The BlogTO interview, unedited: “Why Kodachrome in particular?”

[Third in a series. Questions by BlogTO editor Derek Flack for “The Kodachrome Toronto archive” story, published 25 March 2011. Prior instalments: part 1 & part 2.]

Why Kodachrome in particular?

Canted (in Kodachrome 64)

Canted (in Kodachrome 64), 5 June 2010
[photo: Astrid Idlewild]

Why just Kodachrome? Consistency. With exception to 1935 through 1938, when Kodak was still trying to stabilize its lab process, Kodachrome’s colour palette is remarkably consistent. You can look at a Gloucester TTC car from 1954 and know that that is pretty much how it appeared to the human eye on that day.

This also means that it becomes feasible to make historical comparisons of existing architecture (e.g., Queens Park), or what people wore, or how the sky appeared on really sooty days when manufacturing still dominated Queen’s Quay, and so on. Kodachrome is awesome because temporality becomes less of a barrier to better grasping what Toronto was like during its younger years.

More to come.

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