Tag Archives: National Geographic

Steve McCurry and the Last Roll of Kodachrome

A funny thing happened to me at work last week. Jeff Kida, our photo editor, extended an invitation to check out 36 images shot by famed photographer Steve McCurry on the last roll of Kodachrome ever to be produced—talk about a PR coup for Kodak! The camera company knew that by giving McCurry the roll, they would get back pure gold.

If you don’t know who Steve McCurry is you, you probably know his work—specifically his famous shot of the Afghan girl with those dramatic green eyes, which appeared on the June 1985 cover of National Geographic.

Needless to say, this was a big deal; plus, being the new kid at Arizona Highways, I took it as a sign that Jeff liked me.

We arrived at Image Craft in Phoenix where we met Richard Jackson. Jackson was tasked to take each image and scan them for McCurry—a job not for the faint of heart (or shaky of hand). Jackson had to take each slide and, with surgical precision, extract the image from its cardboard casing. “It was a true honor,” he tells me. “The man trusted me.” And Jackson trusted himself to get the job done right.

After some shop talk between Jeff and the others (chop, chop Jeff! I’m antsy to see these photos!), Jackson took out two plastic sheets containing the slides, and what we saw on that light table was pretty incredible—actually, more like jaw-dropping. I didn’t “Google” McCurry before this shoot, so I had no idea where he was going to make history.

I mean, where do you go when you have the last roll of history in your camera bag?

Turns out, New York, India, Turkey and Kansas. That’s right. Kansas.

McCurry had 36 shots and one chance to get it right. The images are spectacular, especially the shots taken in India. I was mesmerized by the vivid colors, the details, the shadows—it was magical. You could see the lines etched into each face and the eyes… in many of the images, he captured this “look,” a stare that was simply unforgettable… even using a loop to view the images, you could see the depth and soul that McCurry was somehow able to capture.

National Geographic followed McCurry on his adventure and will air the documentary later this year.

Below, are some shots Jeff took at Image Craft.

At the light table

Jackson and fellow photographer checking out the slides

Dazzled by McCurry's work

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For Junior Explorers

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess’ popular, award-winning National Geographic Explorers Camp will now be offered daily, year-round, for resort guests beginning Memorial Day weekend. Designed specifically for the resort by National Geographic experts, this fun-cational camp is for ages 5-12, filled with discovery-based activities, and on special weekends, meeting real-life explorers.

“Summer vacation is about creating memories to last a lifetime,” said Fairmont Scottsdale Princess General Manager Jack Miller. “We have developed a dynamic lineup of activities for every member of the family to enjoy, capped off with our partnership with National Geographic. As one of the most well-respected organizations, it has inspired generations, showing us the world through amazing explorations and adventures. We are excited to bring National Geographic’s innovation and imagination to our guests at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.”

Andy van Duym, director of National Geographic Live Speakers Bureau said, “Bringing National Geographic explorers and signature educational experiences into a camp for young people is a natural extension of our mission to inspire people to care about the planet. We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, as part of National Geographic Society Mission Programs’ global partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, to bring distinctive and educationally rich programs to kids and families. With our ongoing National Geographic Live speaker series at the Mesa Arts Center in the fall and spring, and now the year-round Explorers Camp at the Fairmont Scottsdale, National Geographic is glad to have a consistent presence in the Valley of the Sun.”

The program includes a desert discovery program, photo and video safaris, and a mad scientist’s lab, along with weekly guest speakers. For more information, visit http://www.fairmont.com/EN_FA/Property/SCP/Vanity/ExplorersCamp.htm.

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