Monday, 1 December 2008

Mike Hutmacher:Kodakchrome's Last Stand

© Mike Hutmacher/Courtesy Kansas.com-All Rights Reserved

Skippy Sanchez (aka Mike Hutmacher) is a staff photographer working for The Wichita Eagle, and specializes in documentary projects such as el Dia de los Muertos, the festival of la Virgen de Guadalupe and various Christian mission projects in Honduras. Amongst his passions are street photography, travel, portraiture and illustrations.

He recently produced a slideshow, featured on Kansas.com (the website for The Wichita Eagle) documenting Dwayne's Photo Lab in southeast Kansas, which is the only processing laboratory in the world that still processes Kodakchrome film. It has no relevance to travel photography except that I recall stocking canisters of this slide film before leaving on one of my trips....and returning not knowing what my images would be like.

For many of us who have worked with Kodachrome and still remember (and perhaps miss) its uniqueness, this slideshow will stir many memories. I loved the format, the choice of ragtime piano music and finally an epilogue with words of Paul Simon's classic song.

Another thing: Skippy participated in my multimedia class at the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop in Mexico City last June, and as I watched him photographing at the Church of the Guadalupe, I couldn't but marvel at how he moved seamlessly amongst the crowds, working his Leica as if it was an extension of his hands...greeting people, smiling and getting what he wanted.

A professional.