Putting My First Roll Through the Pentax MX at Holme Pierrepont [Kentmere Pan 100]

Holme Pierrepont lake

Images shot on Kentmere Pan 100 in Pentax MX with SMC Pentax-M 28mm f2.8

Although SLRs like the Pentax K1000 and Canon AE-1 are often touted as good for beginners, I’d been shooting film for quite a while before I got myself a single lens reflex camera. For years, I didn’t really feel the need or desire to have one when I was enjoying using my Yashica Electro rangefinder so much.

Even borrowing a Nikon FM3a wasn’t enough to get me to want an SLR, and they are among the best ones ever made. After putting a few rolls through that, I still just carried on with the ol’ faithful Yashica and a couple of point ‘n’ shoots like the Canon Sure Shot AF-7 when I fancied something different.

That has now changed of course, because this post is showing the results from the first roll I put through my shiny new – new to me, as they say – Pentax MX. And that, if you didn’t know, is an SLR.

The film was Kentmere Pan 100 and the location was the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont. That’s -pont, not -point, by the way.

We’re here for photographs though, not for correcting common mispronunciations. So read on to see how they turned out.

Holme Pierrepont scoreboard

A little background on Holme Pierrepont

Holme Pierrepont is, as I quote from the Wikipedia page, ‘a hamlet and civil parish located 5 miles south-east of the city of Nottingham in Nottinghamshire, England. The population of the civil parish as at the 2011 Census was 528.’

528! Imagine that.

However, as a Nottinghamshire native myself, I’ve never heard anyone say they’re going to Holme Pierrepont and it be the hamlet and civil parish that they’re referring to.

If someone mentions the name Holme Pierrepont, they’re probably talking about the National Water Sports Centre that’s there instead. In the Holme Pierrepont Country Park, obviously. It’s not confusing at all, this.

First opened in 1971, this was one of five National Sports Centres – with the others being at Bisham Abbey, Lilleshall, Plas y Brenin, and Crystal Palace – that were set up with the aim of developing elite talent in the country across a range of sports.

Obviously the one here was focused on water sports, and its facilities include a 700-metre white water canoe slalom course, an open water swimming lagoon, and the centrepiece regatta and rowing lake.

Drier activities today include a climbing wall, mini golf, and a high-rope course, and there’s a lakeside hotel and camping grounds too.

An outside company called Active Training World uses Holme Pierrepont as the venue for some of its events also. I entered one of their 10k runs in 2021, which was an enjoyable two laps around the regatta lake.

Shooting the Pentax MX around the regatta lake

On the day I ran that 10k, Holme Pierrepont never jumped out at me as a place to go back to one day with a camera to shoot some film there. But I’ve exhausted quite a few other local options since then, and so I decided to give it a go when I wanted to put the first roll through my Pentax MX.

I think another reason it appealed for this endeavour was that it would allow me to get to grips with the camera at my own pace, shooting landscape scenes and inanimate objects rather than the fluid bustle of a town or city’s streets.

A bright white ice cream van set against the shadows of the trees around the car park seemed as good an inanimate object as any to begin with, and I think it gives a good demonstration of the contrast and detail you can get from this Kentmere Pan 100 film.

After that, I headed down to the regatta lake, past the large scoreboard that was in a photograph earlier in this piece, and shot a few staples – a side-on cyclist and some local ducks and swans.

It seems the idea of shooting still scenes had gone out of the window already.

However, there wasn’t a great deal of movement on this side of the lake aside from that, and there’s only so many shots of a man on a bicycle and foraging waterfowl that you can take. So it was back to the landscapes and inanimate objects after all.

A jetty, some errant sunglasses left on a sign, another jetty, a traffic cone, a dinghy, and yet more errant items of clothing left by someone feature in this next little batch of images.

Taken as I walked down the side and along the bottom of the lake, they aren’t the most interesting shots you’ll ever see. But they serve the purpose they were assigned.

To give evidence to myself that I was getting to grips with the Pentax MX, and also to give some examples of what you can expect from that Kentmere Pan 100 film that I could use in this review of it.

On the other side of the regatta lake is the Lakeside Building, which is where you’ll find the hotel should you need a place to stay.

It looks a little industrial in the shots below, but that’s because it’s the rear of the building that faces the water. I can assure you it’s a lot nicer if you go around to the front.

The lines of these barriers and stairways did make for some interesting shots though, especially on this black and white film, and so did the people who were doing some training out on the water.

Again, for a brief moment, I had some movement to shoot as I composed and waited for them to once again come past that particular barrier with nothing draped over it.

Thankfully they’d put enough distance between themselves that they didn’t really overlap in my photograph, which is something I like to avoid with shots like this. Later in this piece, we’ll see an occasion where I wasn’t so lucky.

Finally for this section is a couple of shots of the seats at the side of the lake. The light wasn’t bad at this point in the day so I used these to again see how the Kentmere film did with contrast, detail, sharpness, and general image quality and qualities.

The River Trent and Colwick sluice gates

With Holme Pierrepont being a water-based attraction in Nottingham, you’d think the River Trent wouldn’t be too far away. And you’d be right. Because it runs right next to it.

Walking past the white water canoe course – which we’ll get to next – gets you to the banks of it, where you can see but unfortunately not get very close to a couple of interesting sights.

Interesting if you’re into this kind of thing, I mean.

The first, that I couldn’t get near enough to photograph because it’s behind a locked gate, is Holme Lock – a traditional canal-style lock that you might not expect to need to traverse if you’re sailing down a river like this. The reason it’s there though is because of the Colwick sluice gates that change the level of the water.

These sluice gates are also inaccessible and hard to photograph from this side of the river, although you can see them in the background of the first image below.

There’s also a couple of geese and a shot across the river. I took that one because the light was bursting through the clouds in the background. It didn’t come out in the final image at all though.

Walking around the white water canoe course

In between the River Trent and Holme Pierrepont’s regatta lake is its white water canoe course. In fact the water flowing to the bottom left of the above picture, though those poles, is going from the Trent and into the canoe course.

Once it’s gone down its 700-metre length, it flows back into the river.

I timed my walk to the top of the white water course well, as a couple of ladies were just getting in and getting started. The first shot below is one of them dealing with the first weir.

The next shot features that overlapping of subjects that I mentioned earlier. Those two ducks had been sitting on the concrete plenty long enough for me to compose a shot of them doing so.

While I was still messing about with my framing though, they took off. This made me shoot more hurriedly than I’d expected to, but I do remember thinking it would probably come out better than if they had just stayed sitting down.

I’m sure it has. But I think also it would have been even better with complete separation of them in flight. The head overlapping the wing slightly is something that brings the image down a little, in my opinion.

You can see the Colwick sluice gates in the background of this next photograph, which is one of two that feature signs my brother’s dog didn’t heed.

I wasn’t there at the time but I’ve been told that, when he was young and excitable, he once jumped into the white water course and swam / floated on down to the bottom where he just got back out again like nothing had happened.

I’m also told that, with him being a fox red Labrador, it shouldn’t have been too surprising that he did this. It’s not so much that he was young and excitable. It’s more that he’s a Labrador and this was water so he’s definitely going to get in it.

The final two shots below are of some hut next to the white water course and the steps and paths around. I shot these just to play with some leading lines and whatnot. They came out okay I think, for what they are.

I don’t really have much else to say about them.

Wrapping up from shooting the Pentax MX at Holme Pierrepont

If the goal of this day was to get to grips with the Pentax MX, come back with a bunch of photographs I’m happy enough to publish on here, shot on Kentmere Pan 100 so I can also write a review of that film, and have an enjoyable afternoon while I did so, then I would say it was a success.

And because I lost the light before I’d finished the roll, I still had some exposures left to shoot somewhere else.

Having used the SMC Pentax-M 28mm f2.8 lens here, I wanted to do something different with the remaining frames. So, on another day, I put the SMC Pentax-M 50mm f2 on and went and fired them off in the streets of Mansfield.

If you’re reading this sentence then I haven’t posted them on here yet. Because I’ll of course link to them when I have.

Regardless, the day at Holme Pierrepont had been worthwhile. Having got a 10k race runner’s medal the previous time I’d been, it was nice to come back from there with something this time too.

And I did it the right way around too.

Because if I’d have been given the choice of only being able to finish one thing there – the 10k race or this roll of film – there’s no way I’d have been choosing the film. 🙂

If you enjoyed that post shooting the Pentax MX around Holme Pierrepont, why not have a look at some of these other film photo essays too:

And if you think others will find this post worth a read, help them find it by giving it a share 😀

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