The Dreams of Summer


The last roll of Kodachrome produced by Eastman Kodak has been processed at the last Kodachrome lab in the world, which will close down at the end of the year. I wonder how many Kodachrome sunsets that place developed. This one is by Flickr user rappensuncle.

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28 replies
  1. 1
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m really the first one to post the song? Weird. Where are all the old hippies today? ;-)

  2. 2
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I admire cave paintings. Wouldn’t want to go back to them, though.

  3. 3
    Emma says:

    So he’re a question for all of you old fart photographers like me. The last b&w film lab in Miami has closed, just in time for me to find some b&w film shot in Tuscany a few years ago. Is there an online lab you trust?

  4. 4
    JGabriel says:

    I always misremember the opening of the second verse as:

    If you took all the girls I knew when I was single
    And laid them all together for one night

    … which has led to some embarrassing sing-along moments.

    .

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Tokyokie says:

    Microwave dinners are a lot more convenient, too.

  7. 7
    Napoleon says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I love that song and it is off a great album (I love American Tune even more).

    Interesting, Wiki says the album kept out of the top spot on the charts by Harrison’s Living in the Material World and Kodachrome was kept out of the top spot by Billy Preston’s Will it Go Round in Circles.

  8. 8
    Captain Goto says:

    Cue NPR getting Paul Simon on the phone in 3…2…1…

  9. 9
    Trevor B says:

    too bad, kodachrome was always the go to for professional photographers. I actually always preferred fujichrome. I do think that kodachrome is more photoreal. Sad day

  10. 10
    artem1s says:

    @Emma:

    Emma, find a nearby university that grants a photography MFA. They will have all of the proper equipment and chemicals. Once they get over the KodaChrome demise some grad student will be glad to develop it for you for a small fee. Don’t know where you are but Ohio University in Athens, OH granted the first Masters in Photography in the country and still has an outstanding program.

    All of the photo majors I went to school with are wailing and gnashing their teeth today.

  11. 11
    trollhattan says:

    Heh-heh, Kansas. They misspelled “loupe.”

    Wonderful and wonderfully complex stuff, Kodachrome, which is one reason it’s kaput–expensive to manufacture and expensive (and very demanding) to process. Everything else (slide film) is easy squeezy E-6 processing.

    It was the first “archival’ color film and when released, it was a whopping ASA 8. Pretty astonishing in this world of ISO 12,800 dslrs.

    I has a huge sad. Must dig through the freezer and liberate my last rolls. Soon. Nobody’s resurrecting it like they’re doing with Polaroid.

  12. 12
    Emma says:

    Artemls: I work at an University. I tried that, but it was “no” all the way around. The funny thing is, I could do it myself if I had the space. *sigh* time to blackmail my father out of garage space…

  13. 13

    Emma,

    I get great B&W photo processing done at North Coast Photo services in San Diego. You can google up their website. Good stuff and their film scanning is top notch, too.

  14. 14
    Pauline says:

    Can anybody suggest a good slide to digital file imaging program? Something not too pricey but that still does a decent job? I have many many images that I would like to transfer.

    As for the main thread: I am in the sad camp. Not a fuji fan. Too much green tone. Kodak was my brand of choice. Harder and harder to find anybody to do a good job developing prints, though. Even if you can find the film…

  15. 15
    Butch says:

    So I’m finally going to have to give up my Seamaster scuba diving camera? It’s a film camera, but a good one, and the replacement will be ‘spensive.

  16. 16
    trollhattan says:

    @Emma:

    What about shooting C41 B/W, which can be processed on any color neg machine?

    A thought, anyhoo.

    p.s. A thanks to whomever it was that un-Wordpressed the messed up comments. FYWP.

  17. 17
    Montysano says:

    @Emma:

    So he’re a question for all of you old fart photographers like me. The last b&w film lab in Miami has closed, just in time for me to find some b&w film shot in Tuscany a few years ago. Is there an online lab you trust?

    Buy yourself a developing tank and a dark bag and do it yourself. It’s dead easy, and fun also, too. I never get tired of that moment when you finally crack open the tank, pull the film off of the reel, and see what you’ve got.

    Earlier this year, I scanned 800+ of my mom’s slides. There were Kodachromes from 1952 that looked like they’d been processed yesterday. No degradation, brilliant colors, true skin tones. Kodachrome is/was an environmental nightmare, but the end results were second to none.

  18. 18
    Montysano says:

    @Emma:

    The funny thing is, I could do it myself if I had the space.

    No space required. All of my developing supplies fit in a 12″ x 12″ x 10″ box. Printing? Yeah, that takes space. I print in a 4′ x 8′ bathroom, with the enlarger sitting in the shower stall, and it sucks big time.

    I recently spent a couple hundred bucks on an Epson V500 scanner, and it’s been the best photo money I’ve spent in years. I had 100s of medium format negatives that I’d never printed; IOW, I had 100s of negs that I’d never really seen. Found some real jewels.

  19. 19
    13th Generation says:

    I’m only in my 40’s, but I still think vinyl sounds great and nothing can replace the pure beauty of real photographic film. (VHS does suck though). Got to draw the line somwhere, technology-wise.

  20. 20
    Montysano says:

    @13th Generation:

    I’m only in my 40’s, but I still think vinyl sounds great and nothing can replace the pure beauty of real photographic film.

    Yeah, I love the sound of vinyl, and love the fact that most new releases are being put out on vinyl. The Avett Brothers “I And Love And You”, produced by Rick Rubin, is spectacular.

    As to photography: I have to think that 99% of photos are now viewed on a computer monitor or (blech….) a phone. In that realm, it really doesn’t matter. But a 16×20 optical print on gallery-grade paper is IMHO unequaled.

    Then there’s this: digital cameras are expensive. Printers are expensive. I can make sell-able images with a $200.00 50-year old medium format camera, a $4.00 roll of film, and a couple of bucks worth of chemicals and paper. It’s a lot more work, of course, but it feels like I’m doing it, not the technology.

  21. 21
    Belvoir says:

    A real shame. There’s a wonderful site devoted to old photos, Shorpy. com . “The past in high definition”. And the Kodachromes he’s posted are just dazzling, high resolution scans. Beautiful and vivid. Some of the WWII Kodachromes he’s posted are uncanny in their “you are there” feeling. Highly recommended.

    Vintage Kodachromes at Shorpy

  22. 22
    Xenos says:

    @Emma: There is a grad student out in Colorado who is trying to run a business developing and then scanning b&w 35mm film.

    Back when I was 15 and could not afford to pay someone else to develop my film I would buy these big canisters of film that I would put into a dispenser and then roll my own cassettes. Then I would use a black bag to open the exposed cassettes and roll up the film and put it into a developing canisters. I think I need to break out the old technology.

  23. 23
    trollhattan says:

    @Belvoir:

    Holy crap, you’re not kidding.
    And hubba-hubba #531.

    http://www.shorpy.com/node/6882?size=_original

  24. 24
    mclaren says:

    @Emma:

    The last b&w film lab in Miami has closed, just in time for me to find some b&w film shot in Tuscany a few years ago. Is there an online lab you trust?

    You don’t need a lab to develop b&w film. You can do it yourself. I learned how to do it in high school, it’s easy.

    Developing color film…now that’s hard. But b&w film? Piece of cake.

  25. 25
    Montysano says:

    @trollhattan:

    And hubba-hubba #531.

    Here’s my mom (now 84 years old) in Kodachrome. Dad, too. Circa 1952.

  26. 26
    greyjoy says:

    Then there’s this: digital cameras are expensive. Printers are expensive. I can make sell-able images with a $200.00 50-year old medium format camera, a $4.00 roll of film, and a couple of bucks worth of chemicals and paper. It’s a lot more work, of course, but it feels like I’m doing it, not the technology.

    I’d have to disagree with this. You can get point-and-shoot 10-megapixel cameras for under $100, 12MP cameras for under $150, advanced cameras with high optical zoom for under $400, and DSLRs with lenses for under $700.

    And where digital cameras really take the advantage away from film is that they have a DELETE FUNCTION. Sure, film is $4, but you get 24 shots and you have no idea if any of them are any good until you’ve already spent the money on developing them. With a digital camera, you can take 25,000 shots, not have a loser in the bunch and print them at your leisure on your $100 photo printer/fax/copier/scanner.

    The key to a picture’s quality is the resolution, and the picture itself will last as long as you use good quality photo paper. I am extremely impressed by the quality of those 60-year-old photos and how bright they still look today, but I’m pretty confident that today’s media have an even greater chance at maintaining their integrity. Not that EVERY photo needs to be immortalized (I’m thinking of the umpty-jillion photos of girls in bikinis posing in a line-up, guys holding beer bottles, guys AND girls making kissy-faces, and other assorted popular banalia that make up today’s social network content) but the good ones will still be around too.

  27. 27
    trollhattan says:

    @Montysano:

    Please extend a respectful “hubba-hubba” to your lovely mother. What terrific photos, both of them!

  28. 28
    Belvoir says:

    @trollhattan:

    Hubba hubba too:
    “The Sentinel, 1942

    So pleased you checked that site out, it’s astonishing, the hi-res scans they have of archival photos. Beautiful images of American history, 1850-1960 roughly. Click on “view Hi-Def” and fill your screen, it is so immersive and touching too.

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