Philippe Halsman

Born in 1906 in Riga, Latvia, Philippe Halsman studied engineering until he became interested in photography. While hiking in Austria in 1928, his father fell and died of a head injury. Philippe was blamed for the situation and sent to prison by the anti-Jewish Austrian authorities. In 1930, family friend Albert Einstein assisted in having him released and effectively exiled from Austria. In Paris shortly after, Halsman was highly influential when his sharp focus images of models in Vogue magazine broke the soft, ethereal images previously prevalent. With the invasion of France, Halsman fled to New York where he became established in fashion, advertising, and portraiture. He also established a long standing collaborative relationship with Surrealist Salvador Dali. As well as emphasizing a ever-present sharpness to his images, Halsman began using flash images to suspend figures or object in mid air. In the 1950s, he was commissioned by NBC to shoot portraits of many celebrities such as Groucho Marx and Marilyn Monroe. He began asking his subjects to jump in the air to be photographed with the notion that in the act of jumping a person drops many of their practiced facades and reveals their true self. Halsman called this "Jumpology." Halsman published a record 101covers for Life Magazine over his career.(Gerald Saul, January 11, 2011)

Considering the surrealistic images of Halsman, the class captured a number of flash images with objects in chaotic motion.