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Hollywood Nudes
"Harold Lloyd's Hollywood Nudes in 3-D!" 
by Suzanne Lloyd
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc., 2004
     Most people know Harold Lloyd for his comedy films during the Silent Film Era. With his trademark round glasses and straw hat, Lloyd became one of early Hollywood's biggest stars with films like Safety Last!, The Freshman, The Kid Brother, and Speedy. When his movie career wrapped up in the 1940's, Lloyd jumped with both feet into his new hobby--photography.
     According to the book, between the late 40's and early 60's, Lloyd took around a hundred thousand pictures of women, most of them nude. At lot of these pictures were taken at his sprawling estate, others out in the California wilderness. His list of models is a who's who of the 1950's pin-up world including Bettie Page, Dixie Evans, Joy Harmon, Shirley Kilpatrick, Colette Berne, Arlene Hunter and even a young Tura Satana. Lloyd's pictures were bold and playful and every bit as good (if not better) then what you would find in pin-up magazines of the time.
     Lloyd was always a fan of photography technologies. When 3-D photography hit the market, Lloyd was one of the early adopters. It was a format he fell in love with. Although this book is called Hollywood Nudes in 3-D, only about half the photos are actually in 3-D. (For those 3-D photos, glasses are included with the book.) That's actually not a problem, since wearing the glasses is a bit awkward (and a bit uncool). The concept of 3-D photos is great, but the actual 1950's technology left a lot to be desired. 
     A lot of 3-D photography of that time were mostly second-rate photos of eagles or poodles or other shots that seem really campy today. Lloyd, though, did as well as anyone could do with the technology. He used dramatic backdrops and a lot of great props that really gave the photos a real sense of depth. And he really knew how to get beautiful women to pose. Since Lloyd was such a photography nut, he used only the best film and processing, so the colors in the photos look as great now as they did fifty years ago. Once you get past the kitsch of the 3-D photos, you find that Hollywood Nudes in 3-D shows Lloyd to be one of the truly great, if unsung, pin-up photographers of his era.

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