Classic Hollywood Lighting in Palm Springs with Loren Hammer

October, 2013
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Embark on journey into Modernism and Film Noir in Palm Springs. Utilizing Palms Springs’ wealth of modernist architecture and atmospheric Joshua Tree National Monument, this unique course will focus on the unique qualities of classic FOCUSED LIGHTING; the lighting that is the language of film and still photography associated with Hollywood’s classic years of the 1930’s- 1960’s.  In a hands-on manner, we will learn the specifics of each lighting fixture; how each light is utilized to create the look and “feel” seen in the work of those most associated with the aesthetics of Hollywood lighting  -from the glamour lighting of George Hurrell to the “look” of film neo-realism and film noir of James Wong Howe and Gregg Toland. We will move beyond the broad, diffused light of a light box and enter the world of the focused light source — the Fresnel — the light fixture that started it all. We will learn the techniques of hardening, softening, shaping and focusing light to create effects associated with the stylized glamour and aesthetics of classic film noir: the looks of German Expressionism, Neo-realism, and the films of the fifties, sixties and seventies. Instruction in the use of contemporary lighting fixtures as well as the use of industry standard grip equipment will be fully incorporated into a workshop where creativity and visual experimentation reign supreme.

The locations selected for shooting environments will include both the interior and exterior of a modernist Palm Springs masterwork, as well as the day and night photographic playground of nearby Joshua Tree National Park.  Participants will gain the knowledge to create real-time visual montages, without Photoshop; in which still images are projected with analogue and digital projectors on and through different mediums, from fabric to solid three-dimensional surfaces, including rock and architectural surfaces, creating unique seamless analog visual photographic illusions that can be immediately put to use in both still and motion picture photography. A hands-on approach to teaching will be stressed in an environment in which participants will be given the opportunity to create photographic tableaus in which small numbers or participants can photograph costumed models on a number of “sets”.

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