George Hurrell – Defining Hollywood Glamour

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Photo Studio Set recreation, using George Hurrell’s original Camera

The glamour of the screen actors from the beginning of the cinema in Hollywood, will be remembered not only by their immense bodies of work, but the photographs of George Hurrell.
Shooting on an 8×10 view camera, he captured all of the romance of the time in shaped shadows enveloping the stars in the smooth, soft glow of beauty.

His background in painting served his lighting techniques as the chiaroscuro patterns permeated his work.

But it was his skill working with the celebrities who left their photographic fate in his hands and were never disappointed. The movie studios called on his talent for all of their top actors, and felt his work could change their career. And it did.

From Jean Harlow in 1932

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© George Hurrell
To Sherilynn Fenn in 1992

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© George Hurrell

[photopress:bookstyle.jpg,thumb,alignright]The Hurrell Style became synonymous with glamour, and lucky us, he published a book in 1976 called “50 Years Of Photographing Hollywood: The Hurrell Style”. A couple of of the best things about this book were his tales of each shoot PLUS, he gave the lighting setup details for each one. Not diagrams,but descriptions. Find this one if you can. Worth the effort.

Quite honestly, you should check out all of his books. The lessons in shaping light in portraits are invaluable. Even if you can’t figure out how it was done.

[photopress:legends_of_light.jpg,full,alignright] “Legends Of Light – The Photography of George Hurrell”. Try to find this DVD if you can, so you can watch the master at work, and get a full blast of the man who Hollywood loved, needed, honored.
We gave one of these away last year and they have been very difficult to find again. As you watch him light his subjects, the insight into the way he relates to them, and directs them is pure gold.
He passed away before this video was made available, but being the consummate professional, he record the VO commentary while in the hospital during his last days.

Tomorrow, we’ll discuss the current living master of the celeb portrait, Annie Leibowitz. Her Vanity Fair portraits alone have set the new standard.

Later this week, the new Hollywood shooters, and a look at those who work the Red Carpet Events.
Over here, Brad!!

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