The World Just Got a Little Less Bright

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From now on, when Paul Simon sings his song "Kodachrome" in concert, he’ll need to give some of the audience a primer on just what that is. That’s because the once-great Kodak film stock that gives us “those nice bright colors” is no more – another casualty of the digital media boom. The film, which enjoyed 75 colorful years in the photography world, was discontinued by Kodak in 2010 and met its final end when Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas – the world’s last known processor of Kodachrome – recently decided to discontinue the service.

The New York Times has a great article on this end of an era event – and the frantic response it has garnered:

In the last weeks, dozens of visitors and thousands of overnight packages have raced here, transforming this small prairie-bound city not far from the Oklahoma border for a brief time into a center of nostalgia for the days when photographs appeared not in the sterile frame of a computer screen or in a pack of flimsy prints from the local drugstore but in the warm glow of a projector pulling an image from a carousel of vivid slides.

In the span of minutes this week, two such visitors arrived. The first was a railroad worker who had driven from Arkansas to pick up 1,580 rolls of film that he had just paid $15,798 to develop. The second was an artist who had driven directly here after flying from London to Wichita, Kan., on her first trip to the United States to turn in three rolls of film and shoot five more before the processing deadline.

And even though they didn’t listen when Paul Simon begged “don’t take my Kodachrome away,” you can still relive some of its most vivid shots on Kodak’s Kodachrome Slideshow.

January 3, 2011 - 8:59am
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