Olli Thomson

Roll 3

Yes, you read that right. This is not a miscount. These are pictures from roll 3 taken, if I recall correctly, in November 2017 just after what the US calls Veterans Day and what I know as Armistice Day. For various reasons, some of which now escape me, I held off on getting this roll developed and then more or less forgot about it. I came across it again in a drawer while getting ready for the next move and, having already packed up my scanner, finally sent it off for developing and scanning.

The pictures were taken at Arlington National Cemetery and I was trying out Ilford Delta 400 for the first time, having previously used Ilford HP5 Plus. To my eye there is less grain and more contrast with the Delta which, from what I had read was to be expected. What I did not expect was just how much contrast there was in some of these images, though I suspect that was mostly down to these shots being a little underexposed.

These were shot with my Nikon FM2n using both 50mm and 24mm lenses and possibly a 35mm lens as well. I still have not developed a habit of making a note of these things at the time, but I’m learning not to worry about it too much.

First up, some shots from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The changing of the guard takes place every hour and crowds of visitors gather to watch, but in between changes there are few people there, particularly in the winter months. On this occasion there was me and the single guard who had to carry on guarding irrespective of whether he wanted his picture taken or not.

The Tomb is part of the Memorial Amphitheatre complex and I took quite a few shots here as well. The strong structural lines of the site work well in black and white and the solidity of the marble columns contrasts well with the gentle fluttering of the flags in the breeze even as the vertical strips of the flag replicate the upright columns.

The cemetery has around 400,000 graves and extend over more than 600 acres. Like most military cemeteries the repeated patterns of simple and largely identical headstones make for strong black and white images.

Finally, a couple of shots from the Metro, including my standard Rosslyn Metro escalator shot.

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