“Life” wouldn’t have been the same without it. “National Geographic” would have been a washed-out mess.
Heck, they even named a state park after the stuff.
It’s Kodachrome. And it’s been discontinued.
So enjoy it while it lasts! Shoot just one roll of Kodachrome so you can say you used the greatest film of the 20th Century.
We know where to find it, we know what’s so great about it, and we’re gonna tell you, ’cause we want you to feel like all the world’s a sunny day.
Why Does It Matter?
It let generations of photographers capture bright, intense color the way they really saw it.
These days the big deal about Kodachrome is its distinctive look and archival quality. Plenty of photos from the 1940’s taken with Kodachrome have held up better than photos taken in the 80’s with more “advanced” film.
What Does It Look Like?
- Kodak’s Tribute to Kodachrome
- Americans in Kodachrome 1945-1965
- Americana the Beautiful: Mid-Century in Kodachrome
- Bound for Glory: America in Color 1939-43
- Southern Californialand: Mid-Century Culture in Kodachrome
- Kodachrome: The American Invention of Our World, 1939-1959
Where Can I Get It?
What Can I Do With It?
Don’t know what to shoot?
Make a time capsule!
Try to guess what things will have disappeared 10, 20, even 30 years from now and take pictures of those things. Get the film developed, hide it away for a few decades, then see if you were right.
Will it be…
- Land-line telephones?
- Ventriloquist dummies? (Please please please!)
- Tiki bars?
- Polar bears? (We really hope not.)
Where Can I Show It Off?
Scan them (along with your own new photos) and get ‘em online for everybody to see!
Here are a few of the most popular Kodachrome groups on Flickr:
Where Can I Get It Developed?
Kodachrome uses a different developing process than current transparency or print film, and only one photo lab in the world still uses that process. Kodak has a deal with Dwayne’s Photo to ensure that Kodachrome processing will be available until the end of 2010.
Local photo labs usually accept Kodachrome even though they send it out for processing. Expect longer turnaround times and higher developing costs than ordinary film. Don’t worry, it’s worth it.