Dead Film Photography: Chinatown's "The Bloody Angle" on Kodak Kodachrome 64

After someone on Twitter asked for shots taken on Kodak Kodachrome, I dug through some slide scans that I had shot right before Dwayne's Photo (the last lab in the world to develop Kodachrome) stopped developing Kodachrome. Most of the shots were decent; they were taken with my Leica M6 35mm camera, which at the time I thought was the perfect camera. Now I can see that it really didn't fit my style.

But these two photos, when viewed together, really made me smile.

Kodachrome slide film, finicky as it was, did have a timeless feel. This is my favorite area in Chinatown; essentially Doyers and Pell meet at this weird angle (known back in the day as The Bloody Angle, b/c of heavy gang fighting in this little cul de sac) and not much light makes it to street level. The low light makes for a very contrasty image - bright sky and dim street level detail. These images, without the use of filters or photoshop, look like they may have been taken 50 years ago, but they were taken in 2010. The first shot of the woman walking up Doyers toward the angle was also double exposed. You can see the post office building superimposed across half the image. The second image, a man walking down Pell Street towards me and away from the angle is slightly underexposed.

NYC Chinatown's "Bloody Angle" Double Exposure, Kodachrome 64

Man Walking Down Pell Street in NYCChinatown, Kodachrome 64

Last week Kodak discontinued its slide films. This was met with much gnashing of teeth and doom and gloom reports online concerning the "death of film." As well as comments like these regarding tricky exposure with slide film: "And you just gave the main reason why nobody wants to shoot film anymore. I love the ability to check the exposure on the camera, and the ability to decide if I can push it more to the right or keep it as it is. Film is just dead in general. I should get rid of my film gear before it is 100% worthless." Sigh...

In truth, the announcement really only matters to the photographers who were still using the three remaining Kodak slide films. I've never used any of them, though I did use Kodachrome and much of my childhood was captured on those slides. Since Kodachrome has went away, I've used Fuji slide film. I might try to grab some remaining rolls of Ektachrome E100G/E100VS or Elite Chrome Extra Color 100 though to see what the fuss is about.