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Video – National Geographic, Steve McCurry and the Last Roll of Kodachrome

What a fantastic find this morning on Twitter; Photojournalist Steve McCurry shooting the last roll of Kodachrome featuring faces in New York, Istanbul and India. While I will let the video, and McCurry himself, tell the story of this project I will say this is a fitting send off to a film that set the standard for decades and decades. I am ashamed to say that I have never shot a roll of Kodachrome, and I never will. By the time I was getting into photography I was largely using whatever film I could afford. I do feel that I have missed out on something special and as McCurry describes having nearly one million Kodachrome slides in his archive and their durability I wonder about the legacy and staying power of our digital archives. Somehow jpg files on a hard drive or burned to a DVD lack a certain magic. Somewhere in one of my closest is a slide case with a few hundred Kodachrome slides shot by my father on a camera identical to the camera I learned to shoot on. At some point I will have to get organized to digitize these slides before I loose the option and loose that part of my childhood.

Kodachrome isn’t just an element of our popular culture, but it was a mechanism used to record what would become our history, and indeed it did. Author Neil Sheenan suggests that “Photographs are the images of history rescued from the oblivion of mortality” and I agree. I believe that our understanding of the last one hundred years will be shaped by largely what we see in photographs the way the previous one hundred years is largely understood by what was read and perhaps the next one hundred years will in turn be understood through what we watch. Perhaps this National Geographic video is a perfect segue between these mediums.

Have a watch.

Another link I feel is worth a mention came to me from the American Photo Magazine Tumblr Blog featuring their picks for the best photo books of 2012


American Photo has also included a list of E Books with Getty Image’s Year In Focus at the top of the list. This is Getty’s 2012 showcase of highlights in photojournalism, from the Arab Spring to royal weddings and sports events and is available FREE! at iTunes. Definitely worth a look.

 

 

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Posted by robshaer on January 15, 2013
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. 01/15/2013

    Saw this a few days ago. Very cool indeed!

    Reply
  2. 01/15/2013
    robshaer

    It must be a couple years old, but very cool indeed. One thing I noticed in true geek fashion, but didn’t mention in the post was when McCurry was loading the roll, he starting loading a Nikon F100, but when he closed the back, he had obviously switched the the F6. Thanks for the comment Kurt.

    Reply

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