“I have no way of explaining. When you’re born with it, you’re born with it. That’s all.” – George Hurrell
Who is George Hurrell, growing up as a child in Covington, Kentucky, Hurrell like any other child loved to draw and paint and this was the start of his career path into art and photography. Hurrell learned how to use a camera so that he could take photographs of his art work (Paintings & Drawings) When he graduated from the Art Institue of Chicago.
In 1925 Goerge Hurrell was commissioned by a small art colony in the small coastal city of Laguna Beach, Orange County in California (now famous for its art galleries) to photograph their painters and paintings, George wanted to carry on doing art but discovered that photography was a quicker way to pay the bills.
George Hurrell’s first real client was the famous Pasadena aviatrix Florence Leontine Lowe Barnes (Pancho Barnes) the photograph Hurrell took of Barnes was for her pilot’s license not normally know for been a beauty Hurrell’s photograph changed that and he made her look beautiful.
At this point, Barnes was friends with the actor Ramon Navarro who appeared in the silent film Ben Hur and who adored the photos George had taken of her and she suggested that Ramon should have his photograph taken by George as well.
In what could only be described as good fortune Ramon Navarro was to show the photos taken of him by Hurrell to his best friends at MGM Norma Shearer “Norma had recently read a script, called the DIVORCEE, that had a part that she very much wanted to play. The role required her to be a sexy vamp – a modern woman. But, up until this time, Norma Shearer was basically best known for her “all-American girl next door” image.” (Anon, 2017) the role required Norma to be a modern woman but very sexy and sultry at the same time “However, when she showed the script to her husband (Irving Thalberg, head of at production at MGM Studios at the time), he replied “Honey, I don’t think this part is for you. You are not sexy in THAT way.” Well, that really got her upset hearing this from her husband.” (Anon, 2017) so when Ramon turned up at her home with the images that George Hurrell had taken of him especially the one called ‘The New Orpheus’ and there and then Shearer decided to have some photographs taken by Hurrell, which she did, Shearer was then cast in the role for the ‘Divorcee’ for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress in this role and thus beginning the career of George Hurrell as the Portrait photographer for MGM Studios
Thus started the career of the legendary Hollywood photographer George E. Hurrell, who created some of the most iconic shots of Hollywood’s major stars of the time such as Marlene Dietrich, Norma Shearer, Bette Davis, Carole Lombard, and Joan Crawford, Jane Russell, Warren Beatty and Sharon Stone.
Not only was Hurrell a great photographer but because he was an artist as well thus the two mediums come together to produce outstanding portrait work.
Hurrell is credited with creating the standard for the idealized Hollywood glamour portrait. Always an innovator, he invented the boom light and developed several—now standard—lighting techniques. Hurrell’s signature use of precision lighting, spotlights, shadows, and hand-retouching on the negatives produced romantic portraits that became his trademark style and the definition of glamour for the movie industry. This influential look became known as “Hurrell style.”
(The Walt Disney Family Museum® Disney Enterprises, 2017)
Rod and Robin Deutschmann
Primary and Secondary Research
All the images taken for this section had to use off camera flash so we will start with the Posed or Portrait image my initial idea was to create a photograph called the photographer in which I used an off camera flash to photograph a friend shooting an image panorama of Myton Bridge, Hull Tidal Barrier and The Deep, I then thought about the work of George Hurrell and the Portrait Shots he took of the 1930-40s Hollywood actors and the kind of lighting he used to capture those images along with how he would edit the negative images to get was later to be called the “Hurrell Style“.
My firsts set of images did not turn out the way I wanted them to so I decided to shoot just a standard Portrait using a two light system one is a small led light panel with light intensity adjustment and the other being an NW985 Speedlite with a snoot on to diffuse the light. Obviously, I was not attempting to create an exact replica of a Hurrell image but just an ordinary portrait with a little light styling from the LED Panel and Speedlite to create an effect on the paneled door I shot the subject against
Explain synthesis of research and my ideas
The hardware and software used for the shoots are listed below:
- Toshiba Satelite Netbook
- DigiCamControl (Tethering Software for Nikon & Canon cameras)
- Daminion (Digital Photo Management Software)
- Adobe Photoshop CC 2017
- Adobe Lightroom CC2017
- Nikon D7100 DSLR
- 1 x CN 160 LED dimmable light Panel
- 3 x Neewer Speedlite Flashes
- 1 x Neweer Speedlite Trigger
- 3 x Neewer Speedlite Receivers
- 1 x 12mm Extension Tube
- 1 x Sigma 50mm Macro Lens EX DG
- 1 x Nikon 18-55mm APS-C Lens
- 1 x Samsung 1Tb Portable Hard Drive
- 1 x Rogue Snoot for Speedlite
- 2 x Phot-R Speedlite Flash Stands
- 1 x Phot-R Black Backdrop
- 2 x Phot-R Backdrop Stands and Cross Bar
- 3 x Back Drop Clips
- 1 x Gold card flag
- 1 x White card flag
- 1 x Bin Liner
A Range of images from all sections
Freetown Mix at the Freedom Festival Hull 2017
Original Candid Without Flash – Test
Original Creative Test Shoot: With Long Exposure and Movement
Original Candid Shoot – African Food & Music Night at Hull Kingston Rovers Ground.
East Park Car Show: Flash Posed Test
Freetown Mix at Freedom Festival with Sierra Leone Contingent.
Post production elements
Final Images selection and justification
Anon., 2017. The Official Website of Hollywood Photography Legend George Hurrell. [Online]
Available at: http://georgehurrell.com/george-hurrell/
[Accessed 5 September 2017].
Child, J. & Galer, M., 2008. Photographic Lighting Essential Skills. 4th ed. Oxford: Focal Press.
documentary Hot Spots. Martin Parr talks to students about being a photographer.. 2014. [Film] UK: s.n.
Galer, M., 2006. Digital Photography in Available Light. 3rd ed. Oxford: Focal Press.
Landford, M., Fox, A. & Sawdon Smith, R., 2013. Langford’s Basic Photography. 9th ed. Abingdon: Focal Press.
Niekerk, N. v., 2011. Off-Camera Flash Techniques for Digital Photographers. 1st ed. Buffalo N.Y.: Amherst Media.
Niekerk, N. v., 2013. Direction & Quality of Light. 1st ed. Buffalo N.Y.: Amherst Media.
The Walt Disney Family Museum® Disney Enterprises, I., 2017. Lights! Camera! Glamour! The Photography of George Hurrell. [Online]
Available at: http://waltdisney.org/exhibitions/lights-camera-glamour-photography-george-hurrell
[Accessed 30 August 2017].
Viera, M. A. & Stone, S., 2013. George Hurrell’s Hollywood: Glamour Portraits 1925-1992. s.l.:Running Press Adult.