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Studio, Portrait, Still Life, Lighting Equipment and Technique Continuous and Strobe Lighting. (The Sun is considered continuous!) Great ideas are really ten a penny! Technique in setting up the subject is, of course, essential. However, the ability to bring out form, texture, tonality and color is where the skill in lighting provides all the keys to engraving one's ideas on the delivered picture.

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  #1  
Old March 15th, 2013, 06:18 AM
Bobby Deal Bobby Deal is offline
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Default Hollywood Glamour Portraits 8 months later

Well it seems it has been 8 months since I posted here at OPF and my last post was the sharing of a few examples of my first few attempts at Vintage Hollywood Glamour Portraits. I had just purchased an assortment of old Fresnel lights in various powers from 200 watts to 2000 watts and was attempting to wrap my head around the lighting styles of the 1930-1940's Hollywood Glamour Photographers who used the same equipment such as George Hurrell.

In looking back while I was pleased with the images created I can see the initial offerings were a long ways from authentic. After extensive study of the genre I have come to the conclusion that I will likely never faithfully replicate the style and output of 1930's Hurrell simply do to the equipment and capture methods I am using today. These portraits were originally shot with 1k-5k Fresnels 8x10 camera on giant camera stands with very slow film which was often red blind. The exposures were exceedingly long at very small apertures and the lenses were typically of the soft focus variety and retouching was extremely tedious and compulsively detailed even by today's standards..

While with the help of careful post production workflows the output results today can approach a very good approximation of the style true authenticity of the overall experience is unlikely.

Here are some new images that I feel show my growth in the genre. I hope you enjoy them

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  #2  
Old March 15th, 2013, 11:26 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Deal View Post
Well it seems it has been 8 months since I posted here at OPF and my last post was the sharing of a few examples of my first few attempts at Vintage Hollywood Glamour Portraits. I had just purchased an assortment of old Fresnel lights in various powers from 200 watts to 2000 watts and was attempting to wrap my head around the lighting styles of the 1930-1940's Hollywood Glamour Photographers who used the same equipment such as George Hurrell.
So ambitious and fascinating! Where did you find this treasure trove? what make was the gear?

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Originally Posted by Bobby Deal View Post
In looking back while I was pleased with the images created I can see the initial offerings were a long ways from authentic. After extensive study of the genre I have come to the conclusion that I will likely never faithfully replicate the style and output of 1930's Hurrell simply due to the equipment and capture methods I am using today. These portraits were originally shot with 1k-5k Fresnels 8x10 camera on giant camera stands with very slow film which was often red blind. The exposures were exceedingly long at very small apertures and the lenses were typically of the soft focus variety and retouching was extremely tedious and compulsively detailed even by today's standards..
This means that you might also be interested in shooting with film and some old lenses.

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While with the help of careful post production workflows the output results today can approach a very good approximation of the style true authenticity of the overall experience is unlikely.
Well, how did they get a porcelain doll look? Was it just makeup?






This says it all! A great set of images and this is my favorite. You may not be there yet, but what you've accomplished is so impressive and enjoyable. So how did you get the porcelain look?

Asher
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  #3  
Old March 16th, 2013, 04:33 AM
Bobby Deal Bobby Deal is offline
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Asher, the gear is a variety of manufactures, Polaris, Mole and Berkley Colortran and all were bought used from eBay

The porcelain look was easy, start with good skin, good makeup and then hit her in the face with 1,000 watts of halogen light and viola' ubber smooth skin.

In the last image which is a single light image that breaks all the rules of beauty she is standing directly over a 1,000 watt head a mere 2' under and slightly in front of her. (Classic Horror Lighting)

I would at some point love to revert back to film and a wet darkroom for these, I have not smelled stop bath in far too many years. Sadly for now I will have to continue to work with digital. I have however put away my. Newer glass and gone to shooting these with my old push pull 35-105 which while a competent bit of vintage glass it is a bit softer then newer lenses and lack much of the coatings resulting in a ,little better look I think.
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  #4  
Old March 16th, 2013, 08:36 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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It's said Hurrell used a light on a microphone boom to get the sculpted look of the cheek bones he's famous for. Have you tried that?

Asher
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  #5  
Old March 16th, 2013, 09:35 AM
Bobby Deal Bobby Deal is offline
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Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
It's said Hurrell used a light on a microphone boom to get the sculpted look of the cheek bones he's famous for. Have you tried that?

Asher
On a microphone boom? No.

However this boom
http://www.amazon.com/Avenger-D600CB...enger+boom+arm

Is an indispensable piece of gear in my work.

With the exception of the last image all of these had a light on a boom arm and or on a grip head and arm..

The Hollywood style incorporates multiple fill and kicker lights to define and accentuate or wrap shadow around and otherwise highlight all the different planes of the face. High key light placement is needed to achieve effective Paramount, Rembrandt and Open Loop lighting which are the primary types of lighting patters used in Old Hollywood Portraiture.

It is not enough to just use any hard light source at a hi angle to recreate the look though. Strobes and grids may give a passable rendition of the look but do not create the translucent transfer edges of thenFresnel Lens. The concentric rings of alternating thick and thin glass make for light with a truly unique quality to it. It is shareable and controllable to be hard where you want it and softish where you want it all depending on placement, feathering and shaping with the Barndoors.

The percussion of lighting placement is crucial in an Old Hollywood shoot, the light from these lamps is unforgiving. Move a model a foot with a large soft light source and don't adjust the light to compensate and you will most likely get away with it. Move a model under a fresnel a foot and you have disaster of misplaced shadows and overblown highlights until you adjust the light as well.

This need for percussion of placement is why one should always allow for additional time for a Old Hollywood Style Shoot.
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  #6  
Old March 16th, 2013, 09:41 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Deal View Post

It is not enough to just use any hard light source at a hi angle to recreate the look though. Strobes and grids may give a passable rendition of the look but do not create the translucent transfer edges of thenFresnel Lens. The concentric rings of alternating thick and thin glass make for light with a truly unique quality to it. It is shareable and controllable to be hard where you want it and softish where you want it all depending on placement, feathering and shaping with the Barndoors.

The percussion of lighting placement is crucial in an Old Hollywood shoot, the light from these lamps is unforgiving. Move a model a foot with a large soft light source and don't adjust the light to compensate and you will most likely get away with it. Move a model under a fresnel a foot and you have disaster of misplaced shadows and overblown highlights until you adjust the light as well.

This need for percussion of placement is why one should always allow for additional time for a Old Hollywood Style Shoot.
Bobby,

Thanks for the additional information. Is your spelling software putting in new words? Presumably you typed, "precision"; but what about "shareable"?

Asher
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  #7  
Old March 16th, 2013, 11:21 PM
Bobby Deal Bobby Deal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Bobby,

Thanks for the additional information. Is your spelling software putting in new words? Presumably you typed, "precision"; but what about "shareable"?

Asher

Response was typed on my Iphone, Apple, Auto Correct has a wicked sense of humor
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"WOMAN IS PROOF THAT GOD DOES NOT BUILD IN STRAIGHT LINES
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  #8  
Old March 28th, 2013, 09:50 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Bobby,

How do the models tolerate 1000 watts of halogen light? How far away is the source? Also, have you lit nudes with Fresnels and what supplement lights do you need?

Asher
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  #9  
Old April 1st, 2013, 01:45 PM
Matt Halstead Matt Halstead is offline
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I really like the light sculpting and definition you have achieved. For me personally I do not like the skin, it looks too smooth - as if the model is wearing a mask. Did you run some skin smoothing in post?

Nice series of images though.
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  #10  
Old April 1st, 2013, 03:10 PM
Chris Calohan Chris Calohan is offline
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I have two original Jean Harlow shots and both by Edwin Hesser and your second image is strikingly similar. Her mother and my aunt were friends for years and she had Jean sign the two prints and gave them to my aunt who passd them on to me. I like the less doll-like images but all are promising works.
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  #11  
Old April 1st, 2013, 03:24 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Halstead View Post
I really like the light sculpting and definition you have achieved. For me personally I do not like the skin, it looks too smooth - as if the model is wearing a mask. Did you run some skin smoothing in post?

Nice series of images though.
But models do wear masks, in fact, our clothes and posture or all designed to provide a mystique, good wrapping or deception about ourselves. Porcelain skin is in fact a reality. Some young oriental girls do have skin almost like that. Just add some fine talc and 100 watts and voila, porcelain!

..........and a hot model that needs a cold drink and wipe down every 20 minutes!

Asher
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  #12  
Old April 2nd, 2013, 07:38 AM
Matt Halstead Matt Halstead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
But models do wear masks, in fact, our clothes and posture or all designed to provide a mystique, good wrapping or deception about ourselves. Porcelain skin is in fact a reality. Some young oriental girls do have skin almost like that. Just add some fine talc and 100 watts and voila, porcelain!

..........and a hot model that needs a cold drink and wipe down every 20 minutes!

Asher
I agree, metaphorically models do wear masks, and this is an interesting point that you make as ultimately models are actors, helping to convey a particular emotion/look etc. Whether porcelain skin is a reality is open to debate. My preference is always for some texture to be retained as this is part of the beauty - the first shot in the series captures this perfectly.

Cheers,
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