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Philippe Halsman Quote #1

Phillippe Halsman - Salvador Dali

Philippe Halsman image of Salvador Dali in his studio.

“The immortal photographers will be straightforward photographers, those who do not rely on tricks or special techniques.”

Philippe Halsman, American portrait photographer. May 2, 1906 – June 25, 1979

Look closely at the unretouched image of Salvador Dali in his studio. Notice the thin lines from the ceiling to the items suspended from them. Imagine the time it took to set this tableau up. Today, Photoshop junkies blend many photographs together to create such scenes.

When I read Halsman’s quote, I am reminded of how far the pendulum has moved away from straightforward photos. In the age of Instagram’s one click manipulations, fantasy photos are easy to create. It seems the appetite for un-reality is bigger than it is for pepperoni pizza.

Philippe Halsman photo from 1953.

Philippe Halsman photo in Florida from 1953.

Personally, I got bored with Instagram after two weeks and closed my account. The “click and aahh” as I call it, was unsatisfying. Are my photos more interesting than before the filter, vignette, and frame are added? Only if I take a bad photo and want to make it passable. A good photo only becomes muddled, and loses its meaning.

Maybe someday the pendulum will balance itself again. Until then, what I find “aahh” worthy is becoming more rare.


About Gina Genis

Hi Friends, I'm a photographer and artist who lives in Washington DC. I have two blogs. The Gina Genis Blog is about art and photography. My new blog, DC Discoveries is dedicated to showing you everything from fashion to art, food to entertainment in all sections of the District. I hope you will take the journey with me. I exhibit my work in museums and galleries across the U.S. I'm included in the permanent collections of the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, the Otto G. Richter Library Special Collections Division of the University of Miami, Hard Rock Casino, Orange County Transit District, IBM, and the Sarah and Adam Markman Collection among others. My series "Window Peeping" was included in OsCene 2010 at the Laguna Art Museum, Truman State University, Fellows of Contemporary Art, Biola University, and solo shows at Gallery 825 and Cypress College. The "June Gloom" series was exhibited in a solo show at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The "Kala" series has been exhibited at MPLS Photo Center, Cypress College, and Gallery 825. "Economy Portraits" was created as an Artist In Residence project at the Huntington Beach Art Center, and was awarded "Best Art Show of 2011" by the OC Weekly. I curated Wide Angle View, an exhibit of 16 international, award-winning photo and multi-media journalists at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art to much critical acclaim. Recent reviews of my work have appeared in the Huffington Post, Art Scene, OC Weekly, Orange County Register, New University, Riviera Magazine, Coast Magazine, Huntington Beach Independent, and appeared on CNN, NBC, ABC, and more. I lead the Gina Genis Photo Workshops where I show beginning and intermediate photographers how to jump to the next level with their work. I also teach online photography courses through The Compelling Image.

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