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“It’s not a process like black-and-white that hobbyists could do in their own dark room,” co-owner Grant Steinle said, warning Kodachrome hoarders “they really need to get out and shoot those pictures” and perhaps shift over to newer lines of slide film like Ektachrome and Fujichrome.

In McCurry’s roll, one or two exposures were a little off, but he was pleased with the results. In one self-portrait, he posed next to a Kodak-yellow taxicab bearing the license plate PKR 36 _ the code name for Professional Kodachrome film; in another, he’s sprawled on a hotel bed at journey’s end.

McCurry has a personal archive of 800,000 Kodachrome images he takes good care of. But in late July, he chanced upon a batch of 1969 and 1972 Kodachromes he’d put in storage in Philadelphia long ago and forgotten about. The discovery got him reminiscing about his days as a hungry photographer hopping from Amsterdam to Africa to Soviet-era Bulgaria.

“Not only was the color really good, but they were actually not bad pictures,” McCurry marveled.

“Imagine leaving digital images in a hard drive and coming back 40 years later. Would anybody be able to read that data? That’s the great thing about film. It’s a self-contained object. You hold the picture up to the light and there it is.”