The Triumphant Return of Film?

 
Kodachrome
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day
— Paul Simon

 In June of 2009 the Eastman Kodak company announced the discontinuation of Kodachrome. The film’s 74-year run defined the aesthetic of professional photography due to its extensive use by National Geographic. Paul Simon showed his reverence for Kodachrome’s role in coloring our world and memories in his 1973 song. While Kodachrome defined an era, it was only one casualty among many in the ensuing decades. Photographers watched in horror as their favorite film stocks vanished. Film appears to have found its place in the 21st century as a niche product purchased by a small but dedicated segment of professional and amateur photographers. Several boutique manufacturers have found creative ways to maintain profit margins while keeping production scaled down. This is particularly impressive when you consider the fact that film is one of the most complicated consumer products ever made.

At the beginning of this year Kodak published a press release that delighted film photographers around the world. Kodak announced plans to revive one of its most iconic film stocks in the fourth quarter of this year. Prior to its discontinuation in 2012, Ektachrome had been used by generations of photographers and was widely loved for its ability to give rich, yet very natural looking colors. The reintroduction of Ektachrome appears likely to coincide with Kodak's release of a new Super 8 video camera. As a photographer who regularly uses film I can't wait to load a roll of Ektachrome into my Canon F1 and give it a try. Now, if only I can find an inexpensive slide projector...