I got into photography sometime around the beginning of the pandemic, I still don’t know what it was that made me stick with Pentax as my go-to brand but I saw a used Pentax ME Super being sold and I quite liked the profile and control layout but I was also going in blind.

With my experience with cameras beginning with the basic use of my dad’s Nikon D5100 and a basic kit lens and ending with smartphone photography much more recently, needless to say, I wanted more.

I want to share a few exposures from my very first roll of film

This was the absolute first shot I took and it shows, the subject was out of focus, though I don’t know how much of this is down to me focusing the shot and getting into position, only to change my position ever so slightly, knocking the shot out of focus and degrading what was otherwise a quite nicely composed shot of a Clematis.

I keep coming back to this photo as one of my favourite exposures on Gold 200 due to a combination of the early morning lighting, the colour profile of the film and the subject matter. You don’t see these old-fashioned petrol pumps anywhere as far as I’m aware, least of all near Leeds City Centre, so this was quite a cool find and I think the colour tones granted by Kodak Gold 200 and the early morning sunlight lend this a nice nostalgic look.

This is obviously one of my first shots I took at night. Film photography was new to me but shooting at night and metering properly was completely alien to me. Even though this went wrong, there is a certain charm to this shot and I still like it. Looking back on this makes me want to mess around with light trail photography.

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Another floral shot, still from my first roll of film, I was just about getting the hang of metering my shots well and getting the hang of aperture settings, though I was still developing my skills. I’m very happy with the amount of bokeh on this shot and the muted colours from the hawthorn blossoms in the frame.

Having shot through several rolls of Kodak Gold 200, I find that some of my favourite shots with this particular emulsion are the ones that take advantage of the way blue tones come through, especially with blue skies and sunshine in play.

Since I took up the camera back last year, I like to think I’ve learned with each roll of film I’ve shot through, though one thing I love about shooting film is the trial and error aspect, not knowing exactly how a shot will come out. This does lead to some unexpected results and, at least with cheaper consumer film such as Gold 200, lends itself to experimentation which is another aspect I’ve taken to.

Around January this year, my ME Super succumbed to a bad case of fall damage while hiking up an extremely snowy and icy Stanage Edge in the Peak District and I ended up having to switch to a Pentax P50 which was decidedly too “point-and-shoot” for my tastes. I have since had my ME Super repaired by the brilliant technicians at Asahi Photo Ltd in Brentford whose services I would strongly recommend.

~ RA

Want to share your first roll or sheet of film?

Poorly exposed, badly framed and blurry photos? No-one is perfect, especially when shooting their first roll of film...but that's ok and I'd like to spread that message. Submit as many frames from your first roll as you're able to with an accompanying text of at least 500 words using this Google form. If you would prefer to submit another way, please use the contact link at the top of the page.

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About the author

Ramkanwar Singh Aulakh

I am a pharmacist by day and an amateur to intermediate photographer (also by day) and night based in Leeds, having started to shoot film in May 2020 and since then shooting a combination of film and digital....

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