I don't know what catagory this would go in, but does anybody know what type of lighting i would need or any tips to be able to recreate the old style hollywood photos of the 1920's to 1950's. I'm really interested in this time period. I have a minolta Dimage A200 digital camera that can shoot b/w with online flash. I don't have any lighting equipment yet, but if i knew what i would need would be helpful.
I began doing photography in the 50's and one of my first jobs was assisting Bernard of Hollywood at his Sunset Blvd., studio. A bit later I partnered with one of the best of the last generation of Hollywood studio photographers.
All of that works was done with the same kind of tungsten lighting used by the motions picture industry, except the really large arc lights of course. And also using natural window light from a window wall about 12 feet or more high and 30 feet long. Although we had studio electronic flash available it was rarely used.
When I was an editor at Petersen's PhotoGraphic I did a large feature replicating the lighting make-up and styling of the classic era of Hollywood studio photography. Fortunately there are numerous, large coffee table books of photographs of the stars from the height of the studio days from the 30's through the 50's. They are an excellent resource for studying the lighting, and can often be found in used bookstores in major cities. You will find most of the lighting was done with Fresnel spotlights of various sizes from 1,000 to 200 watts, and usually just one large, soft flood fill.