Hollywood Portraits 1940's & 50's

Where does inspiration come from? and how can you use it to make your photographic journey more rewarding? These are questions that all photographers ask themselves at some stage or another. Recently, I found a couple of books that sent my mind off on a journey of discovery. During the 1940’s and 50’s, the Hollywood studio system was in full swing, with many of the major stars of the day contracted to one studio or another, and a constant supply of would-be stars and hopeful actors and actresses arriving in Hollywood every day. Your publicity head shot was one of the keys that could unlock tinsel town for you and there were a number of photographers who specialised in these sort of images.

In those days they were shooting on huge 8X10 inch cameras ( that's the size of the sheet of film that the camera took!) They were using big studio hot lights to light their portraits, and  compared to today's offerings, the lenses that they were using were slow and very unsharp. These factors came together to produce images of a certain style that are very hard to reproduce now days because our equipment if far too good!

But the feel of the images has a quality that I like , and that I would like to investigate, so it becomes a technical question. How do I make images with that same feel while bringing up the quality to today's standards? I have invited some people into the studio in a couple of weeks time, to model for me while I play with this problem. I am sure that somewhere between the Hollywood portraits of the 1940’s and 2019, we will find with some images that have the best of both worlds, and have a bit of fun doing so.

Fishing in the new millennium
Head Shots-your best first impression
 

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Monday, 09 December 2019

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