Last of the Kodachrome

Going into December 2010 I had one unused roll of Kodachrome, which Kodak had finished producing 18 months earlier. Kodachrome was unusual in that it could only be processed at a very limited number of photo labs (one of the reasons for its decline) and by 2010 the only place left in the world that developed the film was Dwayne's Photo in Kansas. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Kodachrome was most likely to be the slide film that your parents and grandparents shot all their holiday snaps on - it was introduced in 1935, and you'll probably to find some in the boxes of slides that are collecting dust under their spare bed.

But I digress. I'd shot a family outing and some random snow shots on my last roll, and I had 10 or so exposures left. So on the day after Boxing Day I packed up my Leica with a Profoto AcuteB strobe pack and walked around Balham's car garages until I found a couple of willing subjects. And being a 64 ISO slide film there was no helpful digital camera screen to help set up the shot - which was as refreshing as the blizzard conditions outside!

Of course, with more time I'd have taken additional lighting, etc. but I needed to make the deadline for the FedEx courier - my film had to be in Kansas by the close of business on the 31st of December, and it's reasonably safe to assume that my roll would have been one of the very last to go through the Kodachrome K-14 development process.