Sigh. Today brings the unsurprising but nonetheless heartbreaking announcement that Kodachrome is going to meet it’s (film)maker.
I’ve always loved the incredible richness that came with shooting the chrome– of course many early color masters like Eggleston were fans, and for several decades thereafter the stuff was king in the photo world.
I thought it would be fitting to post some of my favorite 4×5 chromes to mark this tragic day. These are from Shorpy, and were taken in the ’40s, many for the Office of War Information. If you want to read and see more of these images, read a past post of mine, here.
In the meantime, take a look.
October 1942. “Lieutenant ‘Mike’ Hunter, Army test pilot assigned to Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, California.” 4×5 Kodachrome transparency by Alfred Palmer for the Office of War Information.
December 1942. Detroit, Michigan. “Hanna furnaces of the Great Lakes Steel Corporation. Stockpile of coal and iron ore.” 4×5 Kodachrome transparency by Arthur Siegel for the Office of War Information.
Chicago, April 1943. “Mike Evans, a welder, at the rip tracks of the Proviso Yard, Chicago & North Western R.R.” 4×5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information.
Butte, Montana, in September 1942. 4×5 Kodachrome transparency by Russell Lee, Office of War Information.
June 1942. Fort Knox, Kentucky. “The crew of an M-3 tank learns all the ways of causing trouble for the Axis with a 75mm gun, a 37mm gun and four machine guns.” 4×5 Kodachrome transparency by Alfred Palmer, OWI
Spring 1943. “Romeroville, near Chacon, New Mexico.” View full size. 4×5 Kodachrome transparency by John Collier for the Office of War Information.
Detroit, July 1942. “Looking north on Woodward Avenue from the Maccabees Building with the Fisher Building at the distant left, and the Wardell Hotel at the right.” 4×5 Kodachrome transparency by Arthur Siegel.
September 1942. “Learning how to determine latitude by using a sextant is Senta Osoling, student at Polytechnic High School, Los Angeles. Navigation classes are part of the school’s program for training its students for specific contributions to the war effort.” 4×5 Kodachrome transparency by Alfred Palmer.
Nov. 1941. Etna, Pennsylvania. “Blast furnaces and ore at the Carnegie-Illinois Steel mills.”4×5 Kodachrome transparency by Alfred Palmer.
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the worlds a sunny day, oh yeah
I got a nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama dont take my kodachrome away
goodbye, old pal.