Friday, January 07, 2011

Bye Bye Kodachrome!

 A couple of days ago, I read that an article saying that the last of the iconic Kodachrome film made by Kodak was developed in Kansas, USA. That got me thinking of my introduction to photography, camera and dark rooms..

Ever since I laid my hands on a camera, I was fascinated by the endless possibilities. My dad owned a Nikon camera which of course was off limits for me when I was a 10yr old...however, I was still given a simpler less expensive camera -- more to play around with, experiment with...

I still remember the first shot I ever took! I must have been 12 years then. I was up early in the morning studying for an exam the next day...I made camp on the swing in the balcony.. laid my books, pencils, etc..Before diving into the books, I took a deep breath and looked outside, the birds were chirping and playing around in the morning sunshine...Then, I noticed a small green woodpecker pecking away all happy happy! I was uber excited to see a woodpecker at such a close distance. Growing up in a city like Bombay, the opportunity to see unique, rare birds was almost zero, unless you travel to the suburbs or outside the city. However, I had been lucky once more after this one when an old male owl had entered my house during the day to seek refuge from a bunch of mean ravens chasing him around.... well that story is for another day. :)

Without wasting any time, I ran to fetch my camera so that I could finally click my first shot from that camera. I was lucky to find the woodpecker still pecking away at the tree when I returned. I took a couple of shots and I was so happy that I just couldn't contain myself... I told everyone in my family, how I saw this beautiful green woodpecker with a red crown and I proudly said that I had captured it all on my camera. Finally, I got back to studying, but the focus was definitely not in the books... I was already thinking of what pictures I'd take, how I'd use up the remaining film. Couldn't wait to get the film developed.  After that I did not quite continue taking pictures, in fact I don't remember where the camera disappeared after that first roll of film.

Many years later when I moved to the US, I got my hands on a digital camera, not mine... I was a student then and couldn't afford to buy it myself... so every now and then when I hung out w/ friends, I'd volunteer to take pictures... but I'd end up taking more pictures of other stuff after taking the poser pictures of my friends... :) I then realized how long I'd been away from a passion of mine without realizing what I was missing... my friend who's camera I'd use saw this as well and a couple of years later.... gifted me a Nikon film SLR as a parting gift.  It's been one of the best tangible gifts I've ever received...I have clicked some of my best photos with that one. So many films, so many prints.... oh! how much I loved it .... sigh! Eventually, I upgraded to a digital SLR, but I still have the N65 with me, it will always remain with me for it (the giver of the N65 actually) opened the door to letting out my hidden creativity... and introducing me to a world of endless possibilities.

I am sure most of you have either knowingly/unknowingly/indirectly seen the capabilities of the Kodachrome film, no? Perhaps you recognize this picture:

The Afghan Girl photo is recognized around the world (Courtesy of Steve McCurry/Magnum Photos)
A few lines from the article: "Although Mr Steinle developed his own Kodachrome roll last, Kodak gave the final roll it produced to Mr McCurry. With just 36 frames to use, he travelled to India to photograph a tribe on the verge of extinction."

I recommend reading the entire article on the Kodachrome film, here on the BBC website

Of the pictures I have on my computer right now that I took from my film SLR, I have this sunflower shot that I took in Singapore.

1 comment:

kenny said...

This takes me back too! Found your blog, gonna trawl around the both of them a while.