I started my photography hobby with Olympus digital cameras. First a point and shoot Camedia D-550 and then eventually Olympus Evolt E-410 DSLR at around 2007. My transition to film photography started with a single roll of house-brand colour film.

In early 2015, purely by chance, I discovered the transparency scanning unit on my Canon 4400F scanner. It was one of those “Oh, what’s this?” moments and gave me the idea to scan all of the old family snapshot negatives I had.

Through this process, I got curious about a few house brand (Black’s Photo) rolls of film I had left from my pre-digital period in the 1990s/early 2000s and decided to give it a try in my dad’s 1965 Zorki 6. So, acting on this impulse, on a June afternoon in 2015, I headed down to Humber Bay Park for a bit of a walk and an attempt to use a roll of film – which turned out to be Fuji 400N (H48). Completely unaware of it, I was doing a Lomography project — expired consumer colour film in a Russian rangefinder without any clue on how to use it.

Completely oblivious on how to use Zorki’s frame counter and load film properly, I ended up exposing only about 13 and a half frames during this adventure, but the roll had a “hook” image.

The first few frames contained a park flowerbed with a colour palette that I knew immediately could not be reproduced easily with Olympus or Nikon digital cameras of the time.

You might be interested in...

For this “First Roll” exercise, I re-scanning this role again on my Epson Perfection V850 Pro — a small upgrade from that Canon 4400F — and I still cannot ignore these first few images.

Even if they are fairly out of focus and fuzzy, there is a unique charm about them. My first roll, out of focus and all, was definitely the beginning of something more interesting and different.

Few weeks after this outing, I was a proud owner of Nikon FE. It was all downhill from that point…

~ Toni

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.

Share your knowledge, story or project

The transfer of knowledge across the film photography community is the heart of EMULSIVE. You can add your support by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.

If you like what you're reading you can also help this passion project by heading over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and contributing as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.

Toni Skokovic

I am a Toronto, Canada, based enthusiast photographer. Railroads and nature have always fascinated me, a strange combo. With a lack of drawing talent, photography is the only way for me to attempt at capturing...

Leave a comment