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.
You can find my digital photos on Instagram.
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