The final four rolls of Kodachrome: December 26, 2010 – My final roll ever.

The roll: Kodachrome 64, purchased on eBay.  My final roll of Kodachrome 64.

The date: December 26, 2010.  Last day I can shoot anything in Kodachrome and still make a development delivery date to Kansas.

The camera: Kiev 19.

The lens: Nikon 300mm f/4.5 telephoto lens, nicknamed the “Rachel.”

Time to shoot.

It was extremely cold on December 26th, but I wanted to get some last shots on this final roll.  I started in North Albany.  I fired a few shots, and then – all of a sudden – the Kiev seized up.

I am not kidding.  I could advance the film, but the shutter wouldn’t fire properly.  I adjusted the timer and any other knob I could find.  Nothing worked.

Normally, I would completely freak out – this was my final roll of Kodachrome and it was now in a camera that wouldn’t work.

However, good fortune happened to smile on Chuck for a change.

Because it wasn’t my final roll.

See, the day before – which was Christmas Day – I was invited by a Facebook friend, Kari Vanalstine (she writes for the Times Union’s Colonie blog), and spent the day with her and her friend Mat Maessen, we enjoyed a Christmas dinner and some Nintendo Wii games.  Mat is a photography buff (he uses Pentax equipment), and he happened to have – and I kid you not – bags of Kodachrome 64 film.  He offered to give me as many rolls as I wanted – I took two rolls and thanked him profusely.  That was on the 25th.

How fortunate it was that I could actually use one of those rolls in a situation such as this.

Back to the house.  Kiev and the Rachel lens go on the shelf.  The Kiev-19, my “red special,” gets retired. The roll of Kodachrome film in the Kiev will forever remain inside the camera – and forever remain undeveloped.

Re-assemble my options.  Start again.  Take it from the top.

The roll: Kodachrome 64, acquired as a gift from Mat Maessen.

The date: December 26, 2010.  Last day I can shoot anything in Kodachrome and still make a development delivery date to Kansas.

The camera: Nikkormat FTn.

The lens: Nikon f/1.4 kit lens.

Again … time to shoot.

I went over to Slingerlands, and photographed the Toll Gate Ice Cream place one more time.

Toll Gate Ice Cream, December 26, 2010 - my final Kodachrome shots

Next to it was part of the Albany County Rail Trail, and as I took pictures along the trail, I saw a man clearing away some fallen timber.

Clearing the logs, December 26, 2010 - my final Kodachrome shots

I jaunted out to Nassau, and took a picture of this old hardware store.

Nassau Merchandising SIgn, December 26, 2010 - my final Kodachrome shots

Here’s some shots along Broadway. This building I believe is on the Capital District’s register of ten places most in danger of demolition.

Broadway distressed building, December 26, 2010 - my final Kodachrome shots

These railroad tracks are part of a Broadway overpass; I think they’re the same tracks that Amtrak uses to get to the Albany-Rensselaer train station. I had photographed these tracks in the summer, back when I was testing out my efke film rolls. The efke shots were destroyed by someone using the wrong processing (note to everyone – cross-processing efke B&W in C41 will get you a nice clear strip of film and that’s it). So thankfully, I was able to get these shots on Kodachrome.

Railroad tracks in North Albany, December 26, 2010 - my final Kodachrome shots

Railroad tracks in North Albany - December 26, 2010 - my final Kodachrome shots

And one year after I began my Kodachrome pilgrimage, my “vision quest,” if you will, photographing sunshine and skyline and fireworks and iron works, lighthouses and flophouses, star trails and rail trails …

this is frame #36, the final photograph, of my final roll of Kodachrome film.

RCA Nipper His Master's Voice - December 26, 2010 - my final Kodachrome shots

Yeah, you knew it was going to be Nipper.  That’s like predicting the call of a two-headed coin flip.

And thus concludes my year-long affair with shooting Kodachrome film.  I’ve had some great shots, I’ve had some “bum-shots,” I’ve entered some of my shots in competition, and two of my shots are scheduled for a London gallery opening.  It’s been a fun year, and I’m glad I’ve had the experience.

I wouldn’t want it any other way.

And thank you to all who joined me on this photographic journey.