Poppies at the Tower of London

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Digital Nigel
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Poppies at the Tower of London
3 months ago

London has an amazing new installation taking place right now. As one of the commemorations of WW1 exactly a century ago, a sea of 888,246 hand-made ceramic poppies are being installed in the moat of the Tower of London, each representing a British or Commonwealth fatality of the Great War. The poppies are being made by 50 potters in a studio in Derby, and installed by 150 red-shirted volunteers, working in shifts. In itself, this installation process is quite a sight for a couple of weeks, and the sea of poppies will remain in place until Armistice Day on 11 November 2014. The sea of red is a vivid reminder of the war's carnage.

This project is terrific on several counts:

  • It's a fitting, poignant reminder of the scale of the sacrifice of the Great War
  • It's a popular volunteering opportunity for a new generation, some of whose great grandparents may have served in that war.
  • It's a wonderful new, free sight for London this summer, particularly for photographers
  • Apart from just viewing the sea of hand-made ceramic poppies, you can buy them as well (I already have). They'll be sent after the installation finishes in November.
  • The sales of the poppies is expected to raise millions for six appropriate charities.

I took two cameras, my RX100 as a mid-range zoom, and my NEX-7 with the 10-18 ultra wide angle zoom. Here's a mix of my pics from them:

One of several information signs about 'Blood swept lands and seas of red' installation (the title is taken from the Will of an unknown soldier in the trenches)

The undulating sea of poppies has an intricate outline

A few of the 888,246 unique poppies, each representing one of the British and Commonwealth deaths in the Great War, hand-made by 50 potters at Paul Cummins' ceramics studio in Derby

The small mound surrounded by the sea of poppies is used for the sounding of the Last Post at dusk each day

The poppies appear to cascade down from a Tower window

The Shard, western Europe's tallest building, towers over the Tower and its crimson moat from across the river

This view from the south includes the eye-catching Gherkin, and new 'Cheesegrater' and 'Walkie-Talkie' towers

Some of the 150 volunteers assemble and install the poppies

A volunteer grabs a selfie with a Yeoman Warder of the Tower

Work around the moat continues in a clockwork direction; within days, the sea of poppies will spread into this part of the moat, on the northeastern side. The new 'Walkie-Talkie' building has good views of the Tower.

Volunteer in the moat crouches to get a close-up of the massed poppies

and she gets a selfie, too

More of my pics from the moat in: https://www.flickr.com/photos/recliner/sets/72157646104454217/

More about the installation in:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-one/10814268/Tower-of-London-moat-to-become-sea-of-poppies-to-mark-WW1-centenary.html

http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/ww1-centenary/poppies-in-the-moat

 Digital Nigel's gear list:Digital Nigel's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony a6000 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake +7 more
Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony RX100
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