by Robert Bethune
Whenever I visit London, which I do whenever I can, I like to go visit Buckingham Palace. During a recent visit, the elaborate ironwork gates that open from the plaza at Buckingham into the neighboring park caught my eye and my camera. As often happens, I wasn't too thrilled with the straight photographs, but I kept thinking about them. In particular, I kept coming back to the elaborate design of the ironwork and gold leaf. Then I remembered how the Pre-Raphaelites would paint such things, making them look and feel as if some sort of other-worldly light was coming out of or through what should be solid material. That is one of the elements that gives their work the feeling of fantasy that makes it so rich. I decided to see if I could get a similar effect out of the tracery of the gates, and I think I succeeded pretty well.
This detail show how the stylization of the original image works on the print. The iron work and gold leaf looks rougher, but also somehow grander than the reality. The sense of the great power, pomp and wealth of royalty comes through, and perhaps a sense of the great arrogance of royalty as well.
This image is intended to be a major focus wherever it may be displayed. You may wish to mark out the size of the print on the wall where it will hang to study the effect.
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