Again, On the End of Kodachrome

As with so many others, I cut my photographic teeth on Kodachrome. It was what my dad shot when I was a kid in the 1970s, so when he started to teach me, it was what I learned on. Little yellow and red boxes of Kodachrome 25 and 64, usually in 36 exposure lengths but occasionally in the shorter 20 frame packages … we’d pack up a bunch of them before every summer camping trip, ready to be loaded into his trusty Pentax Spotmatic.

I still have that camera, I still have the nearly 8,000 edited slides he shot before passing … and I really want to order up a few rolls and shoot my kids on them, just so I have them.

Meantime, Steve McCurry traveled the world with the last manufactured roll of the stuff, shooting 36 final frames, and then took it to the last place that will process it, Dwayne’s Photo Service out in Kansas. As the film that defined color for National Geographic, I sure hope the magazine runs the images … all 36, really, not just a few.

Mark E. Johnson

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