You probably know the Paul Simon song, but it’s the real deal camera film that will be coming to an end. On Monday, Kodak announced that it has shopped making Kodachrome, it’s oldest color film, that has a rich 74 years history. The cause is attributed to the rise in digital photos with Kodak making about 70% of it’s revenue from pixels, not prints.
Kodachrome film might have been one of the slower film, but it delivered a warm, rich tone to each and every photograph. Not to mention it was favored by many film producers. Even the Abraham Zapruder 8 mm reel of Kennedy’s assassination was shot on Kodachrome. This film was more than just something to print on – it was part of our daily life. It captured photos for National Geographic. It held your Christmas morning. It preserved your wedding day.
Photojournalist Steve McCurry’s portrait of an Afghan refugee girl, shot on Kodachrome, appeared on the cover of National Geographic in 1985. At Kodak’s request, McCurry will shoot one of the last rolls of Kodachrome and donate the images to the George Eastman House museum, named for the Kodak’s founder, in Rochester, NY.
We’ll still have the song, but the world will be a little less colorful without Kodachrome.