Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kodak Discontinues Production of Kodachrome

I can't help but mourn what I feel is the passing of an era, the beginning of the end of a way of seeing, a way of "being" with photography - maybe that officially makes me an old fart, but I'm going to miss Kodachrome (and carefully hoard the few rolls I've got left in the freezer!)...I started in photography as a black and white specialist, but when I did shoot color, Kodachrome was the film of choice - Paul Simon got it right when he sang that Kodachrome "makes you think all the world's a sunny day" with its renowned vibrant and saturated color. Shooting transparency film was an exacting task - it didn't have the exposure latitude of b/w or color print films, oh no, you needed to be spot on or risk blowing the shot. I think it made me a much better photographer as a result...sigh. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my brave new digital world! I even make my digital choices based on color preferences acquired while shooting lots and lots and lots of film. (Ask me sometimes why I shoot with a Fuji camera...) But every once in awhile I wax nostalgic and think back to the thrill of laying out a new box of slides onto a light table and learning how successful (or not!) I had been...bye bye Kodachrome - you will be missed.

Read a well-written obit here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Why I do what I do...

(I feel very lucky in that as I got older, I became very close to my Dad; he's been gone for a number of years now, but every Father's Day I make a point to take time out to remember him and reflect on everything he meant to me. I first posted the entry below in 2007 and re-post it every Father's Day since...my way of saying, "Thank you, Dad - I miss you.")

I love working with families - capturing their time together, a particular moment in their personal histories preserved so that they might look upon it and remember how it was, how they were. It's hard for me to describe just how much that means to me, to participate in this process, to play a part - I feel that it is such a privilege to be asked to create these "documents" of memory, to be allowed a glimpse into what makes each family unique and special.

I don't have alot of photos of my own family growing up. My Mom died when I was in my 20s and Dad passed several years ago - so the snapshots I've inherited mean the world to me. The photo at the very beginning of this entry is one of my most precious images. It was taken with my Dad's first digital camera (remember cameras with mini-floppy discs? Dad had one of the earliest Sonys and was very proud of it!) and was the last time I was with him; we were sitting in the Alpena, MI airport waiting for my flight to Detroit and then back to California. Dad passed away a few months after this image was taken. Even though it's just a snapshot - horrible overhead lighting, funky background, odd perspective - I love it and cherish it regardless of its faults. Because it reminds me just how much my Dad and I loved each other - the image is so much more than the sum of its parts.

Every time I photograph a father and child, I think of my Dad. I am so proud to be able to create an image that someone else will cherish, that someone else will hold dear - I am happy to hold my Dad's memory in this way. I was definitely thinking of my Dad when I created the second set of images of a father and son. There is so much great chemistry between those two! It was such a pleasure to work with them; it reminded me fully of why I do what I do.

Be sure to give your Dad a big hug today (and every day!) and make sure he knows how much you love him!