Category: photography

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Book Corner: Jean Howard’s Hollywood

Jean Howard’s Hollywood is one of my favorite Old Hollywood photography books of all time. Howard was a starlet-turned-photographer who became In Like Flynn and made friends with Hollywood’s elite over three decades. Her work has been featured in publications such as Vanity Fair, and the stories behind the photos are really interesting.

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New Layout and Top 25

The blog has gotten (another) facelift!  I liked this layout because it’s a bit different and has a sort of magazine feel to it…as it should since it’s called magazine.  Feel free to take  a look around; most of the info and everything is the same but there are a couple of new additions.


Yesterday, I decided to make a new list of my top 25 favorite Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh photos.  This may seem redundant as I’ve done favorite lists before, and frankly, there really isn’t a picture of them that I don’t love, but every time I sit down and think about it, my favorites change–especially since new photos of them keep popping up.  It’s always hard to choose a favorite photo, but my favorites usually jump out at me because I find them beautiful, or silly, or a combination of both.  I also love photos in which they look happy together.  So, I hope you enjoy this little photo tribute, and I’d love to know which ones are your favorites!

25 Favorite Larry and Vivien Photos

#25 | Location: Rome | Date: 1953

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Misadventures in Hollywood

Last night, Cinespia kicked off their annual summer season of cemetery screenings by showing Victor Fleming’s beloved classic, The Wizard of Oz. A group of friends and I had planned to go up and make a night of it–we had our picnic baskets packed, blankets loaded up, etc. and got on the road early to beat LA traffic. Operation Wizard of Oz at Hollywood Forever turned out to be an epic failure! We got up there with plenty of time to spare. Gates opened at 7, movie started at 8:30. So we decided to check out this vegan taco place on Melrose—their tacos were amazing. Then we sat in traffic on Santa Monica for about 30 mins. Everyone and their mother was trying to go to the screening. People were turning back blocks from the gates. People walking along the street told us it was hopeless and that the line was around the block. They weren’t kidding. The standing line was literally about a 1/2 mile long. There was no way we’d make it in. I’ve been to Cinespia a few times and I’ve never seen the line that long. We determined that it was probably a combination of the film and the fact that it was opening night for the season.

So, we ditched it for plan B: Griffith Observatory. Then half-way there we ditched that for plan C: movie at the Arclight. But when we got there and saw there were no seats for Robin Hood and it was $16 a ticket, we said “screw this,” and drove back home to drink wine and watch Pan’s Labyrinth. FAIL, LA.

But we did pass by the Church of Scientology—not the recruitment center on Hollywood Blvd, the actual celebrity mecca on Sunset. It looks like a big indigo prison/fortress. I bet they torture their cult victims inside. Once you’re in, you never leave.

Our misadventure did provide some opportunities for photography, though.  I’m on a Photo 365 quest to take at least one photo every day for an entire year in order to improve my photography skills.  Luckily, LA is quite an interesting town to photograph.  Here are some of the shots I got last night.

Downtown LA

The Hollywood sign from atop the Arclight parking structure

“carnitas” from Pure Luck on Melrose


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Laurence Olivier In Focus (Part 1)

May 22nd is Laurence Olivier’s 103rd birthday, so I thought it would be fun to do a sort of “ode to Larry” and post some of my favorite Olivier photos in a series called “Laurence Olivier in Focus.”

This particular photo was taken during Larry’s service with the Fleet Air Arm during the war.  You can see he’s got his Navy blues on, and frankly he looks like he’s modeling that uniform, what with the popped collar and everything.  Very nice.  My favorite part of this picture, however, is that it’s made out to Vivien Leigh’s mother.  The inscription says “Darling Gertrude, with love, Larry.”  I’m sure Gertrude Hartley appreciated a nice, handsome military photo of her son-in-law.  Or perhaps Vivien asked him to send one.  Who knows!

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Buried Treasures (Part 1)

I have a pretty big collection of Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier things–mostly paper goods (photos, magazines, and such).  One of the items in my collection is a negative film strip that contains two photos of Laurence Olivier from 1946 when he and Vivien Leigh invited reporters to their cottage in London for a photo call.  Many of you know some of the photos from this shoot: Vivien is wearing a polka-dot skirt and blouse, and can be seen with Larry and their Siamese cat New sitting on the couch or out on the front landing.  The two negatives I have depict Larry in his study and out on the landing with New.

I’ve had these for about a year, and finally took them in to get developed today.  I feel like stores that actually professionally develop film are a dying breed since so many people have gone digital, so I had to drive all the way to Irvine to get these done.  I got a pretty good deal (about $9 per 8×10), and I’m really happy with the quality.  My friend Mark’s friend Jay is a professional photographer, and he advised me to get prints made because, he said, eventually the negatives will disintegrate. So I’m going to pass along that bit of info to you out there:  If you have old movie negatives or film stock, get it developed so you’ll have prints in the future.

Aren’t these lovely?  I’m really liking the contrast.