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Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: 2010. Hardcover. Dj. Quarto, 320 pp., illustrated throughout. Fine. As New (Subject: Featured, Art).
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Herb Ritts: The Golden Hour: A Photographer's Life and His World Hardcover – October 26, 2010

16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Stunning portraits of people who embodied the cultural Zeitgeist of celebrity have been artfully compiled by Charles Churchward in Herb Ritts: The Golden Hour." ~Vanity Fair

"...a lush photographic and anecdotal tribute" ~Vogue

"The late, great lensman Herb Ritts put the super in supermodel and shaped celebrity photography as we know it. A new book revists his legendary images" ~InStyle

“Ritts’ photographs gave the biggest celebrities and models of the ‘80s and ‘90s a raw and touchable sex appeal. Later, music videos, including Madonna’s ‘Cherish’ and Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game,’ turned Ritts himself into a star. To this day, his signature style has made many famous faces look the best they ever have.” ~Allure
“A picture may be worth a thousand words—but a photographer as beloved as the late Herb Ritts, perhaps it was only a matter of time before someone added a written account, too.”
“The legendary works of the late Herb Ritts, best known for his distinguished celebrity portraits, are gloriously honored in Charles Churchward’s The Golden Hour: A Photographer’s Life and His World. This 320-page hardcover showcases a picture-perfect collection of Hollywood superstars, megamodels, and fashion icons, some of whose words of praise appear in tribute to this artistic mastermind.” ~Teen Vogue
The Golden Hour—compiled and wonderfully designed by Charles Churchward—is an intimate look at Ritts’s short but meaningful time on this earth: his own Golden Hour.” ~THE Magazine

"This is essential reading material for any Ritts fan or celebrity photography enthusiast." ~Metro Source

“A new book by Charles Churchward, Herb Ritts: The Golden Hour, is a lavish scrapbook / oral history looking at both Ritt’s life, legacy and work. Along with some of the well known celebrity and supermodel poses of the book’s 200 images include intimate portraits, images of extravagant Hollywood parties, travels to exotic locales, and other unforgettable moments from an extraordinary career...” ~Luxist
“If you are serious about the impact of fashion photography on American culture, advertising, art, television, music and even celebrity lifestyle, the this book is a must-have.”

About the Author

Herb Ritts’s career began in the late 1970s, and he quickly gained a reputation as a master of art and commercial photography. In addition to portrait and fashion work for Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Rolling Stone, he created campaigns for Calvin Klein, Chanel, Versace, and Valentino, among others.

Charles Churchward is an accomplished art director who had been associated with top magazines since 1971, such as Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Teen Vogue. He also edits and designs books, advertisements, and photo exhibitions.

David Fahey, gallery director, has been a fine art photography dealer in Los Angeles since 1975.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli; 1St Edition edition (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847834727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847834723
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #456,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Johnson on November 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is unfortunate that Rizzoli, publisher of "Herb Ritts The Golden Hour" by Charles Churchward, didn't pay more attention to their editing. While the book provides great insight on a photography legend, it gets off on the wrong foot:

Chapter 1 (page 31) - There are comments by Cindy Crawford, David Fahey, Frenchie & Shirley Ritts. Shirley's comments end on page 31 and they are not continued on page 32. Page 32 lists the Ritts family tree followed by the exact same comments on page 31 by Cindy Crawford & David Fahey. Page 33 starts mid-sentence by an unknown source.

For a book of this caliber, it's unacceptable craftmanship by the editor of this book and Rizzoli.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By miles on November 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No photos.

Just a bunch of listless and pointless quotes about the man, not really the photographer. It feels more like a memorial service. Tedious, confused and so not-what-I-had-expected-it-to-be. I would go as far to say 'self-indulgent', had the iconic photographer been alive today. For someone with such vision and artistry, it is a shame that so little of his actual work is featured in this thick 'coffee-table' book about the photographer himself. This is not a photography collection. It is just 'quotes' from here and there, by this famous name or that famous fashion personality. And btw, most of these quotes are quite vapid, since they are from the fashion people about yet again another fashion person.

They generally lack depth or literary wizardry... naturally.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By CT Law Guy on November 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of Ritts' work and bought several published books of his work while he was still alive. His use of hard sunlight to sculpt form and shadow was incomparable. I bought this book thinking that it would give more insight into his photographic technique, but this book dwells so much more on his personal life and more specifically his family life. Do we care what his mother was like ? No. Did she make him a better photographer ? No.

I agree also with the original poster. The editing errors are glaring.

Also the book has very few quotes from Madonna, which is odd since they were such close friends. Then you realize that the quotes from Madonna were taken completely from her eulogy at his memorial service in 2003 !! I thought it was a bit misleading that the author did not attempt to get more recent and retrospective quotes from Madonna, and instead copied her eulogy. Then you wonder how many of the other quotes were borrowed from other sources.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By N. Boyd on January 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book itself could be great. Unfortunately, the editing and missing pages are quite upsetting. I contacted Rizzoli and their answer was "Unfortunately this was a printing error that we are aware of. We are reprinting this title and future copies will have the correction but the first printing will contain this anomaly."
When I wrote again to ask if I could at least have a copy of the missing pages I received no answer. I might be too bold, but I certainly feel that a replacement book should be offered to customer!!! (not

I feel that when you spend so much to buy a book which has been released with missing information, the least the Publisher could do is offer to replace the book with one that has all the information it intended to have!!!!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Foster Corbin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In George Plimpton's hugely effective biography of Truman Capote, he says he interviewed "friends, enemies and acquaintances." Charles Churchward in this massive tome about the photographer Herb Ritts used the same interview technique as Plimpton, interviewing literally dozens of individuals. He, however, either skipped the enemies or Mr. Ritts had none since almost everyone-- family members, other photographers, models, friends, people in the business-- usually remember this fine artist as quite a decent guy. In over 300 pages Churchward creates a full biography of Ritts from his birth to his untimely death in 2002. He includes both the professional and the personal side of the photographer. We find out, for example, that Ritts seldom used a tripod or a lot of other photographic equipment. Then there are the photographs: some of Ritts' most iconic images as well as many photos of the artist with friends and family-- from his youth to shortly before his death.

Some interesting facts: Richard Gere, a close friend whose photograph of Mr. Ritts is on the dust jacket of the book, says that he doesn't think Ritts ever read books although he loved books, particularly books about photography. (Ritts had never heard of the British novelist Iris Murdoch until he did the absolutely hauntingly beautiful portrait of her in 1991.) Fellow photographer Bruce Weber whose work apparently influenced Ritts said that one can tell by looking at Ritts' photographs that he is Jewish. (That gets the strangest comment award in the entire book.) Also Annie Liebovitz hates the term "celebrity photographer"-- but isn't that what she is I ask.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Iaksetich on February 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want to know more about Herb Ritts' photography stay away from this book. It contains very few of his images and some of the pictures which are supposed to document his life are so small that you need a magnifying lens to view them! I wonder why they bothered including them at all. Basically the book is a sort of collection of little more than gossips from members of the high society which Herb Ritts loved so much. It could be interesting, but it is not: all those comments hardly give you an insight of his photography nor his life as a whole. Mostly, they are comments from people who hardly understood what he was doing and had little to do with what he was trying to achieve. It's like reading the text of a lengthy interview documentary of E channel. It can be nice as a TV program, but as a book it is just shallow and tedious. There is not even a biography of Herb Ritts to give you an overview and help you make sense of the rather disconnected juxtaposition of anecdotes. At the end you don't have the feeling of having learned anything meaningful about his work nor his life. You are just left struggling making a sense yourself of the various sentences uttered by all these people.
Overall, it looks like a purely commercial attempt to exploit the photographer's fame and the names of those uttering their more or less trivial gossiping. Good for a tabloid reading while having a haircut, but a bit shallow for a pretentious book like this.
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