A few weeks ago I posted a link and a video about famed photojournalist Steve McCurry and how he chose to shoot the last roll of Kodachrome to come out of Kodak. Today I want to share the gallery. For a lot of photographers, the content captured on this roll might represent months, years or even decades of work, but for McCurry, among the most experienced, seasoned and professionally accomplished in the industry he managed to to capture this collection on one roll. It is impressive regardless of how many test shots he made with his DSLR.
I would like to say that this is the standard for photojournalism, even creative content at large, but unfortunately I don’t believe it is anymore. While I believe that photography, enabled by an infinite number of new tools, has the capacity to be more creative than ever before, there is a lot of work seeing the light of day that leaves me wanting for something more, something better. Content has to be compelling on it’s own. Creative content is everywhere we look, but good content, great content is more rarefied, it is the product of skill and, in many cases, hard won experience. The standard for content should be set at this level, however unattainable, not by what is affordable, what is easy or what is accessible. McCurry’s work is the work of a professional, of a creative able to make a living and succeed because others recognized value in his content.
Please have a look at the complete gallery:
Steve McCurry: 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.