Monday, March 21, 2011

Rear Window, My Old Camera and Kodachrome

This weekend I saw Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window again, a near perfect screenplay flawlessly executed. So many fine touches, especially the manner in which the story patiently ratchets up the tension. Jimmy Stewart is an award winning photographer whose work has been showcased on the covers of Life magazine, among other places. His willingness to put himself in harm's way in order to get the perfect shot has resulted in his being bedridden for a spell, leg encased in plaster.

Much more could be said about Grace Kelly, Raymond Burr and the rest of the story, but I'm really only using this as a springboard to the real topics on my mind. First, I got my old camera working again. Or rather, a friend resurrected it. I've been digital since the months preceding Katrina. Before that I used a Konica SLR with a variety of lenses including a Tokina 80-200 zoom that I used to be in love with.

Mine is nothing like the zoom on Jimmy Stewart's camera, though. That would be a setup to die for. But I used to really like this camera. (Till 1974 I had a Minolta, which to my dismay was stolen when I was in college.)

Second, I discovered that Kodachrome is no more. That is, Kodachrome film has been discontinued. A friend of mine noted this and shared with me the March/April issue of American Photo which features the photos taken by Steve McCurry using the very last roll of Kodachrome ever minted. McCurry, like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, produces iconic images with which everyone is familiar, his works appearing in National Geographic, the most famous being the haunted Afghan girl we've all seen.

Here's a tribute to Kodchrome which appeared in 2009. Check out the mag, though, if you get a chance.

Getting my old camera back has really been a thrill. Even if it's not Kodachrome, it's going to be good.

No comments: