Last Roll of Kodachrome

Last Roll of Kodachrome

A photographer shoots his final 36 frames of defunct film at the Missouri State Fair, and then drives hundreds of miles to see what develops. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

For 60 years, Kodachrome ruled the world of photographic film. Known for its color accuracy, crispness and fine grain, Kodachrome was considered a classic film by professional photographers and amateurs alike. Processing of the film is more complicated than that of other slide films, and in recent years, fewer and fewer photo labs developed Kodachrome.

As digital photography gradually took over the market, Kodak announced in 2009 that they would stop making the film. And the last photo lab that develops Kodachrome in the U.S. will stop doing so on Dec. 30, 2010.

This audio slideshow by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is a tribute to this classic film and a bygone era. In a story within a story, photographer Robert Cohen narrates this piece and describes how he dug a final roll of expired Kodachrome 200 out of the back of his freezer, carefully and lovingly shot 36 frames at the colorful Missouri State Fair… and then drove the film hundreds of miles to Kansas to have it developed. All the while he was not sure how, or if, any of the images would turn out – a reminder of life in pre-digital camera days.

The story cleverly combines beautiful images and a folksy storyline complete with suspense and a climactic payoff.

CHANNEL: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Length: 3:30

By Robert Cohen

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