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Archive for the ‘Portraits’ Category

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A winning smile from Cynthia Kowlessar, a 24-year-old clerk at Ealing Common rail depot, who was selected London Transport Charm Girl of 1964 at the annual sports gala at Osterley.

Image and text found on Leftover London

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Great-grandson of Duncan Phyfe, the iconic furniture designer of the early republic, Herold Rodney Eaton "Hal" Phyfe was born in Nice, France, to a New York society family. Trained as a sculptor in France and a painter in Italy, Hal Phyfe began pursuing photography an an enlistee in World War I documenting an aviation unit of the U.S. Army in Europe. He made a specialty of aerial photography. After the war he supported himself as an illustrator supplying magazines with covers rendered in pastels. He opened his photography studio in 1926.

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During the 1920s he built a reputation for his theatrical portraiture (sketches and photographs) shot on commission for various magazines. He became the principal photographer for Florenz Ziegfeld during 1930-31. He became famous for his dictum that no smiles were allowed during sittings. During the late 1920s he owned a dog who became something of a Broadway celebrity. Legend holds that he turned down a remunerative long-term contract with a magazine in the wake of his dog’s death, which disabled him from talking business. During the early 1930s he habitually wore a black tie in mourning. His melancholy was somewhat tempered when bootlegger Owney Madden entrusted his red tabby cat to Phyfe’s keeping when he was put away in Sing Sing. Phyfe’s notorious eccentricity of dress extended to wearing moccasins instead of shoes and dressing down in denim at debutante balls during that period when he was official photographer to High Society.

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He was one of the best amateur cooks in Manhattan, with recipes appearing in papers as far away as Los Angeles. In 1931 he was hired on a three month contract by Fox. He went to Hollywood and was besieged for portrait sittings. He preferred the social life of New York, so he returned to New York and resumed a career as one of the central society and theater photographers in the city. A sociable man, he was invariably on the committees for the beaux arts balls in the 1930s, or serving as judge in various charity photo contests. In June 1950 he leased a penthouse in the Parke-Bernet Galleries at 980-990 Madison Avenue for his studio.

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Specialty

As adept at portraying men as women, Phyfe produced some of the most dynamic male portraits of the late 1920s. He preferred not to portray performers in costume. A master of middle grays, his exhibition and portfolio prints of the late 1920s display exquisitely refined shading. During the late 1920s he indulged in the penchant among New York portraitists to vignette heads. There would be strong graphic intervention at the perimeters of the image, suggesting a drawing. In the 1930s he opted for a straighter style of portraiture, full body, often with the subject seated. His Society portraits of the 1930s are well posed and understated, suggesting refinement rather than ostentation. His popularity among Hollywood performers derives from his disinclination to overstate elegance. He signed original prints in red crayon in distinctive squared letters. His Hollywood portraits are signed on the negative in white.

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Periodically Phyfe published advice about how women should prepare for a photo shoot. These are from January 1940.

[1] A clean face, with a dusting of fine Rachel powder. 
[2] No foundation cream of grease beneath the powder. 
[3] A light lipstick–red photographs black–but an indelible one. Shape the lips in their usual lines, rub in the lip rouge, press the lips against a facial tissue to remove every speck of excessive rouge. 
[4] Very little mascara, and what you use concentrated on the tips of the lashes to accent their length. Artificial eyelashes are fine if they are the kind which are applied at the end of each natural lash, and not the fringe strip type which drag the eyelids down out of shape. 
[5] Natural eyebrows–of course yours are habitually disciplined to a clean, well groomed line, camera sitting or no!–unless you are a very pale blonde, when a teeny bit of mascara may be used. The lens, however, will catch considerable accent from even blonde eyebrows. 
[6] No greasy highlights. Let the photographer add them if he wishes, about the eyelids. 
[7] A little dry eye shadow discreetly applied. 
[8] Choose a natural, simple and familiar hairdo, certainly one which will not date you. Your dress should be a pastel shade with a neckline which does not chop your head from your body, and it better not be of print fabric. The effect may detract from your face, confuse the issue. Too, print designs tend to date you, as do hats and strange hairdos."Facial construction must be definite, even bold. And the eyes must be the pivot of the expression. For if the eyes have "it" everything else will be forgotten in their vivid, compelling attraction. Eyes create individuality, they are the spokesman for the soul, the character, the mind. For the rest–complexion, hair, features–for he knows that art and the will to achieve a certain amount of beauty can, and does do wonders."

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Phyfe on faces: "Facial construction must be definite, even bold. And the eyes must be the pivot of the expression. For if the eyes have "it" everything else will be forgotten in their vivid, compelling attraction. Eyes create individuality, they are the spokesman for the soul, the character, the mind. For the rest–complexion, hair, features–for he knows that art and the will to achieve a certain amount of beauty can, and does do wonders."

Text from BroadwayPhotographers

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Portrait of Gloria Dawn

Original to the left

Same Photoshop procedure as with
the two posted yesterday, but with
the colours a bit more down toned
this time – Ted

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Linda Christian was a Mexican-born, United States-based film actress, who appeared in Mexican and Hollywood films. Her career reached its peak in the 1940s and 1950s. She played Mara in the last Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan film, Tarzan and The Mermaids (1948). She is also noted for being the first Bond girl, appearing in a 1954 television adaptation of the James Bond novel Casino Royale.

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Text and images from vintage-everyday

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Who wouldn’t want a couple of armless Elvis Presley half torsos to lighten up the living room. Particularly a couple as terribly tastelessly designed as these. Two slightly recognizable Elvis Presleys with an equally tasteless lamp shade on top would be the pride of any half blind Presley fan’s living room – 44 presidents and only two kings – Ted

Image found at beatnikdaddio

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Jesús Helguera (May 28, 1910 – December 5, 1971) was a Mexican painter. Among his most famous works are La Leyenda de los Volcanes, La Leyenda, Popocapetl & Ixtaccihuatl, Hidalgo, "Rompiendo las Cadenas", El Aguila y la Serpiente, and Juan Diego y la Virgen de Guadalupe.

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Early life
Jesús Enrique Emilio de la Helguera Espinoza was born to Spanish economist Alvaro Garcia Helguera and Maria Espinoza Escarzarga on May 28, 1910 in Chihuahua, Mexico. He lived his childhood in Mexico City and later moved to
Córdoba in the state of Veracruz. His family fled from the Mexican Revolution to Ciudad Real, Castilla la Nueva, Spain and thereafter moved to Madrid. Jesús first gained interest in the arts during primary school and would often be found wandering the halls of the Del Prado Museum. At the age of 14, he was admitted to the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes and later studied at the Academia de San Fernando. Helguera later married Julia Gonzalez Llanos, a native of Madrid, who modeled for many of his later paintings and with whom he raised two children.

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Career
Jesús first worked as an illustrator at the Editorial Araluce working on books, magazines and comics with many of his published works done in gouache. He became a professor of visual arts at a Bilboa Art Institute at the age of 18 and worked for magazines such as Estampa. Helguera was forced to move back to the Mexican state of Veracruz due to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War and following economic crisis. Upon his arrival, mural making was en vogue and he was hired by Cigarrera la Moderna, a tobacco company, to produce calendar artwork printed by Imprenta Galas de Mexico. Much of his work reflected his own fascination with
Aztec Mythology, Catholicism, and the diverse Mexican landscape. His paintings showed an idealized Mexico and it was his romantic approach that gave his paintings the heroic impact that eventually made him famous. In 1940, he created what is arguably the most famous amongst his paintings, La Leyenda de los Volcanes, which was inspired by the legend of Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl. It was later purchased by Ensenanza Objectiva, a producer of didactic images for schools. Many of his paintings would later be reproduced in a variety of different calendars and cigar boxes reaching households and businesses throughout Mexico.

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Text from Wikipedia

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535_Julia Margaret Cameron_06Julia Margaret Cameron (née Pattle; 11 June 1815 – 26 January 1879) was a British photographer. She became known for her portraits of celebrities of the time, and for photographs with Arthurian and other legendary or heroic themes.

Cameron’s photographic career was short, spanning eleven years of her life (1864–1875). She took up photography at the relatively late age of 48, when she was given a camera as a present. Although her style was not widely appreciated in her own day, her work has had an impact on modern photographers, especially her closely cropped portraits. Her house, Dimbola Lodge, on the Isle of Wight is open to the public.

Photography
535_Julia Margaret Cameron_02In 1863, when Cameron was 48 years old, her daughter gave her a camera as a present, thereby starting her career as a photographer. Within a year, Cameron became a member of the Photographic Societies of London and Scotland. In her photography, Cameron strove to capture beauty. She wrote, "I longed to arrest all the beauty that came before me and at length the longing has been satisfied."The basic techniques of soft-focus "fancy portraits", which she later developed, were taught to her by David Wilkie Wynfield. She later wrote that "to my feeling about his beautiful photography I owed all my attempts and indeed consequently all my success".

535_Julia Margaret Cameron_07At the time, photography was a labour-intensive art that also was highly dependent upon crucial timing. Sometimes Cameron was obsessive about her new occupation, with subjects sitting for countless exposures in the blinding light as she laboriously coated, exposed, and processed each wet plate. The results were, in fact, unconventional in their intimacy and their particular visual habit of created blur through both long exposures, where the subject moved and by leaving the lens intentionally out of focus. Other photographers strove for vastly different applications. This led some of her contemporaries to complain and even ridicule the work, but her friends and family were supportive, and she was one of the most prolific and advanced of amateurs in her time. Her enthusiasm for her craft meant that her children and others sometimes tired of her endless photographing, but it also left us with some of the best of records of her children and of the many notable figures of the time who visited her.

535_Julia Margaret Cameron_05During her career, Cameron registered each of her photographs with the copyright office and kept detailed records. Her shrewd business sense is one reason that so many of her works survive today. Another reason that many of Cameron’s portraits are significant is because they are often the only existing photograph of historical figures, becoming an invaluable resource. Many paintings and drawings exist, but, at the time, photography was still a new and challenging medium for someone outside a typical portrait studio.

The bulk of Cameron’s photographs fit into two categories—closely framed portraits and illustrative allegories based on religious and literary works. In the allegorical works in particular, her artistic influence was clearly Pre-Raphaelite, with far-away looks, limp poses, and soft lighting.

"Wist ye not that your father and I sought thee sorrowing?"

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