George Hurrell is most famous for taking Hollywood Style Glamor shots in the 30s and 40s. He never met a light he didn’t like and his images are full of hair lights, kickers, background lights, and multiple key and fill lights. His stuff is just amazing.
I read somewhere that he took the publicity photos for the pilot of Star Trek with William Shatner seen here. It has all the classic Hurrell touches of strong light and shadow control, as well as a pretty blurred background. Of course, Hurrell was not the only guy shooting this stuff and his style of portraiture had long fallen out of favor by the mid 1960s when this image was made. It’s always been a favorite of a small group of loyal fans though, have a look at Hurrell: The Kobal Collection or George Hurrell’s Hollywood: Glamour Portraits 1925-1992.
I like to try and copy the Master in my own work, but since I usually work with only four lights and people that are not exactly a young Margaret Lindsay, as pictured to the left, my results are less than exciting. Of course, the fact that all of the Hollywood portraits were heavy on the retouch, just straight out of the camera images are not going to measure up anyway.
Still, it is fun to try and once in a while, I even get close.