On Friday I travelled up to the Tower with hopes of returning to photograph some of the area that leads up to Thomas More’s cell (again). The leaden winter weather gave me very little light so I decided to leave that area to another day. While wandering around the White Tower I was drawn to the building works that are going on at the foot of this famous building. The site manager was kind enough to let me into the area to photograph a few things (as long as I stayed clear of the actual work in progress due to safety restrictions) I managed to get a couple of pictures before the cold finally got me and I moved inside.
I thought I had had a good day with a few interesting images on film, but then I was kindly given the opportunity to have access to the areas inside the White Tower that are being prepared for an new exhibition called ‘Henry Dressed to Kill’ which will display a massive collection of Henry VIII armour. The images below were taken on my digital compact. I used my 6×6 Bronica as well as a Wista Large Format 5×4 camera to make my final pictures, but I wanted to show you what I saw that drew me to make my photograph in the first place as well as some of the paraphernalia that I used to make it. I have mentioned before that I tend to only use available light but in this situation the light was so low I couldn’t see to focus, so I drafted in the help of some studio lights. I set the lights up to mimic the fall of the natural light as much as possible.
I must admit I found the horse beautiful and ever so slightly sad. Apparently it was craned into the White Tower to display Henry VIII’s armour (for him and his horse) in 1913. It was made by Felix Joubert from paper mache over an iron skeleton. It will be taken away to be stored properly in the Royal Armouries and is to be replaced by a new model horse.
Its funny how moved I was by the story of this inanimate creature, partially wrapped in bubble wrap, how lucky I was to have the chance to photograph this wonderful thing before it leaves the Tower for ever. I just hope my final image captures some of its magic.
(as an additional note, as I packed up my kit after photographing this horse I dropped my old Vivitar Light Meter and broke it. I’ve used this light meter since I was a student and I’m going to miss it)