A Tribute to Hollywood Glamor | Matt Brandon

Our family is sort of obsessed with the Hollywood film classics of the 1930′s and 40′s. Even as a kid I had old movie stills of Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart on my walls. I am sure this is part of why I am so into fedoras. I always thought the glamor shots of those classic Hollywood beauties were amazing. But for some reason I never tried to emulate it until this week. Maybe because of the British drama Indian Summers, for which I have been shooting. The drama takes place in the 1930′s, so I thought it might be fun to make some stills of the actors in the style of George Hurrell. Hurrell almost invented Hollywood glamor shots. He used strong directional light, so no soft boxes in his work. This is lighting we would call harsh and something we would not normally use today. Hurrell and other photographers of this time often used something called Paramount lighting, which cast a small butterfly like shadow under the model’s nose. The lights, while sometimes complex, were most of the time pretty simple – A key, a hair and a background light.Often the background was shot through a gobo (go between) to create a shadowed design thrown up onto a wall behind the actor. Of you study these photos long enough you see certain tell-tail signs like strong harsh black shadows around the nose and eye lash shadows on the women. Another characteristic is that often only a portion of the model is lit, leaving the body in shadows. With all this in mind I decided to play around and see if I could recreate this effect using myself and Jessie as models……..

Source: www.thedigitaltrekker.com