Going for “The Look”

Asked to produce some publicity photos for the Elite Theatre Company presentation of Tea At Five, a one-woman show about the life of Katharine Hepburn, I challenged myself to reproduce the look of some of Ms. Hepburn’s publicity photos from different eras in her life. I don’t know all the tricks, but I was pretty happy with the results.

Many of the period images were much softer than this, but I like the overall effect.

Throughout her life, Ms. Hepburn preferred to be lit from her right side. Tea At Five is a two-act play. In the second act, Hepburn is in her seventies. This was the era of Kodachrome, so I boosted the reds. I also let shadows handle retouching duty.

Wigs and electronic flash don't play well together. Next time I'll really dial down the hair light, rather than try to fix things in post.

Vivien Latham is an excellent actress and captures Hepburn's lanky, confident grace in movement or repose. Hope they replace that phone before opening night.

I love a model whose head is in the game. While I was wondering what to do next, Vivien picked up this book and posed. After a couple of reading shots, I asked her to tilt her head to echo the image on the book's cover. I like it.

Nikon d300 with 17-55 f2.8 lens. SB800 key light, with SB600 providing fill.

1 Comment

Filed under Dance and Theater, Lighting, Portraiture

One response to “Going for “The Look”

  1. myrna

    try a black/white conversion on that problematic wig head shot

    the others are great … i have some old “photoplay” magazines from the 40’s and the lighting on the first shot echos the magazine portraits

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