There is something of the opulence of the Victorian/Art Nouveau era that I like about this particular version of my shot of King George V. The flaming oranges are reminiscent of the works of Pre-Raphaelite painters Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema, Frederick Lord Leighton, and Edward Burn Jones. King George V would have been a late contemporary, and as such the blown out effect within the centre of the image is almost a recognition of the passing of one era to another, and the very dramatic change that Europe underwent socially and stylistically as a result of two major wars.
I created several versions of this image, having shot the original just before Christmas 2013, incidentally when I first met the love of my life and photography partner Bill Jones, who was with me at the time. I’m sure he has his own version of this statue too. I have a lot to thank him for if I think about it. Had we not met, I probably would not have pursued photography in the way that I have in the past year and a half. It certainly wouldn’t have occurred to me to experiment with artistic effects, I do believe he introduced me to this wonderful phenomenon.
In rendering what I call a ‘painted’ version of a photographic image, the process can be lengthy and highly experimental. I’ve been asked by a few people now to explain the process, and it’s no secret, but much of the magic is in the trial and error, in pursuing a version of the finished image that I might have in my head. King George has been quite a tricky customer, involving much patience and perseverance on the part of the artist. Suffice to say, I always find myself surprised at the end result, and as such I have three versions of this particular shot that I like for various reasons. I’ve included the original shot in the gallery below so that you can see the transformation involved.