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Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Discussion in 'Fuji X Forum' started by Lightmancer, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    The ceramic installation at the Tower of London entitled "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red" is only in place until the 11th of November. It is striking in and of itself and all the more memorable for being ephemeral. Each of the 888,246 poppies is individually made, and put in place by hand between August and November. Each one represents a British military fatality during the Great War. They will each be sold afterwards, to raise money for service charities.

    At the moment, I'll wager that this is the most photographed art installation in the UK (The Tower of London is the 7th most popular visitor attraction in the country in it's own right). It's free to see, and entirely self-policing - people simply make way for each other. It was fascinating to hear the comments being made, which ranged from "awesome" to "it looks better on telly", from "really moving" to "they could have done something better with the money" - to each their own.

    The day we went it was rainy, damp and dank - and crowded. I really wanted to take a photo or two that captured the tone and the mood of the piece, but also was a little different from the hundreds of thousands of other photos already up on the internet. I hope I succeeded.

    If you are able, I urge you to go and see for yourself before the 11th of next month; the woman who said it looks better on telly was very much mistaken. I would defy anyone with a shred of humanity not to see it and be moved, especially when you remember that each poppy represents a single human life.

    I used my X-Pro1, with the 18-135WR. I was grateful for that weather resistance...

    This is a general shot, to give you some idea of scale:
    35467339.1be057ce.1024.
    Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red 24 par Lightmancer, on ipernity

    And this, I think, shows that each is an individual flower:
    35467409.c2cbf62e.1024.
    Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red 28 par Lightmancer, on ipernity

    The rest, you can "caption" for yourselves:
    35467291.a722ed05.1024.
    Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red 20 par Lightmancer, on ipernity

    35467233.de00187a.1024.
    Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red 16 par Lightmancer, on ipernity

    35467163.6af78a20.1024.
    Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red 9 par Lightmancer, on ipernity

    35467211.c92b21b2.1024.
    Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red 14 par Lightmancer, on ipernity
     
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  2. Petach

    Petach SC All-Pro

    Oct 22, 2011
    UK, Essex
    Peter Tachauer
    Very nice job indeed. I have been many times from when it started as a trickle to its current manifestation. We will try to make the ending ceremony armistice day. Think we will have to be really early. It is a shame they turn the lights off in the moat at night after the nightly last post......they didn't used to I am sure. It certainly causes a tear to prick my eye and a shudder to work its way from my scalp down to my shoulder blades. It was always hard to imagine the numbers of dead, it defied me. The number was just a number that would not compute into an identifiable mass or whatever. This has certainly cured that lack of imagination. It is so god damn awful to think. You only have to visit villages and see memorials where obviously brothers or fathers and sons never came back....whole families ripped apart.

    Anyway, here is my (early) version. They must switch the lights back on...it makes it all the more poignant.

    14943638976_829aeac606_h. Tower of London by petach123 (Peter Tachauer), on Flickr
     
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  3. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    Wonderful monument, really makes you feel the ridiculous number of lives lost... and to think that these are only the British, and several other countries had similar death tolls, and the populations were much smaller than they are today... really saddening.

    Apparently the world has been getting gradually more peaceful over the last few centuries and decades (current troubles nonewithstanding), which is undoubtedly at least partly due to lessons learned... I hope they'll remain learned for centuries to come...
     
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  4. Petach

    Petach SC All-Pro

    Oct 22, 2011
    UK, Essex
    Peter Tachauer
    I believe the dead commemorated are British and Commonwealth,
     
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  5. donlaw

    donlaw SC All-Pro

    Sep 14, 2012
    Texas
    Don
    Overwhelming. A beautiful tribute to those soldier. Love it. Thanks for sharing. A cool photos too.
     
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  6. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Jason
    That is awesome. Very cool indeed.
     
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  7. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    British only, according to the website I linked to "...each poppy representing a British fatality during the First World War."

    That makes it even more sobering.

    According to Wikipedia, total deaths were circa 16 million, of which about 10 million were under arms. 6 million were simply listed as missing, presumed dead.

    In contrast the Spanish 'flu pandemic, from 1918-1920 infected 500 million and killed 50-100 million worldwide, predominantly previously healthy young adults. The troop movements at the end of the Great War were a contributory vector in it's rapid spread and reach.

    And here we are 100 years later with "low-grade" conflicts in various hot-spots worldwide, and Ebola spreading more rapidly by the day, with a 70% mortality rate. And transport is that much faster and more effective today.

    Lest we forget...
     
  8. Petach

    Petach SC All-Pro

    Oct 22, 2011
    UK, Essex
    Peter Tachauer
    this is weird, as a plaque at the site says British and Commonwealth. Not the first time I have seen some confusion....I am even doubting myself now.
     
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  9. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
  10. Penfan2010

    Penfan2010 SC Top Veteran

    747
    Jul 21, 2012
    NJ, USA
    Ed
    Bill and Pete - thank you both for sharing your photos of such a great memorial. It is really staggering to contemplate the loss of life,, and the visual representation of the poppies next to the Tower really bring this home.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    It's on telly as I type. Each poppy is being sold for £25 plus postage and packing. The proceeds go to a range of military charities. They have been "planted" by over sixteen thousand volunteers.

    So far they have sold over six hundred and fifty thousand... I hope they sell out, and yes, I have ordered one.