|Many of us baby boomers were subject to slide shows|
|Kodak's Kodachrome was king of the chromes, until|
Velvia came along.
|Some juicy 120 chrome film from my fridge|
|There used to be more choices|
The other effect that digital had on slide films was the loss of local E-6 labs. When pros were using E-6, local labs got a lot of work, and they dwindled as digital became the norm for most professional work. Kodachrome was last processed in 2010, and aside from some experimental forays by a few people, the old expired boxes of Kodachrome are best left on the shelf. It's too bad that people forget how many jobs were lost due to the digital avalanche. Now, there are few local film labs of any sort, and the mail-order labs have dwindled to a few major ones that are now seeing their business grow as film becomes more popular (such as The Darkroom). However, if you want to shoot E-6 films, you can process the film yourself at home. Unicolor has a kit that is sold under several brand names, but the Film Photography Project Store certainly has the best deal.
|A hanging file sheet with slides|
|120 transparencies, shot with a Mamiya C330|
I really love seeing color transparencies, especially on 120 film. Spreading out a bunch of color slides on a light table is quite enjoyable, too. Each image is bordered by a frame, and become separate photos. While I rarely show slides these days, I still have lots of 2x2 slides in archival sheets. My recently shot images are just scanned like any film strip, and kept in negative preservers. But if I wanted to, I could easily put them into individual slide mounts. My 120 chromes are also kept in clear archival holders. I have a bunch of frozen 120 Velvia and Provia that should last me for a while.
So, you may wonder why should you even bother to use chrome films? You can cross process them in C-41 chemistry for a different look, as Lomography folks have been doing for years. However, standard E-6 chemistry gives you a more accurate color rendition. Use can also use the narrower latitude to your advantage if you want a more high-key washed out look, which is what slight overexposure will give you. Chrome films have to be exposed correctly, as there is less latitude than a C-41 color film. However, when you see your transparencies that are properly exposed, you will appreciate the magic that the chrome films can produce.
|Retrochrome 320 at 400|
|Mackinac Bridge on expired Fujichrome 64T|
|Color IR on FPP Infrachrome film|
|Lake George area on Retrochrome 320|
|Wassiac, NY on Wittnerchrome|
|Potsdam, NY on Retrochrome 160|
|Presque Isle sunset on Velvia 50 @40|
|Fall reflections on Velvia 50 @40|