30 December 2010

The World Seen through a Glass of Scotch

As I've often said, I love Kodachrome. Kodak pulled the plug on it about 18 months ago, but today the last roll is being processed at Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, KA.



Kodachrome was not just another film. It was for about 50 years the principal way that the world was described in color. As one photographer recently put it, "Study any color photo book from this era. Almost invariably you'll see the Kodachrome ├Žsthetic: rich warm tones and relatively subdued greens, with deep shadows as an artifact of the slight underexposure required to get decent color saturation. As long as you kept the highlights under control, you'd reliably get that nice palette: lovely blue skies, subtle cool greens, and burnished warm colors with impact out of proportion to their size in the frame. To me it sometimes seemed like looking at the world through a glass of Scotch. For folks my age, learning color photography meant learning to see the world like K64 did."

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