Philosophy & Reflections

My Second First Roll of Film – By Reyazul Haque

December 3, 2022

This is how I remember that day: it was a day when the university of my town received the foundation stone for a campus of its own. And in the far west US army occupied the capital city of Baghdad in Iraq on the 22nd day of its invasion of the country. It was also the day when I got my first camera: a very basic Kodak VR35 point-and-shoot.

An outgoing spring in my region filled the air with the promises of summer fruits, dusty certainties of harvests, and a season of holidays that was going to be difficult for many reasons: I was in school and was going to move to a big city for future preparation. But before thinking about all of these I immersed myself in the camera and the world of images. I shot my first roll: my parents, siblings, children of my neighbourhood, trees, and empty fields of the region.

Sadly, I could never see those photos ever. I lost the cassette of exposed film on my way to the lab in the nearest town. Maybe in the vehicle, or maybe on the street. I tried to find it, but without success.

It broke my heart, but nothing could be done. I got another roll and shot almost similar kinds of photos. And then more. And more. That camera is still at home, with the photos and memories that it gave me. It was the first camera in the family, and it accompanied us for many years. I stopped using it when I found that it’s plastic body had cracks and my photos started getting a brown layer.

Since then, years passed, and many cameras too. Mainly digital: for work, and for hobby. I take photos regularly, but I had never thought that I would use a film camera again.

Now, this year in the late summer I decided to get one. And one day I found myself buying a Canon EF SLR with a 50mm/F1.4 FD lens. Even though I had started with a film camera and had been using DSLRs for more than a decade now in manual mode, I was nervous. It felt delicate, something that one needs to be very careful with. One has to put some more thought before pressing the shutter button. The photos that I made with it are marked by this nervousness.

Presenting here a few photos from my second first roll of film, my first roll of film when I am reintroduced to film photography.

Unlike my lost first roll of Kodak Gold 200 that was used in a dusty rural area, all these photos are taken in the metropolis of Berlin, featuring strangers and the urban settings with a black & white Ilford 400 HP5 film.

Mirrored Life at a Train Station

Mirrored Life at a Train Station

Light Weight

Light Weight

"First They Came..."

“First They Came…”

On This Thread

On This Thread

On a Late Morning Walk

On a Late Morning Walk

On the Record: a banner in a neighbourhood

On the Record: a banner in a neighbourhood

Within the frame

Within the frame

How Much Fire Have You Got?

How Much Fire Have You Got?

The Light Behind

The Light Behind

You can find my digital photos on Instagram.

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Arne Heeringa
    December 3, 2022 at 10:32 am

    Fantastisch. Viele Grüße aus Wuppertal.

    • Reply
      Reyazul Haque
      December 3, 2022 at 1:21 pm

      Hi Arne, vielen Dank für deine ermutigende Antwort.

  • Reply
    Bob Janes
    December 3, 2022 at 11:19 am

    ‘On this thread’ is an excellent bit of portraiture! Welcome back to the fold…

    • Reply
      Reyazul Haque
      December 3, 2022 at 1:22 pm

      I am so glad to hear your kind and encouraging words, thank you dear Bob. 🙂

  • Reply
    Reyazul Haque
    December 3, 2022 at 1:18 pm

    I am so glad to hear this, thank you dear Bob. 🙂

  • Reply
    Roman
    December 3, 2022 at 5:06 pm

    You have good photographic vision. Others have many expensive cameras but cannot capture the moment. Me too…

    • Reply
      Reyazul Haque
      December 4, 2022 at 3:07 pm

      Dear Ramon, it is so great and encouraging to hear this, thank you so very much for your kind words. I wish you a nice Sunday.

    • Reply
      Reyazul Haque
      December 12, 2022 at 1:40 pm

      Dear Roman, I am so glad to hear this, it really means a lot. I am trying to learn. Hope you are doing well. Have a nice week.

  • Reply
    Scott Gitlin
    December 4, 2022 at 12:16 am

    You do have the “eye.” Nice set!

    • Reply
      Reyazul Haque
      December 4, 2022 at 1:32 pm

      Dear Scott, thanks a lot for your kind and supportive words.

    • Reply
      Reyazul Haque
      December 12, 2022 at 1:38 pm

      Dear Scott, this means a lot, thank you so much my friend.

  • Reply
    Gary
    December 4, 2022 at 9:22 am

    The first paragraph left me wondering where you were at the time.

    • Reply
      Reyazul Haque
      December 12, 2022 at 1:41 pm

      Dear Gary, I was in India back then. 🙂 Sorry for the late reply.

  • Reply
    Anindya K Maity
    December 4, 2022 at 1:43 pm

    Lovely photographs from the second first roll, and I hope this is the beginning of many more rolls. You’ve created an urge in me to share the story of my own second first roll. Maybe I will write an article here when I work up the courage to do so.

    • Reply
      Reyazul Haque
      December 12, 2022 at 1:42 pm

      Dear Anindya, thank you so much for your comment and encouraging words. I would love to see your second first roll of films.

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