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inaugural kodachrome.

15 Sep 2010

So I just got my first Kodachrome roll back from Dwayne’s Photo in Kansas, the last place in the US that is developing the stuff (and only until 12/31/10).  I tried as much as I could to take photos in a lot of different places, with different exposures and available light, just so I’d get a sense of how this film worked.  And …. I still don’t know what to do with it.  I didn’t post the photos taken around 1 in the afternoon, by the Brooklyn waterfront and under direct sunlight; Kodachrome seems to be as bored with direct sun as I generally am, and the blue skies were as generically blue as skies can be.  From what I can tell, it looks like sunset, and a bit of shade, seems to coax out some of what Kodachrome supposedly does best — bring out the nuances in tones.  I’m also told it does wonders on a cloudy, overcast day.  (Autumn, where are you already?!)

The thing is, I think any sort of wistful hope I had that the film would simply produce something like, say, this was pretty foolhardy.  For all of its nostalgia value, recent batches of Kodachrome were manufactured with fairly straightforward, non-nostalgic intentions: to record a moment as accurately as possible in terms of colors, tone, and the like.  The nostalgia comes later; it has to, no?  (Or maybe I just need to move to some open expanse in the South.    Shiphome’s entire flickr set makes a good case for packing up all of my expired film and heading to North Carolina, maybe Georgia, and spending my days seeking out nearly-shuttered ice cream parlors and overgrown kudzu patches.)

All of that said, these were all taken in the past 2-3 weeks, in particularly happy, occasionally famished, and sometimes elegiac moments: a lazy Sunday brunch here, a soccer game there (go Thierry Henry!), a so-so pizza outing with great company, the big room emptied out by a departing housemate, and a Saturday at the park with the most energetic and gleeful four year old Phillies fan ever.

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