I exposed my last roll of Kodak's classic colour reversal film ('film for color slides'), Kodachrome, today, using a Nikon camera and a 28mm lens. It's a warm, Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, very appropriate for this film which has preserved so many subtle colours during its lifetime (1935-2009).
I've used Kodachrome since the 1960s, shipping it home to Canada from Africa for processing in 1964, photographing a trip across Canada in 1967, and photographing my children, in the 1970s. Most of my work has been done with black and white film, but I used Kodachrome for subjects that worked well in colour.
The film came with special envelopes with the address of the processing company on them. The purchase price included processing and the slides were returned within a week or two.
The Kodachrome that I used primarily was Kodachrome 25 (25 ASA) although for the last several years the only Kodachrome that I could buy was Kodachrome 64. In my opinion, Kodachrome 25 was the finest colour film ever produced.
I'll now send today's roll of Kodachrome 64 and several others I exposed earlier this year to Dwayne's Photo in Kansas for processing. They will process Kodachrome until December 30, 2010.
The good news for me is that I have thousands of Kodachrome transparencies, filed and labelled. They include a forty year history of my family, our farm, our homes, my environment, and my life. I'll miss being able to buy and use more of it, but I'll delight in working with the images which Kodachrome has helped me to create.
Photography is a tool which can be used by the artist within each of us to preserve moments and to interpret what is happening in our lives. We can do that best when we use the best films, cameras, and lenses available. I'm glad that I chose Kodachrome.
Please join Paul Simon and me in giving this film a great send-off by singing along to Kodachrome.