Yesterday’s post was very therapeutic. If you like these Kodachromes, please click back to the previous couple of posts, and definitely make sure to click the photos to see them larger on flickr. I scan them at a ridiculously high resolution with my Nikon Coolscan 9000, so these little 500-pixel-wide images don’t do them justice. It’s especially interesting to look at the grain on some of those taken in lower light.
Blue sky and clouds. Two things Kodachrome is particularly good at munching on. Yummy.
I love every color in this photograph. I used the word “autumnal” in a very literal way yesterday (describing the palette created by dead leaves), and I will use it again today: autumnal tones here. These browned reds, the corrosion on the neck of the bike and the fenders, the gold of the padlock and pale gold of the heavy chains… and that’s before we even make it back to the bricks.
Of course, Kodachrome was also a very handy snapshot film. I was careful to just shoot it and not be precious with it (I always bought back from Dwayne’s as much fresh film as I had just sent in, until they ran out), whether for quick shots of my kid or street stuff or anything else.
If it weren’t for the UPS logo (and the styling on the vehicles behind), this could have been shot in the 1950s. I wish I had shot more of the 200 speed Kodachrome. It has a different feel to it that I’m having trouble putting my finger on.
When your camera’s loaded with Kodachrome, anything colorful in the sun leaps out at you and practically begs to be shot. There’s such a pleasing balance between the yellow of the leaves and the somewhat grayish blue of the sky. One thing that’s always puzzled me is the common idea that Kodachromes are very saturated. They’re not. The color is definitely different from E6 process positive films, but the color is only unusual when it’s underexposed–and then it gets kind of ugly. Perhaps Kodachromes look more like printed matter, because the dyes are added in the development process and it’s more akin to a four-color printing press… or maybe not.
And here we have underexposure with levels pushed on the digital file, courtesy of Dwayne’s. It’s an interesting effect, and I think it almost works here. I scan as much of my Kodachrome as I can (in fact I don’t get the slides mounted a lot of the time in order to scan more frames at once), but when I know I’m swamped, I’ve had Dwayne’s do it. They don’t do a great job. The colors are often wild, and they automatically push levels when the image is underexposed, as they did here. I think they’re probably using an automated system that has someone okaying each exposure before it’s saved as a file but uses autolevel settings. For me the PhotoDisc is an expensive ($5) digital contact sheet, and I’ll choose which ones look like candidates for the full-on Nikon Coolscan 9000 treatment.
I like creating abstractions like this. Here I simply placed the hood of my 35mm Summicron against the light in an elevator. This may have been the number “2.” This looks like a black-and-white photograph tinted with yellow dye. Which it kind of is. The texture is so graspable to me.
As I mentioned yesterday, I love this film in the subway!
As with the above shot of yellow leaves, how could I not take this photo, knowing I had Kodachrome in the box? This photo always reminds me of the Wire song, “Vivid Riot of Red.”
Kodachrome is a dream is soft light, too. Look at those skin tones and the way the shadows so easily and gently fall into black.
I’m going to read this later and remind myself that Kodachrome isn’t magical and that there are other color films, but at least for today, it is, and there are not.