and then catch images so punchy and full of emotion that anyone who looks through them can't help but think what a shame it is and think about what we've lost
While I would have gone with the idea of landscapes in National Parks as being the end of the last roll, this one does seem fitting for such a beautiful film. I used Kodachrome it for 20 years or more, mainly 64 ASA and on occasion, 25 ASA. As mentioned by another poster, it was a harsh mistress when it came to exposure. But I learnt a lot from it, the hard way. While digital is easier and more convenient to use ('aint no one taking my 5D3 from me), it seems to lacks a certain character, or soul, IMHO :)
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Zlatko on March 03, 2013, 10:55:56 PM
While digital is easier and more convenient to use ('aint no one taking my 5D3 from me), it seems to lacks a certain character, or soul, IMHO :)

While digital lacks the character of film, it does have its own character, and can be interpreted much more freely.  Digital can be given any character you wish.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Mr Bean on March 03, 2013, 11:12:39 PM
While digital is easier and more convenient to use ('aint no one taking my 5D3 from me), it seems to lacks a certain character, or soul, IMHO :)

While digital lacks the character of film, it does have its own character, and can be interpreted much more freely.  Digital can be given any character you wish.
Good point. I'm still adjusting from film to digital :)
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 04, 2013, 04:18:30 AM
After watching that video I had an idea to get Kodachrome film roll and put it in a special frame as memorabilia ... but was surprised to see that it costs around $50 at Amazon for even a non working roll.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Danielle on March 04, 2013, 04:35:40 AM
Some members at apug (analog photography users group) were discussing k14 development a while back. One could check there as a last hope. But it's not exactly do-able except for the few.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 04, 2013, 04:38:23 AM
.
To answer the OP:
'd load the roll into Steve McCurry's camera, take one picture of him, then turn it over to him for the last 35 shots! The last roll of THAT film deserves a lot better than me!
Actually Steve McCurry did exactly that ... he took one picture of him standing next to a taxi and the rest were of people and places who/which meant a lot to him.
.
Finally, as for doing justice to the last roll:
The greatest justice you could do would be to take perfectly exposed and composed and lighted pictures. I would do whatever it took to make that happen.
+1 ... I absolutely agree!
Image having the last film roll ever to be produced given to him and the exposure of some of the images are messed up, that would've been a great shame ... sure he could've got another roll and re-do the shot but then it would not have been with the last film roll that was ever produced, thus losing the impact, meaning and the soul of that video ... It was very wise of him to make "test" shots with DSLR and then get the perfect exposure with Kodachrome ... it showed his respect for Kodachrome and what it meant to him.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 04, 2013, 04:56:33 AM
A portrait, in different locations, of 36 different people from Kodak. From the chairman to the Janitor.
Get them misty about their jobs, record their thoughts on what they loved about what they did. Get them emotionally built up and then catch images so punchy and full of emotion that anyone who looks through them can't help but think what a shame it is and think about what we've lost
While I would have gone with the idea of landscapes in National Parks as being the end of the last roll, this one does seem fitting for such a beautiful film.
While I understand and appreciate the point Ewinter is making, IMHO that would have made a depressing video ... like a funeral, if I may say so.
I am sure we all would agree that we would make 36 totally different images than what Steve came up with ... but I think I understand why Steve went with those particular 36 images ... the images he made, so many years ago, in the sub-continent made him famous and thrust him into the "A" list photographers ... and he is a New Yorker, so I suppose it was his way of paying his tribute to a great tool (Kodachrome) in his favorite venues ... its like any sports person, apart from their home venue they all have a favorite venue that they really like because they've always scored well at that venue or it is the venue where they became famous etc. I like how Nat Geo made that video with Steve McCurry, it is not depressing, yet it make you feel nostalgic about a bygone era and at the same time it is uplifting, especially when you see yesteryear super stars like Robert De Niro, Amitabh Bachchan & Steve himself who are still very much relevant today, just like all those images made with Kodachrome many decades ago.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: m on March 04, 2013, 05:49:28 AM
+1 ... I absolutely agree!
sure he could've got another roll and re-do the shot but then it would not have been with the last film roll that was ever produced, thus losing the impact, meaning and the soul of that video

He's not re-doing one roll, but pre-doing a hundred of them.
It's pretty much the same thing, if not worse.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 04, 2013, 06:31:58 AM
+1 ... I absolutely agree!
sure he could've got another roll and re-do the shot but then it would not have been with the last film roll that was ever produced, thus losing the impact, meaning and the soul of that video

He's not re-doing one roll, but pre-doing a hundred of them.
It's pretty much the same thing, if not worse.
I disagree ...  the intent of the photographer was showing his respect and paying tribute to a tool that (in a way) helped him to be what he is today by using the very last film roll out of production line by getting 36 perfect exposure. Bare in mind that even though he was testing the shot with a DSLR, he still needed to get the perfect shot with an "analog" camera & Kodachrome ... getting a perfect exposure with an analog camera is not as easy as people think, even if you "test fired a bunch of digital ones", it still takes a great deal of skill and a lot of thought and concentration in not screwing up the shot ... especially when you know you only got one shot at it. Therefore, IMO it is NOT "pretty much the same thing"!
By the way how do you know he was "pre-doing a hundred of them"? ... that kind of comment implies that Steve McCurry is not competent.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: RLPhoto on March 04, 2013, 09:07:24 AM
Yuck! I never liked Kodachrome. Fuji-chrome was far better or even etkachrome.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: TrumpetPower! on March 04, 2013, 11:21:45 AM
I wouldn't shoot the last roll of Kodachrome at all. Instead, I'd make sure it got into the hands of Steve McCurry.

Fortunately, that happened without any requirement for my own involvement.

Any all y'al want to see the pictures, they're here:

http://stevemccurry.com/galleries/last-roll-kodachrome (http://stevemccurry.com/galleries/last-roll-kodachrome)

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: AJ on March 04, 2013, 12:17:46 PM
I'd shoot test charts, brick walls, and the inside of my lenscap.

uh, not
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: TrumpetPower! on March 04, 2013, 12:30:11 PM
I'd shoot test charts, brick walls, and the inside of my lenscap.

One of these days I'm going to take it as an artistic challenge to make interesting art out of the typical measurebator subjects. Not sure yet how I'll pull it off, though I've got a few ideas....

b&
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Dantana on March 04, 2013, 01:39:03 PM
I'd shoot test charts, brick walls, and the inside of my lenscap.

One of these days I'm going to take it as an artistic challenge to make interesting art out of the typical measurebator subjects. Not sure yet how I'll pull it off, though I've got a few ideas....

b&

That's a great idea. It reminds me of a time back in school. We had a list of subjects that were so cliche that they were off limits to shoot. One classmate took it upon himself to combine them all in very creative ways. It was one of the best, or at least most memorable, pieces in the class.

I'd love to see what you would come up with using charts and brick walls and color chips...

Of course not with the last roll of Kodachrome. I think the right person had access to that.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 05, 2013, 04:31:01 AM
One of these days I'm going to take it as an artistic challenge to make interesting art out of the typical measurebator subjects.
Is that a typo ;D
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Sella174 on April 19, 2013, 09:27:36 AM
My dog, my horse, and my cat.

I've finished up personal stock of several brands, so this is no big deal. However ... I miss my AGFA  :'( !!!
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: crasher8 on April 19, 2013, 04:16:36 PM
I'm not shooting mine, it's sitting right next to the last Twinkie.

The Twinks are coming back. Kodachrome isn't!

I think you might be best served not calling them twinks.
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=twinks (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=twinks)
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on April 20, 2013, 03:02:29 PM
I miss my AGFA  :'( !!!
In my home town (Goa) there is an old Agfa dealer who is still selling AGFA film
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Sporgon on April 20, 2013, 03:55:17 PM
I know it's not really answering the question, but I don't think I'd use it. Non of the (commercial) pictures that I produce now could have been shot and viewed on film.

Digital has freed photography from the shackles of film.  :). Unfortunately it has also devalued it enormously.  :(
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Sporgon on April 20, 2013, 04:09:19 PM
One of these days I'm going to take it as an artistic challenge to make interesting art out of the typical measurebator subjects.
Is that a typo ;D


Ha ha - I think I get your joke. The other subjects would be much more interesting  ;D
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on April 21, 2013, 05:35:57 AM
Digital has freed photography from the shackles of film.  :). Unfortunately it has also devalued it enormously.  :(
Very true ... I still remember cringing at the cost of developing film and seeing several of my shots were useless but I used to pay a lot more attention to how I was making an image ... but now I find myself not as careful, I guess it is the blessing or curse of PP ... but I still prefer digital, coz its easier and cheaper :-[
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: m on April 21, 2013, 06:47:02 AM
coz its easier and cheaper :-[

This depends on whether you develop the film yourself, which film you are using, how many pictures you take etc.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on April 21, 2013, 07:30:36 AM
coz its easier and cheaper :-[

This depends on whether you develop the film yourself, which film you are using, how many pictures you take etc.
I no longer use film cameras ... been a long time (I think 2002 was the last) but when I used to shoot film it was around 50 rolls a year.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: distant.star on April 21, 2013, 09:10:47 AM
Digital has freed photography from the shackles of film.  :). Unfortunately it has also devalued it enormously.  :(
Very true ... I still remember cringing at the cost of developing film and seeing several of my shots were useless but I used to pay a lot more attention to how I was making an image ... but now I find myself not as careful, I guess it is the blessing or curse of PP ... but I still prefer digital, coz its easier and cheaper :-[

I think this is really wide open for debate, and I'd fall on the side of digital improving photography immensely. For every person who takes a crappy picture, there are people like me who will take 10 crappy pictures as tests, then use that as a basis for one very good image -- and the 10 crappies vanish with a delete key. And as I recall, they guy who shot that last roll of K did just that, using digital images to get his film image just right.
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on April 24, 2013, 03:14:19 AM
Digital has freed photography from the shackles of film.  :). Unfortunately it has also devalued it enormously.  :(
Very true ... I still remember cringing at the cost of developing film and seeing several of my shots were useless but I used to pay a lot more attention to how I was making an image ... but now I find myself not as careful, I guess it is the blessing or curse of PP ... but I still prefer digital, coz its easier and cheaper :-[

I think this is really wide open for debate, and I'd fall on the side of digital improving photography immensely. For every person who takes a crappy picture, there are people like me who will take 10 crappy pictures as tests, then use that as a basis for one very good image -- and the 10 crappies vanish with a delete key. And as I recall, they guy who shot that last roll of K did just that, using digital images to get his film image just right.
+1
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Canon-F1 on April 24, 2013, 12:04:37 PM
naked supermodels....
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Maui5150 on April 24, 2013, 01:31:21 PM
naked supermodels....

Nah, even better... Granny P0RN
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Sporgon on April 24, 2013, 03:13:09 PM
naked supermodels....

Nah, even better... Granny P0RN


Hmmmmm,  :-\. If your going to do that do the rest of us a favour and use a film without such fine grain
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on April 26, 2013, 03:44:47 PM
 
Load up the Mars One astronauts in 2023 with all that freezer Kodachrome and tell them to shoot to their heart's content, on the basis that the astronauts apparently have as much chance of coming back as the film they're shooting does. Send 'em both out Major Tom style I say.
???
Title: Re: The last roll of Kodachrome – what would you shoot with the last 36 frames?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on April 28, 2013, 03:37:53 PM
Load up the Mars One astronauts in 2023 with all that freezer Kodachrome and tell them to shoot to their heart's content, on the basis that the astronauts apparently have as much chance of coming back as the film they're shooting does. Send 'em both out Major Tom style I say.
???

'Scuse, sometimes I'm really not clear. Have to work on that  :)

My point is: if the hoarded rolls of kodachrome in freezers are never going to be developed, might as well up the ante on the mystery of what exactly was shot with them. Sending it out Major Tom (ala David Bowie) on the Mars One mission would have it exit stage right on a more stylish note than it just being dropped in the rubbish bin over the years, unused.
Ok I get now ... but I see those Kodachrome rolls being sold for good money on ebay and elsewhere (even though they aren't in "working" condition)