There Is No Cat

A huge orangupoid, which no man can conquer

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The End

Kodachrome is dead. Long live Kodachrome.

Best Color

Supposedly it will still be sold for a few more months, and the one lab in the world that still processes it has promised to keep processing it through the end of next year. After that, no more.

Kodachrome is an amazing film. I've only shot a few rolls of it; I saw this announcement coming and figured I had better experience it while I could. In some ways I wish I hadn't, because I absolutely fell in love with the film. It got me to start shooting with better cameras than the toy cameras I've been playing with for the past several years. It's a picky film; it absolutely wants to be properly exposed, and loves bright sunlight. It's not so crazy about the shadows, not in my limited experience. When you get it right, the colors are astonishing.

Awful House

This is probably my favorite out of the few rolls of Kodachrome I've shot. I took this in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, back in February, with my dad's old Kodak Retina Ia. I love it because it looks like it could have been shot for a postcard from 40 years ago, the kind that shows up in books like Boring Postcards, at least until you look a little more closely at the cars in the background.

Unlike some of the people mourning the impending death of Kodachrome, I don't have a lot of history with it. I've really only shot a few rolls of it. But wow, am I going to miss it. I'm glad I got to shoot some while I could.

I know film is a business, and nowhere near the size of the business it used to be. I know Kodachrome is a niche product. I know the process of developing Kodachrome is horribly toxic, something that has driven all but one photo lab in the world to stop processing it. But the colors....

Posted at 12:25 AM
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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio


There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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