Reading Faces.

Virginia Postrel has a post on the 1930's photogragher-to-the-stars George Hurrel.

Postrel says:

...Not even the most gifted photographer can create charisma with only lights and a retouching pencil. Hurrell didn’t invent Joan Crawford’s drive or Jean Harlow’s sexuality. Rather, he encouraged the stars to reveal their innerselves to his lens. Then he intensified their defining qualities, while creating mystery with light and shadow.

True enough for clearly defined personas as Crawford and Harlow (though, as the article goes on to explain, less so for Garbo). But I'm skeptical at how reliably something as genetically determined as facial appearance can reveal character. Maybe we want to believe we can see character in a good portrait, because that would suggest we can accurately judge character from the faces we see every day.

Still, there's something to seeing a person's character in their face, I think.

Just take a look at a mug shot sometime.

This article also made me remember something I stumbled across, here. Yes, Kim, that last photo does show just that.

More of Hurrell's photo's can be seen (and even bought!) here. Check out Norma. Whoa.

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