For Kodachrome fans, road ends at lab in Kansas. For a while now, Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, KS — where I’ve been sending my 120 for development and printing almost since I started shooting with it — has been the last lab in the world to process Kodachrome, the world’s first successful mass-produced color film. Kodak stopped making it in 2009 and stopped making the chemicals needed to process it in 2010.
The artist, Aliceson Carter, 42, was incredulous as she watched the railroad worker, Jim DeNike, 53, loading a dozen boxes that contained nearly 50,000 slides into his old maroon Pontiac. He explained that every picture inside was of railroad trains and that he had borrowed money from his father’s retirement account to pay for developing them.
“That’s crazy to me,” Ms. Carter said. Then she snapped a picture of Mr. DeNike on one of her last rolls.
These are my people.
I never shot Kodachrome, slide film not really being my thing, which I now kind of regret. I love the slightly surreal colors of the food in old cookbooks and food magazines (Phil has an awesome set of vintage Time-Life cuisines of the world books that David and I are probably going to come to physical blows over when Phil dies), which was usually due to the photos being shot on Kodachrome. Behind the scenes of the last Kodachrome Christmas has side-by-side Kodachrome and digital shots, and the digital shots are pallid shadows of the vibrant Kodachrome slides.