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  1. #21
    dianna's Avatar
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    Thanks Christoper, for both the gear recommendation and the links. That, I can justify buying to use for learning and practice. It's awesome that there are a few of you out there doing that kind of work. It looks like it's fun and challenging.

  2. #22

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    In addition to all the great advice you've received from the others, I have an interesting bit of trivia which you might either find amusing or useful.
    Famous Hollywood Glamour photographer George Hurrell, IIRC, used what he called his "magic potion" that he would anoint his subjects with so they would get dazzling results from the shoot. The "secret potion" was actually baby oil which he carefully applied in small amounts in certain areas of the face to produce a sort of specular highlight(s) in just the right spot. It worked great and gave his work a unique look.

    With the hard lighting and big negs of those times- expert retouchers were in great demand!
    "A certain amount of contempt for the material employed to express an idea is indispensable to the purest realization of this idea." Man Ray

  3. #23
    dianna's Avatar
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    This is a little bit off topic, but those of you who shoot in this style: how did you practice when you were learning? who was your model? My hubby said there are good workshops out there - maybe that's the best way to get started?

  4. #24

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    Dianna,
    I see Christopher has already chimed in with some excellent observations on this discussion. I think we all go about this in such different ways to achieve the Vintage Hollywood look, that it's difficult to say that there is one right way to go about this. It's also important to keep in mind that with several light sources you have an opportunity for disastrously conflicting shadows. This in itself is a big obstacle to negotiate for the student.

    I think someone mentioned earlier that George would rub oil on his subjects but in reality that was rarely necessary as the subject was already sweating from the heat generated from the lights. He liked to keep the sweat on the subject then blend that on the negative with dyes for the Hurrell Glow that we all have come to love. He would also use crushed lead to create the burnished effect that is also an earmark of the Hurrell look.

    I create my images more and more with digital (duck and cover) but I still use my Linhof Super Technika and vintage lenses, including a Verito and an Imagon for a beautiful glow right at the pull of the trigger.

    You can practice good lighting technique very cheaply with nothing more than cheap Home Depot parabolic work lights, some cardboard and pony clamps for light control. This is how I started then rewarded myself with some more expensive Moles, B&M Keg Lights and even the modern Desisty fresnels once I got a handle on controlling my light and their ratios.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Angelique for APUG.jpg  
    Last edited by Mark Wangerin; 05-03-2006 at 05:08 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: To ad pic
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  5. #25
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    A good film to use is Tri X Pro ( TXP ) as it gives the classic 'portrait curve' with no violence needed from your part.

    Start with a single 100 w light bulb in a simple photo reflector ( shop lights cast rings on the subject ). Work with a wig dummy. Most of what you want to accomplish can be done with a single light. Ignore 'how to guides'... they are invariably wrong, and will lead you astray. There is no substitute for SEEING what the light does. And practise.

    Hurrell lighting has been in vogue among folks wanting to do 'something different' for many years. But few get it, and few do it well. Lots of people trying, but like anything else, few willing to put in the effort.

    William Mortensen published an introduction to lighting back in the '30s that will open your eyes. You might also hunt down '30s cinema lighting manuals.

    Oh, yes. In addition to adding gloss with oil, subtract it with a tiny bit of powder. Basic stagecraft.

    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  6. #26

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    Dianna,
    Also, keep an eye out for a new book coming out from Amherst Media on Hollywood Lighting (of which I am the author) around Christmas. It will be quite detailed including some of the ideas Mortensen outlines, although his technique advocates a very flat approach that really doesn't translate to this desired look.
    Good Luck!
    Mark

    PS I'v'e added a shot created with shop lights.

    I shot this about 8 years ago with 3 cheap clip-on Home Depot work lights, some cardboard with pony clamps for barn doors and a Gundlach 5x7 camera on PlusX film. Hurrell's early attempts were light bulbs taped to sauce pans.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Eva for APUG.jpg  
    Last edited by Mark Wangerin; 05-03-2006 at 06:37 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: sp
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  7. #27
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    Lots of good information here in this thread.

    However the "Hollywood Portrait" can be made as complex as you want to make it, or as simple as it can be. There are some very simple ways to achieve near exact and similar effects.

    Available light when used as a key light can be controlled, bounced, be cut or reduced with silks or scrims, or reflected exactly as expensive hot lights. It allows you to work with the larger lens openings that compliament the "Hollywood" look.

    Direct sunlight can be controlled with exactly the same tools and can give a very nice look to a portrait. All this stuff is bulky is hard to transport and set up and then reset after the wind blows it down. That is why so many individuals were necessary to a film crew. Most photographers avoid direct sunlight like it was a rattlesnake, but when used, meaning controlling the sun light can do wonderous things. It is a single light source that easily can tamed with scrims and reflectors and a multitude of other devices to do with it what you will. None of us are limited to the artificial lighting that we may own or wish for, but if we want to actually really make a special type of photograph we can and will find a way. "Hollywood Glamor" is tougher to do out doors with sunlight and other available light but it can be done! Use your imagination, study the tools early studio photographers used and make your own copies of Gobo's flags and reflectors. The only light source available to them was the Sun, a skylite in a studio could be controled with a scrim or curtain. Shadows created by cutters, flags, fingers, and simple panels on stands to knock out stray light. Give it a try, it is amazing what quality you can create with the most simple 0f tools. Don's mention of the 100 wt light
    bulb earlier in this thread is right on the money. A fantastic way to learn! A fantastic way to make great pictures while you are learning!

    Nuff Said,


    Charlie..........................................

  8. #28
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    Dianna, I have 2 500W hotlights with barn doors I can lend you.
    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

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  9. #29
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Mark: d*mned handsome picture !
    Charlie: yep
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  10. #30

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    Hurrell told me years ago...

    - that the main "secret" for him achieving his look was his extensive retouching of his negatives. (using retouching pencils)


    (I used to share studio with his daughter and George Hurrell came by a few times...)

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