How One Man Is Striving to Keep the Look of Kodachrome 64 Alive

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“Trawling through blogs and reviews, it because apparent that digital Kodachrome emulation is highly contentious,” says photographer Freddie Child-Villiers to The Phoblographer in an email interview. Freddie is the man behind the Kodachrome project–an attempt at keeping the look of Kodachrome alive and authentic. “…Some users want an accurate reproduction (Jamie Windsor’s being the best that I’ve tested). Others want a look of imagery one would expect from Magnum Photos or National Geographic pages; this is where The Kodachrome Project leans.” Like many folks, Freddie has done a ton of research on Kodachrome. And his project is truly starting to take off.

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There’s a Fascinating Story of the CIA’s Kodachrome Slides of Potatoes

Declassified is an original Phoblographer series that digs deep into historical documents to examine how the government used photography. Hit the Listen to this Article button to follow along with the story.

Of all things, potatoes are probably one of the most boring photography subjects. But they’re incredibly important. There are many documents in the CIA’s database talking about potatoes, harvesting, potato alcohol, and even introducing pests to other countries. But the very perplexing documents are all about Kodachrome transparencies of potatoes. Why would this matter? We’re curious, and we find beauty in the mysterious question. Could someone have just been really bored and wanted to photograph potatoes? Unfortunately, we don’t have the answer. We dug deep into the records too. But the entire exchange is pretty weird.

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This Photo by Stephen Dalton Isn’t Photoshopped. It’s Kodachrome!

Stephen Dalton shot this mesmerizing image in 1973 in a single shot.

If you looked at the lead image today, you might think it was done in Photoshop. But you’d be wrong. Sadly, we’ve lost the art of creating in-camera. But photographer Stephen Dalton shared with us how shot this picture. In his book Capturing Motion: My Life in High-Speed Nature Photography, he shares short stories on this shot and so many more. Would you believe us if we said that this image was shot in 1973? And most importantly, it’s a single shot!

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Kelly-Shane Fuller: Shooting Themed Portraiture And Creative Concepts

All images by Kelly-Shane Fuller. Used with permission.

“I’m a creative concept portrait photographer based out of Portland Oregon,” says photographer Kelly-Shane Fuller in an email to us. “I primarily shoot portraits that are themed in some way. I shoot regularly for fashion and magazine clients as well.” If you aren’t aware of who Kelly is already, you really should be. He’s one of the few modern photographers who figured out how to develop Kodachrome through experimentation and research. Plus, he’s very knowledgeable about film.

But technical knowledge aside, he’s also quite a creative photographer who really loves to shoot and create images with concepts behind them.


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Photographer Kelly-Shane Fuller is Self-Developing Kodachrome in Color

All images by Kelly-Shane Fuller. Used with permission.

“Absolutely everywhere I turned people told me home processing was impossible,” says photographer Kelly-Shane Fuller about processing Kodachrome in color at home. “That’s just not something people should say to me, as at that point it became a personal vendetta to prove the world wrong.”

Recently Pop Photo did a short blurb on how Kelly is developing Kodachrome at home into color slides. He’s probably one of the few so determined to find a way to keep the process alive despite environmental regulations and Kodak pulling the plug on the famous film. For those not in the know Kodachrome is a black and white film that really comes to life during the processing stage to become the beautiful color film that was so highly prized by many photographers.

We talked to Kelly recently about the process and what he’s doing to revive the old process.

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Review: RNI Films (iPhone 6S)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer RNI Films apps review product images (3 of 8)ISO 2001-30 sec at f - 1.8

The person that says, “I know exactly what the iPhone needs–another vintage film filter app!” is either particularly ballsy or worthy of all the groans that photographers will mutter. But the company that designs an app that is meant to organically render the look of film has a bit more credibility; and that’s what Really Nice Images is trying to do with their app: RNI Films. The free iOS app is designed for you to import your images and edit them in its own semi-unique editing suite.

Its main selling point: the rendering of lots of actual film emulsions. If you want your iPhone to deliver images with a Kodachrome or Astia rendering, you’ve got it with this app. But the process it takes to accomplish this may be what puts a lot of folks off.

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RNI Films Gives iPhone Photographers Photographic Film Renderings


The folks over at Really Nice Images have released a free app today for iPhone users that joins the slew of other photo editing options like Oggl, Instagram, EyeEm, and VSCO. Rather than giving random looks and renderings though, RNI uses the company’s film rendition presets and brings them to mobile.

Users have lots of editing tools like contrast, exposure, vignetting, etc. They also get crop tools, sharing tools to put images into other apps (like Instagram or Facebook) and most importantly of all lots of film renderings that can deliver that really beautiful look that we all crave from some of the best films ever made. Just think: Kodachrome applied to a smartphone image.

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The Basics of Photography: K for Kodachrome

Boxes of Kodachrome 64 film in 135 format. (Credit: Metroplex on Wikimedia Commons)

Boxes of Kodachrome 64 film in 135 format. (Credit: Metroplex on Wikimedia Commons)

We continue our series on the Basics of Photography with the letter K, and today’s subject is Kodachrome. Now, some of you will undoubtedly wonder why anyone would deem a discontinued slide film basic photography knowledge. But the answer is really rather simple: Kodachrome was probably the single most influential photographic medium of all time, and it played a significant role in shaping the face of modern color photography and photojournalism. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the rise and fall of this film, and explore the photography that was created with it.

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Through the Lens: A Look Back at Saul Leiter

julius motal the phoblographer saul leiter

In the first half of the 20th century, photographers shot in black and white. Of course, 35mm color film didn’t come onto the scene until Kodak released Kodachrome in 1935. Serious photographers shot in black and white. To shoot color was amateurish, and by the late 1940s, Saul Leiter was making color photographs of New York City. Over several decades, Leiter created a vision of the city through the most unlikely of moments. He passed on Tuesday, Nov. 26, and left behind a body of work that has a beautiful quietude, despite the nature of its metropolitan subject.

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The Timeless Eye: Luigi Ghirri’s Kodachrome

IbarionexPerelloThePhoblographerkoda-01-whiteDuring the mid-seventies, color photography was relegated to the glossy pages of consumer magazines, rather than prestigious gallery walls. When the work of William Eggleston was exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in 1976, the art community saw it as a garish collection of colorful noise, a mash-up of the ordinary and the mundane.

That exhibit was a benchmark for a huge shift in photography, but it wasn’t one that was relegated to the United States. There were photographers all over the world who had shifted away from the traditional world of black and white photography and who began to experiment with the possibilities of color. One of these people was Italian photographer, Luiggi Ghirri, whose self-published book, Kodachrome, was released one year after the Eggleston’s landmark exhibition at MoMA.

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Alien Skin Software’s Exposure 5 Is All About That Film-Like Look


Image by Peter Nyugen

See that girl up above? She doesn’t look very alien does she? Maybe her homeworld is a bit alien, but Alien Skin’s new Exposure 5 is being touted as able to render all your images to look like film–something that is probably alien to lots of digital photographers. It is a plug-in for Lightroom or Photoshop but can also be used as a standalone program. Even further, the company is promising to have accurate looks for Kodachrome, Polaroid film, and more. Plus you’ll be able to add other effects like scratches.

Think of Instagram but a heck of a lot more versatile for users of real software.

Exposure 5 will be available in June 2013 through the company’s website for $199 USD. Owners of any version of Exposure may upgrade for $99 USD. Free upgrades will be automatically sent to everyone who purchased Exposure 4 directly from Alien Skin Software in March 2013 or later.

Scott “The Sartorialist” Schuman Interviews Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry is an influencer and inspiration to many of us: and recently we learned that he inspires Scott Schuman–a man that is an inspiration to me personally. In the video, the two talk about finding the light–and observing natural light to create the best images. Steve has also shown off nearly every single one of the photos from his last roll of Kodachrome, though both myself and photographer Bill Wadman are wondering why not everything was shown.

In the photo community, Steve is far more famous than Scott. However, Scott’s domain is the fashion world. He left his day job as an Editor to take care of his child and so also started the Sartorialist–one of the best fashion blogs currently out there. In terms of street photography, street portraiture, and an overall business model–Scott has been a huge inspiration to me since leaving my own day job.

This is only Part 1 of the video series, and Part 2 is yet to come.

Most of the Photos from Steve McCurry’s Last Roll of Kodachrome Are Now Live


Recently, there was a documentary on Steve McCurry’s last roll of Kodachrome done by National Geographic. But thanks to the clever pointing out of On Taking Pictures, we now have a view of nearly ever single photo that Steve shot on the last roll. When you really get down to it, you start to not only see a culmination of all that he’s shot, but you get to study his mentality a bit more. For example, Robert DeNiro is the only celebrity to grace the roll twice. But then you get into the Bollywood stars and lots of the special people in India that Steve loved to photograph. A lot of these photos are posed portraits using lots of soft lighting that also seem very natural.

Keep going through the images though, and you’ll see a return to Steve’s documentary and street photography work. They’re quite nice and McCurry is an inspiration to nearly anyone out there.

Via On Taking Pictures

A Final Farewell to Kodak Ektachrome (NSFW)

It’s over. Kodak Ektachrome has been discontinued for a little while from my writing and publishing this piece. The company officially declared it the replacement for their legendary Kodachrome film. But as a guy that shot it for years, I never saw it that way. Instead, I always saw it as the sleeper hit film that no one ever paid much attention. While it wasn’t mentioned often, it was still absolutely beautiful.

Though, rolls of the film can still be bought, I’ve personally decided to not become one of those shooters that hoards loads of it in my freezer: instead giving way to chicken and other films that I have lined up for personal projects. My last two rolls of Ektachrome was spent on the Mermaid Day Parade amongst other things recently in NYC, and the images I shot will always remind me of its beautiful colors.

This post is a simple collection of my favorite photos from that roll of film. Big thanks to the Lomography company for the excellent processing and scanning job that they did.

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Review: DxO FilmPack 3

DxO FilmPack 3 is the latest iteration of DxO’s film emulating software that processes digital images to look like they were taken with a particular brand of photographic film. The software comes as a stand-alone version as well as a plug-in for Lightroom and Photoshop, and is able to emulate a couple dozen different color slide, color negative and black-and-white films. In this review, we take a look at what the software has to offer, and compare it to similar products from other developers.

If you’re interested in a quick and easy solution to give your pictures a unique look, without the need of extensive knowledge in post-processing, then read on after the jump.

If you think this stuff is only for hipsters and show-offs, then please skip this article and go directly ahead to Is The Film Revival Just Another Fad?

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Please Don’t Take My Ektachrome Away

Kodak has been in the news quite a bit recently. Besides, declaring that they are out of the camera industry, they’ve also been under lots of pressure to change and restructure. Because of this, we’ve known them for one thing for many years: film. I personally have been a lover of their film for years, and shed a tear like many of you the day that Kodachrome died. Further, I’m also a lover of Portra: having using it with some Zeiss lenses recently, during professional shoots, and even Gevon loves it.

Like many of you, I dread the day that they kill Tri-x: especially with the look it gives off with medium format cameras.

Kodak now often states that Ektachrome is the closest thing to Kodachrome that they have. And while that all depends on who you ask, one can’t deny that the film is indeed quite beautiful. Even though digital may come close, I still personally feel that it can’t totally capture the full look.

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Three Free Preset Packages To Emulate Film in Lightroom 3

Do you love the look of film but don’t want to have to shoot and scan? Luckily, Adobe Lightroom 3 has presets that allow you to emulate that look very closely. After searching around the web for a while and shooting with the likes of Portra, Fuji Professional, and looking at Kodachrome prints, I’ve found a couple of free presets that can get the job for you on the cheap. Here are a couple of my favorites and what they look like.

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Kodachrome May Be Dead, But Color Polaroid Film Is Back

Even though Kodachrome is dead, film users, hipsters, and Lady Gaga acolytes will be happy to know that the Impossible Project seems to be alive and well. As shown in the video above, lovers of the nostalgic and unique film can get their hands on packs now. The film appears to have been improved as well as it isn’t temperature sensitive anymore.

Check out the video above. The gearhead in me wants that sexy camera bag and a collapsible, smaller camera like the one there. Hell, imaging a Micro Four Thirds model with a Polaroid attachment.

Via The Mijonju Show