Philippe Halsman (1906-1979) was born in Riga, Latvia. He studied engineering in Dresden before moving to Paris, where he set up his photographic studio in 1932, where he gained a reputation as one of the best portrait photographers in France. He has his first goal in America with his work whith Elizabeth Arden´s firm, and started working in "Life".
In 1941 he met Salvador Dalí, and work together in the "Dali Atomicus" epic art adventure.
In 1951 Halsman was commissioned by NBC to photograph various popular comedians of the time. While he was doing this work, he captured many of the comediants in the air, and the photographer developed a philosophy of jump photography, which he called jumpology. He said:
"When you ask a person to jump, his attention is mostly directed toward the act of jumping and the mask falls that the real person appears.
"I assure you that often, before approaching the person, my heart would beat, and I would have to fight down all my inhibitions in order to address this request to my subject. At every time when the subject agreed to jump, it was for me like a kind of victory." How did Halsman persuade so many to abandon their composure for his camera? Somehow, he managed to convince each one that the risk was all his own.
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