Tuesday, June 23, 2009

18 Months and counting.... More coverage of the end of the Kodachrome era

Kodak announced Monday, June 22 that they would end production of Kodachrome 64 after 74 years. I've used it since the very first railroad images I ever took in the early 1990s. Here is some editorials and coverage worth a look...




Also, the new title image was taken with Kodachrome 64 in the Fall of 2000. Clear Canadian skies, peak Fall foliage in the Notre-Dame Mtns. and fresh CN units leading the way. Perfect conditions for chrome...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sorry Paul - Kodachrome era comes to an end after 74-years

From Kodak.com

ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 22 -- Eastman Kodak Company announced today that it will retire KODACHROME Color Film this year, concluding its 74-year run as a photography icon.
Sales of KODACHROME Film, which became the world’s first commercially successful color film in 1935, have declined dramatically in recent years as photographers turned to newer KODAK Films or to the digital imaging technologies that Kodak pioneered. Today, KODACHROME Film represents just a fraction of one percent of Kodak’s total sales of still-picture films.
“KODACHROME Film is an iconic product and a testament to Kodak’s long and continuing leadership in imaging technology,” said Mary Jane Hellyar, President of Kodak’s Film, Photofinishing and Entertainment Group. "It was certainly a difficult decision to retire it, given its rich history. However, the majority of today's photographers have voiced their preference to capture images with newer technology – both film and digital. Kodak remains committed to providing the highest-performing products – both film and digital – to meet those needs."
While Kodak now derives about 70% of its revenues from commercial and consumer digital businesses, it is the global leader in the film business. Kodak has continued to bring innovative new film products to market, including seven new professional still films and several new VISION2 and VISION3 motion picture films in the past three years.These new still film products are among those that have become the dominant choice for those professional and advanced amateur photographers who use KODAK Films.
Among the well-known professional photographers who used KODACHROME Film is Steve McCurry, whose picture of a young Afghan girl captured the hearts of millions of people around the world as she peered hauntingly from the cover of National Geographic Magazine in 1985.
As part of a tribute to KODACHROME Film, Kodak will donate the last rolls of the film to George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, which houses the world’s largest collection of cameras and related artifacts. McCurry will shoot one of those last rolls and the images will be donated to Eastman House.
“The early part of my career was dominated by KODACHROME Film, and I reached for that film to shoot some of my most memorable images,” said McCurry. “While KODACHROME Film was very good to me, I have since moved on to other films and digital to create my images. In fact, when I returned to shoot the ‘Afghan Girl’ 17 years later, I used KODAK PROFESSIONAL EKTACHROME Film E100VS to create that image, rather than KODACHROME Film as with the original.”
For all of its magic, KODACHROME is a complex film to manufacture and an even more complex film to process. There is only one remaining photofinishing lab in the world – Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas – that processes KODACHROME Film, precisely because of the difficulty of processing. This lack of widespread processing availability, as well as the features of newer films introduced by Kodak over the years, has accelerated the decline of demand for KODACHROME Film.
During its run, KODACHROME Film filled a special niche in the annals of the imaging world. It was used to capture some of the best-known photographs in history, while also being the film of choice for family slide shows of the Baby Boom generation.
To celebrate the film’s storied history, Kodak has created a gallery of iconic images, including the Afghan girl and other McCurry photos, as well as others from professional photographers Eric Meola and Peter Guttman on its website: www.kodak.com/go/kodachrometribute. Special podcasts featuring McCurry and Guttman will also be featured on the website.
Kodak estimates that current supplies of KODACHROME Film will last until early this fall at the current sales pace. Dwayne’s Photo has indicated it will continue to offer processing for the film through 2010."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Some Recent Work

With warmer weather coming around, free time is certainly at a premium and time spent on the computer (updating things like this blog) has been significantly cut. However if your looking to see some new material check out these two recent publications...

The recent issue of Passenger Train Journal (Issue 239) features a 1-page feature authored and illustrated by myself titled "Long Live The PCCs" and looks at the PCC cars of MBTA's Mattapan-Ashmont High Speed Line, one of the last places in the Northeast to still employee the iconic street car in regular service.

The second is something that has been 23 years in the making (and I'm only 21). Hot off the press is the second edition of Jerry Angier and Herb Cleaves "Bangor and Aroostook - The Life of a Maine Railroad Tradition." This is the most complete history of one of Maine's favorite railroads and tells the whole story from the first spike to the final moments on January 9, 2003. The book features five images by myself and many other more talented photographers. I'm very proud to have taken part in this much needed conclusion to a great story and Jerry has done an awesome job.