"...the finest still photographer to grace our profession."
"Ray Jones was the consummate photographer---sensitive, artistic and productive. He was one of the most underrated photographers in Hollywood because he shunned self-promotion---now finally, within this book you will find that he was a second to none and his pictures beautifully reproduced here will be everlasting proof and testament to his wonderful work."
--Sid Avery, Director Motion Picture & Television Photo Archive
"In the vintage Hollywood portraits of Ray Jones, a kiss is not a kiss---it's a collision."
Winner of 1998 PIA
Premier Print Award
Light and Illusion is the story of Ray Jones, a self-described "regular guy," who rose to glamorous heights to become the first still photographer to win an Academy Award as the head of Universal Studio's still photography department during the Golden Age of Hollywood from the 1920s to the 1950s. Lavishly illustrated with vintage star portraits, this book celebrates his work and describes the role studio photographers played in the growth of the Hollywood mystique.
Unique in his longevity at one studio, Ray Jones' career parallels the rise and fall of the "studio system" which was responsible for the top-down creation of a star's image largely through widely published glamour portraits. Jones' unique approach to portraiture was the topic of several articles including a feature in LIFE magazine. His innovative settings and success in creating stars from newcomers lead to six Academy Awards for his outstanding work and the acknowledgment by his peers such as George Hurrell and Clarence Sinclair Bull.
Both rare and popular examples of his images grace the book from the collections of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, The George Eastman Museum and the John Kobal Collection. This book will become a favorite of movie fans and photography buffs alike.
Robert Stack, Ray Jones' close personal friend, authors a warm remembrance in his forward.
Tom Zimmerman, a historian and photographer, has exhibited across the country, and has authored two books, A Day in the Season of the LA Dodgers, and Wednesday at the Pier. He has a Masters Degree in US History and his historical essays have been published in Southern California Quarterly, History of the West, and California Quarterly. His work is in the permanent collections of the California State Library and the Brooklyn Museum.
John Jones, Ray's son, brought the project to fruition. He scoured family archives as well as archives around the world and conducted many interviews with actors such as Hugh O'Brien, Rhonda Fleming and Arleen Dahl to bring the story to life.