first roll of film


On July of 2017, I bought a Canonet 1961 to fulfill my desire of trying on a new hobby: film photography. My excitement doubled after putting in a fresh roll of Fuji Superia Xtra 400 on the site where I planned to take my first shot: UP Diliman.

I remember it clearly, my first shot—it was of a man running along the pavement of UP Lagoon, just before he passed by the lamppost #18. It was rather ambitious for a beginner like me to capture that moment, and the film probably felt that as a couple of frames were cut after it got crumpled in the spool of the camera, which was equivalent to all the pictures from UP. Ate Gina, the woman who saved my first roll, said it could still be used, and so I did.

Days and weeks of abandoning the camera and sort of giving up on it have passed before I picked it up again for a day tour in another UP campus: Los Baños. I used up a number of frames and saved some for my nearing solo travel getaway and everything was going according to plan. That was of course until I realized I was taking too many shots, way more than the available exposures of the film roll.

I had the camera checked by some hobbyist friends at work and my luck stated that the shutter was stuck. Not only did my mind explode from the probability that all moments weren’t captured, but my heart also sunk with the thought of film rejecting me. Or maybe it was just the camera.

The year ended and I was starting to lose care on film but January is my month and it turned everything around. A friend gave me an advanced birthday present and guess what it was: a Cosina CT-1 Super. Since my Fuji roll can still work despite its fortune, I loaded it and started shooting, on the day of my birthday no less. I was hoping for the best, as always, but my foolishness got in the way when I forcibly rewound the film a month after using it all up. Ate Gina came to my rescue once more and saved the remaining film that can still be processed.

Of the 23 frames that survived, these are the only decent ones I’m proud enough to share.

I had a love-hate relationship with film over the course of eight months, but the excitement I felt when I got my shots back couldn’t be explained, and in my dictionary that kind of excitement fills my soul up. Now, I therefore say, that shooting film is one of the things that will keep me alive.