PHILIPPE HALSMAN, AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER – When you ask a person to jump.

Developing jumpology, a philosophy of jump photography.

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He drifted into photography to please himself, then he did it to please his friends, and eventually he did it for money. Do you wish to photograph? His idea was that the head of the photographer is more important than his camera. When France was invaded by Germany, he managed to obtain a U.S. visa, where he become an American photographer. Born into a May day 1906 (in the part of the Russian Empire, which later became Latvia), arriving France, PHILIPPE HALSMAN began contributing to fashion magazines and gained a reputation as best portrait photographers. His book on the Creation of Photographic Ideas, discussed ways for photographers to produce unusual pieces of work. Using an innovative twin-lens reflex camera that he designed himself, he opened a portrait studio in Montparnasse. About permanent collections, also the Brooklyn Museum (Brooklyn, New York), it host the creative photographic dreams of this artist.

While the photographer probes for the innermost, the lens sees only the surface. He was often asked who was the most difficult subject to photograph, but for him his question was like asking a mother which child she likes the most. In 1941, he began to collaborate in the late 1940s with surrealist artist Salvador Dalì. In 1947, PHILIPPE HALSMAN made his most famous photos of Albert Einstein. Four years later, he was commissioned to photograph various popular comedians of the time, capturing many of the comedians in mid-air. Why? “When you ask a person to jump, his attention is mostly directed toward the act of jumping and the mask falls so that the real person appears”. He went on to make many later jump pictures of celebrities (such as The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Marilyn Monroe and Richard Nixon). Visiting the International Center of Photography (New York), you too can see his photographic works.

Photography is the youngest art form, and all attempts to enlarge its frontiers are important and should be encouraged. He was fascinated by photography at the age of 15, when he found his father’s old-view camera in a store. In 1972, PHILIPPE HALSMAN spoke of his fascination with the human face, because for him “every face I see seems to hide the mystery of another human being. His great interest in life has been people, because a human being changes continuously throughout life, and the most beautiful image reveals most completely both the exterior and the interior of the subject. In 1975, he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement in Photography Award from the ASMP. Aged 73, he died on June day, 1979, in New York City. Lasting or intended to last or remain unchanged indefinitely, you can admire his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York).

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