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Sunday, 14 June 2009

Kodak

I could do it with my eyes closed: reach into my vest pocket, grab a film canister, and pop the top. The back of the camera would make a low snap sound as it opened. I would slide in a roll and close the back. Over the years I’ve done it thousands of times. But I still remember the first time I shot Kodachrome 64. I used the paper mailer that came with the film that had processing included in the price. It took more than a week to get the finished slides back in the little town I lived in. The film was processed at the Kodak Plant at 3500 Eglinton Ave.Black Bear on Kodachrome 64 - Click to view larger image
Black Bear on Kodachrome 64 - Click to view larger image

A few years later I started to shoot Kodachrome 25. Nothing could touch it at that time. The colour and sharpness were stunning. If you could get a good shot on K25, you really had something.Ships in Toronto Harbour on Kodachrome 25
Ships in Toronto Harbour on Kodachrome 25"

When Fuji Velvia came around, Kodochrome no longer ruled the transparency world, although my images shot on K25 and K64 continue to sell to this day.

Some friends and I visited the old Kodak site recently. The huge complex at one time employed 1600 people. The only building left standing is building number 9. This was the Employees’ Building. Kodak must have been a great place to work back when it was in full swing. (Click here and view page 5 of the City of Toronto report to see what the building used to look like) The City of Toronto suggested the building be designated as a historical building. I’m not sure where that stands but the building is in very bad shape.Kodak Building No. 9 - click to view larger image
Kodak Building No. 9 in 2009 - click to view larger image

It’s a very spooky place to photograph. The textures and wreckage are so interesting; however it’s not somewhere I would like to be at night.Staircase, Kodak Employees' Building - Click to see larger image
Staircase, Kodak Employees' Building - Click to see larger image

I shot many of my images for HDR since there was very low light in many of the rooms.HDR inside Kodak Building No. 9 - click for larger
HDR inside Kodak Building No. 9 - click for larger

Wandering around, there are so many interesting images, sad but interesting.
HDR inside Kodak Building No. 9 - click for larger
HDR inside Kodak Building No. 9 - click for larger

There are still some hints of what this place was. An old print dryer sits in disrepair.
Old Kodak Print Dryer
Old Kodak Print Dryer - click for larger view

There are also signs of human habitation on every floor. I was expecting to run into someone as I walked around. Thankfully I did not!Inside Kodak #9 Panoramic - click for larger view
Inside Kodak #9 Panoramic - click for larger view

Kodachrome mounted staircase - click for larger view
Kodachrome mounted staircase - click for larger view

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