George Hurrell – Defining Hollywood Glamour

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

© George Hurrell
To Sherilynn Fenn in 1992

© 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!!

Tags: , , , , ,

Like what we’re posting?
Join us on Flickr.

Upcoming Events

  • WPPI
  • Feb. 27-March 6, 2014
  • MGM Grand
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • International Consumer Electronic Show
  • APRIL 10-13, 2014
  • NEW YORK, NY 10065
  • The Association of International Photographic Art Dealers

Is there an event we should know about?
Let us know on twitter.

Current Exhibitions

  • Annenberg Space For Photography
  • “The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years”
  • Current to April 27th, 2014
  • 2000 Avenue of the Stars, #10
  • Century City, CA. 90067
  • Tel: 213.403.3000
  • ICP
  • Capa in Color
  • January 31–May 4, 2014
  • 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street
  • New York, NY 10036
  • Phone: 212.857.0000
  • Getty Center
  • A Royal Passion: Queen Victoria and Photography
  • February 4–June 8, 2014
  • 1200 Getty Center Drive
  • Los Angeles, CA. 90049
  • Tel: 310-440-7300
  • Yossi Milo Gallery
  • David Goldes, Electro-graphs
  • January 30–March 8, 2014
  • 245 Tenth Avenue
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel: 212-414-0370
  • Howard Greenberg Gallery
  • Bernice Abbott and Charles Marville
  • February 27-April 12,2014
  • 41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406
  • New York,NY 10022
  • Tel: 212-334-0100
  • Staley-Wise Gallery
  • Real and Surreal
  • Feb. 27-April 19th, 2014
  • 560 Broadway
  • New York,NY
  • 10012
  • Phone: 1-212-966-6223
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • A World of Its Own: Photographic Practices in the Studio
  • February 8–October 5, 2014
  • 11 West 53rd Street
  • NYC,NY
  • 10019-5497
  • (212) 708-9400
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris
  • January 29–May 4, 2014
  • 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street)
  • New York, NY 10028
  • Phone: 212-535-7710

Is there an exhibition we’re missing?
Let us know on twitter.