Great Yellow Father

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea,

The majority of photographers I’ve come to know over the years were weaned on TriX, Plus X, Panatomic X, Kodacrome 1,2, 25, 64, and High Speed Ektachrome. I affectionally called Kodak “The Great Yellow Father.” Well, the last time I did a lecture at RIT about eight years ago I stopped by to see a Vice President of Kodak who is a friend of mine. While walking to his office I could hear the echo of my footsteps. The handwriting had been on the wall for at least 5-8 years prior to that, lets call it 1999. And one of the final indications was when Dano Steinhardt left Kodak for Epson. I know Dano loved Kodak. He had to do what was right for him and for his family. Covering the heavyweight championship fight in Rochester, killing six hours, I looked up to see the Kodak tower. It was sad. One of the security people told me they were going to convert it to a community college. There is no doubt that George Eastman is doing cartwheels in his grave. One of the oldest most powerful and greatest longest lasting corporations in america. Very sad, very sad. I’m looking above me three computers, theres a roll of Kodacrome 200, 25 and Ektachrome X. I don’t why I have it, but it’s there.

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© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

Goodbye Old Friend

Photo © Joe DiMaggio 

Well I guess it’s time to take my Beret off for the last time for an old friend Kodachrome Film.  Yes, it’s true that I’ve not shot a roll of Kodachrome in 10 years but in the beginning, I was not only weaned on Tri-X but Kodachrome I and II.  When it came to color film, my film of choice for over 30 years was Kodachrome 25. I will never forget the look on the Director of Photography, for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, John Dominis’ face when I turned in 100 rolls of Kodachrome. At the time, I had finished up an assignment photographing the Wittington Brothers, who coincidentally inherited 900 million dollars and won LeMains in their class.  It was a feature piece I was working on and I did not have a drop dead deadline so I chose to shoot with Kodachrome. Another fond remembrance, was Max at the old, old B and H  I had a standing order with Max of 100 rolls of Kodachrome 25, 100 rolls of Kodachrome 64, 50 rolls of Velvia 50, and 50 rolls of Fuji 100.  There would be a line 2 deep at B and H at their 4 cash registers at the time.  Max would see me come into the store and yell, “Sorry I kept you so long waiting, Mr. DiMaggio, your order is ready” and everybody on line got very unhappy as I moved to the front of the line.  I really liked Max. 

Both JoAnne and I certainly don’t have an exact count of our photo archives, but we have to have over 1 million, two hundred thousand photos.  We probably will still be making scans from Kodachrome for many years to come.    I guess I had this roll still lying around because it was a 20 exposure roll and not 36 frames