The Last Roll of Kodachrome – Video.

For those who have not seen yet, “The Last Roll of Kodachrome” from National Geographic. I strongly recommend this documentary.

Enjoy.

The Last Roll of Kodachrome – Frame by Frame.

Photographs by Steve McCurry.

Two years ago, photographer Steve McCurry heard the whispers. Due to the digital-photography revolution, Kodak was considering discontinuing one of the most legendary film stocks of all time: Kodachrome, a film which was to color slides what the saxophone was to jazz. McCurry spoke with Kodak’s worldwide-marketing wizard Audrey Jonckheer, hoping to persuade Kodak to bequeath him the very last roll that came off the assembly line in Rochester, New York. They readily agreed. And recently, McCurry—most famous for his National Geographic cover of an Afghan girl in a refugee camp, shot on Kodachrome loaded his Nikon F6 with the 36 exposure spool and headed east, intending to concentrate on visual artists like himself, relying on his typical mix of portraiture, photojournalism, and street photography.

Herewith, presented for the first time in their entirety, are the frames from that historic final roll, which accompanied McCurry from the manufacturing plant in Rochester to his home in Manhattan (where he is a member of the prestigious photo agency Magnum), to Bombay, Rajasthan, Bombay, Istanbul, London, and back to New York. (The camera was X-rayed twice at airports along the way.) McCurry’s final stop, on July 12, 2010: Dwayne’s Photo, in Parsons, Kansas—the only lab on Earth that still developed Kodachrome—which halted all such processing in late December.

What did he choose to shoot on the last frame of that last roll? A statue in a Parsons graveyard (in the section reserved for Civil War veterans), bearing flowers of the same yellow-and-red hue as the Kodak package. (See Frame 36.) “I saw a statue of this soldier, looking off in the distance,” says McCurry, age 60, “and he’s kind of looking off into the future or the past. I figure, This is perfect. A cemetery. Kodachrome—this is the end of this sort of film—[suggesting] the transience of life. This is something that’s disappearing forever.”

And what, pray tell, will McCurry miss most about his old trusty chrome? (He happens to have shot, at last count, 800,000 Kodachrome frames over the past four decades.) “I’ve been shooting digital for years,” he insists, “but I don’t think you can make a better photograph under certain conditions than you can with Kodachrome. If you have good light and you’re at a fairly high shutter speed, it’s going to be a brilliant color photograph. It had a great color palette. It wasn’t too garish. Some films are like you’re on a drug or something. Velvia made everything so saturated and wildly over-the-top, too electric. Kodachrome had more poetry in it, a softness, an elegance. With digital photography, you gain many benefits [but] you have to put in post-production. [With Kodachrome,] you take it out of the box and the pictures are already brilliant.”

Never more, alas. Unless, of course, some chemist some day comes up with a way to replicate the complex, expensive developing process. Until then, McCurry is biding his time. “I have a few rolls of Kodachrome in the fridge,” he claims. “I’m just going to leave it there. My fridge would be kind of empty without them. If they ever revive Kodachrome like they did Polaroid, I’ll be poised and ready to go!”

Source.

Best photographs ever – Part I.

1 – Vulture Stalking a Child – Kevin Carter.

2 – Afghan Girl – Steve McCurry.

3 – Migrant Mother – Dorothea Lange.

4 – V-J Day in Times Square – Alfred Eisenstaedt.

5 – Napalm girl, Vietnam – Nick Ut .

6 – Uganda Famine – Mike Wells.

7 – Albert Einstein –  Arthur Sasse.

8 – Fire on Marlborough Street – Stanley J. Forman.

9 – Nagasaki 1945 – U.S. Air Force.

10 – Che Guevara – Alberto Korda.

Best photographs ever – Part II.

The beauty of manual SLR photography.

Almost everyone gets to the point sometimes where you are fed up with the tons of pics that take up all the space on your hard drive, and you don’t even wanna bother looking through all of it. The time when you are bored with going through the manual of your DSLR again cause you don’t know what all the buttons are for.

That’s when you would consider to pick up again that old manual SLR from your bottom drawer and rid yourself of all the beeping and flashing that modern cameras tend to come with and just go back to basic once again… or for the first time, depending on your own photographical history.

Time to find out how great it can be to use a manual SLR and about the countless possibilities that come with that!

Increase the possibilities of your pictures

There are many reasons for photographers to want to try out how they would do with a manual SLR. You might discover that the normal point-and-shoot film camera, that you have been playing around with for a while, limits your progress as a photographer, as it doesn’t come with the focusing options you would need to take… let’s say sharp close up portraits.

Photo by Mr Jeff

Simplicity that makes you concentrate

Sometimes it is hard to comprehend all functions of your semi-professional DSLR, which makes you want to go back to a simpler camera, to be able to concentrate on the essentials of focusing, framing and the right exposure. Also, since film and developing of the pics will all cost money, you are likely to choose your objects more carefully and spend more time with composition and the right framing.

Photo by Cai Shun’an

After doing that you can pick up your DSLR again with greater confidence, after mastering the basics on a traditional model that makes you actually do the thinking. Instead of training yourself on a fancy DSLR, that makes you worry to much about mode of metering and hundreds of white balancing options, you can fully concentrate on your object and still get great images without too much post production.

Photo by Shawn Hoke Photography

Used by professionals

Traditional SLRs are still used by many professional photographers who value them for their robustness, which makes them unimpressed with difficult weather conditions. So you might very well come across photo-journalists who like to include an old SLR in their setup.

Photo by brook9457

You might be remembered forever

Today, traditional SLRs like Nikon’s FM2 or Canon’s F and A series – though out of production – are still easy to find on online bidding platforms at reasonable prices. For those who want to dig a little bit deeper in their pockets, you might as well go with one of the famed Leica models. Most of the pictures still regarded ahead of their time today were taken with these cameras, just like Steve McCurry’s “Afghan Girl” was shot with a Nikon FM2.

Photo by Steve McCurry

Put you and your objects at ease

But still, the biggest treat of using a traditional SLR is how it makes you calm down and puts you at ease. The preparations for a day out are enough to put you in the right mood. Take your camera out of where ever you keep it. Look at it from every angle to see if there are any new scratches from the last time of usage. Pull the film advance lever slowly to see if it goes smoothly, and then press the shutter release button to hear that down-to-earth sound, which is just loud enough for you to know that your camera fired, but silent enough to not make you the center of attention. Then you fill it with life (meaning the film) and you are ready to go.

Photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson

Maybe you will stumble across one of those rare moments meant to be remembered forever.

Source.