Saturday, February 12, 2011

Steve McCurry: The Last Roll of Kodachrome

With the digital-photography revolution, Kodak is discontinuing one of its most legendary film stocks -- Kodachrome, which has been described as being to color film as what "saxaphone was to jazz". Photographer Steve McCurry, famous for his National Geographic portrait of a wild-eyed Afghani woman, convinced Kodak to leave him the final roll of Kodachrome film. Here is a sampling of some frames from that last roll. Note its beautiful color palette -- soft, elegant, pure, and brilliant.

Robert De Niro in his Tribeca screening room, NYC (June, 2010)

Boy in slum tea shop, Dharavi, India (June, 2010).

Ammitabh Bacchan, arguably India's most iconic actor -- he's like the Brad Pitt/Paul Newman of Bollywood. (June, 2010)

Rabari tribal elder, India (June, 2010)

Rabari tribal elder, India (June, 2010)

Rabari girl, India (June, 2010)

Rabari boy, India (June, 2010)

Street art on 7th Ave & Bleecker, NYC (July, 2010)

Grand Central, NYC (July, 2010)

Young couple in Union Park, NYC (July, 2010)

The final shot, taken in Parsons, Kansas - home of the last lab to develop Kodachrome film. At the feet of the graveyard statue are flowers of Kodak's iconic red & yellow hues. “I saw a statue of this soldier, looking off in the distance,” says McCurry, “and he’s kind of looking off into the future or the past. I figure, This is perfect. A cemetery. Kodachrome—this is the end of this sort of film—[suggesting] the transience of life. This is something that’s disappearing forever.”

1 comment:

  1. It is a lovely collection.
    Strangely enough, I just picked up my first ever roll of Kodachrome at a garage sale last week. Now I have nothing to do with it!