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Kodachrome, 1935-2010

Today is the official day for the demise of Kodachrome. Digital photography is, of course, now the default, but for decades, Kodachrome film was the professional’s choice for color photography.   They still, of course, make film for photography and movies, but Kodachrome was the king for years, the film used by National Geographic and by Hollywood, a household word.

Kodachrome was once so ubiquitous that they named a state park in Utah after it, and then there was, well, you know:

It’s been some time since Kodak announced the end of production of Kodachrome film, and the last roll was made in 2009 and used by National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry, but it’s taken until now for the real end to come; there’s only one certified Kodachrome processor left in the world, Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas, and that’s where it ends today, the last machine capable of processing the film headed, literally, for the scrap heap, finally running out of the last remaining dye supply after processing one last roll. And that’s all she wrote.

True photography nerds will want to take a moment to mark the passing of an era, or maybe order one of Dwayne’s Photo’s t-shirts commemorating the demise of “the best slide and movie film in history.” The rest of us will make do with our cell phone cameras and point-and-shoots and DSLRs. Time passes, things change. And it doesn’t matter how young you are; someday, maybe not too long in the future, stuff you take for granted, stuff that’s part of your life, will be consigned to the same category as VHS. DVDs aren’t looking too healthy lately, are they?