Weekly Giveaway – It gave us those nice, bright colors.
“So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away” Paul Simon
Yeah, I know, everyone has been referencing this song.
Maybe because it’s easy.
Mostly because it was true.
A good friend of mine was the photographer for a major global advertising account, that shot in every exotic location you could imagine. And every possible light condition you could encounter.
The film he always used, of course, was Kodachrome. K64 to be exact.
Oh, he’d filter it, clip test it, push or pull the ASA (that’s what we called ISO then) and use Nikon F2 and F3’s to expose it all. Being way before 9/11, the customs situation was not that much of an issue.
Once back in the states, he would hunch over his massive light table, loupe in one hand, bringing each mounted frame up to his eye for the edit.
And there were thousands of frames.
Once the final edit was sent to the ad agency, they used these images for everything from a matchbook cover , to a massive billboard.
The grain structure of those 35mm frames held, for the whole range of sizes. Beautifully. The power and quality of that film stock was unmistakable, and unquestionable.
I still have sheets and sheets of select K64 images, and boxes and boxes of full sessions, and of course, slide reels of these beauties.
They still look great. Those far off places still feel exotic.
Kodachrome was not really marketed to the pro as much as the amateur. It had a sweet leeway of exposure which was very forgiving.
Things were not always as automatic as they are today, but cameras did have some suggested exposure based on full sun, cloudy , shade or indoor lighting.
The richer, brighter, colors were perfect for the family photos, even as the culture only allowed certain elements and genders to appear so.
Come vacation time, that set of rules went away, as all of the accoutrements of a work-free environment, stood for fun.
No blackberries, unless you were picking them and eating them. Apple products were put into pies.
Dad didn’t bring his laptop to “be in touch”, and face time was used, instead of facebook.
I’m not judging here. My family rarely picked blackberries.
But someone always had a camera.
So it is with a slight sigh, that we say goodbye to Kodachrome, as Kodak made their announcement, last Monday, that production would finally cease after 74 years.
I haven’t shot with it for years. there is only one lab in this country that will process it.
However, it has gone the way of the dodo. Except with a lot of memories in it’s wake.
The giveaway this week, is a book of tribute to that emulsion.
Americans In Kodachrome definitely pays tribute to the family, and the visual history they all created, with a common paint palette. Like all art, whether it is high minded or vernacular in scope, each artisan, or craftsman uses the paint differently. Different brushes, different subjects, different canvas.
“Introduced in 1935 as the first modern color film, Kodachrome was used extensively after World War II by amateur photographers equipped with the new high-quality and low cost 35mm cameras. Americans in Kodachrome is an unprecedented portrayal of the daily life of the people during these formative years of modern American culture and is comprised of ninety-five exceptional color photographs made by over ninety unknown American photographers. Conceived as a book and nation-wide exhibition, Americans in Kodachrome 1945-1965 is an evocative and haunting portrait of a historic generation of Americans.”
I’ve ordered a copy of that book to send to one of you and hopefully it will be delivered to us soon.
If not, another book on the Kodachrome subject : Kodachrome: The American Invention of Our World, 1939-1959
, will be substituted.
Another change this week is that the NEWSLETTER will come out on Thursday, not Weds.
Sorry, just putting together some new stuff, and came back to office later then I thought.
So sign up for the NEWSLETTER, now that you have more time, and look for details on getting this free tribute to Kodachrome, included in that email.
Say, how did anyone feel about the advertising business coverage last week?
we have a few more vids we’ll share with you coming up and want to see if it’s too much off mark, or there is some interest.
Post a comment or email us privately.