Saturday, September 7, 2013

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Kodachrome Beauties

August 1942. Via
I have a bit of an obsession with old photography, and I particularly love pretty much anything cross-processed.  I've never chemically developed a photo myself, which is maybe sacrilege, but I enjoy trying to re-create the look of old pictures, and the processes that created them, in Photoshop.

October 1942 Via
Our "Claremont" shoot was one such project.  I wanted the photos to look like they came from the late 30s/early 40s, without being too Instagram.  Naturally, the best thing to do is refer back to the real thing, original vintage Kodachromes.

Chicago, April 1943. Via
Kodachrome was one of the first successful color films available, produced by Eastman Kodak starting in 1935.  It was a favorite of professional photographers for periodicals like Life and Time, but due to the skill required to develop it, Kodachrome was discontinued in 2009, much to the chagrin of the traditional photography community.

October 1942. Via
October 1942. Via
October 1942. Via
There's a particular quality to these old photos that I find incredibly appealing.  The color, both bold and desaturate at the same time; the grain, the lighting; of course, the subject matter.  Looking at my photos from the other day, versus these, now I think I didn't do a very good job!

Classic Las Vegas, 1958. via
August 1942. Via
October 1942. Via
If you are interested in old photos, I highly recommend Shorpy.com
If you want to learn more about Kodachrome, click here.
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7 comments:

  1. is there a "kodachrome" setting/filter available? Maybe that would make a difference?

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    1. lol, I wish. No, it's a little more delicate than that - in my cross processing I went more green/yellow than blue/magenta, like the originals here, and I let the colors stay vibrant. The nice thing, at least, is that I can go back and work on my photos more until I get it just right :-)

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  2. Are you familiar with National Geographic's FOUND tumblr (http://www.natgeofound.tumblr.com)? They have all sorts of beauties (many of them Kodachrome) on there from the archives.

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    1. Oh, I will have to check this out! Thanks for the link!

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  3. The pictures are not showing up for some reason...

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    1. I found this to be the case also. However, if you click the link below each photo box, it will take you to the picture. Totally worth the extra clicks! They are really beautiful.

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  4. Sorry, my photographer side has to come out ::ducks any potential rotten tomatoes::: - Cross processing is when you shoot slide film (like Kodachrome) as normal but you have it processed in color film chemistry (c-41 today) instead of slide chemicals (E-6 today. or K-14 for the old Kodachrome). It causes wacky color effects and can be fun and interesting if done intentionally.... or it can really piss off a customer if done accidentally (guilty! - oops). Kodachrome did provide some beautiful crisp, boldly colored photographs when you print from the slides, and YES people were piiiiiisssssed when they discontinued it. If you have old family slides or find them in an antique store or E-bay, your local (non-big-box-store) photo processor can print them for you or scan them to CD if you don't have a scanner with a slide attachment.
    These photos here are so sharp and colorful it looks as if they could have been staged today. So pretty!!
    I though of you and your shoes this past week when i was going through my grandmother's old photos and found her mother's album where there was a photo of my great-grandmother taken in early 30s - she's wearing what I would describe as that typical 30s hat and fur coat and the most AMAZING pair of shoes!!!!

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