Friday, April 5, 2013

How The Famous "Dali Atomicus" Photo Was Taken

Before modern, computerized techniques in image manipulation, Latvian-born American portrait photographer Philippe Halsman shot this photograph of the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí suspended in mid-air. While today this image could easily be replicated in Photoshop, it wasn’t possible in 1948.


The 1948 work Dali Atomicus explores the idea of suspension, depicting three cats flying, water thrown from a bucket, an easel, a footstool and Salvador Dalí all seemingly suspended in mid-air. The title of the photograph is a reference to Dalí's work Leda Atomica (at that which can be seen in the right of the photograph behind the two cats.) Halsman reported that it took 28 attempts to be satisfied with the result.

Halsman and his 4 x 5 format, twin-lens reflex camera

Below you can see an unretouched version of the photograph that was published in LIFE magazine. In this version the wires suspending the easel and the painting, the hand of the assistant holding the chair and the prop holding up the footstool can still be seen. The frame on the easel is still empty.

Gelatin silver photo print was done in his New York studio and Halsman used the 4 x 5 format, twin-lens reflex camera, that he, himself, had designed in 1947. The copyright for this photo was registered with the U.S. Copyright Office but according to the U.S. Library of Congress was not renewed, putting it in the public domain in the United States and countries which adopted the rule of the shorter term.

Dali Atomicus (1948) by Halsman in an unretouched version, showing the devices which held up the various props and missing the painting in the frame on the easel.

According to Behind the photo, here is how this famous photo was taken:
The photographer counts: One… His wife Yvonne holds the chair up. Two… The assistants get ready with the water and the cats. Three… The assistants throw the cats from the right and the bucket of water from the left. Four… Salvador Dali jumps… and miliseconds later—Philippe Halsman takes the photo. Click!… Actually—28 times "Click!".
After the photo is taken: the photographer goes to the darkroom to develop it; the assistants mop the floor, catch and calm down the cats; Yvonne and Dali rest and wait for yet another shoot. As Halsman wrote in his book Halsman on the Creation of Photographic Ideas, "Six hours and twenty-eight throws later, the result satisfied my striving for perfection. (…) My assistants and I were wet, dirty, and near complete exhaustion—only the cats still looked like new".




(via Wikipedia and Behind the photo)

Pin It Now!

13 comments :

  1. pure cats :] how often they had to throw them through the room

    ReplyDelete
  2. When you look at retro chairs for sale, be sure to include the retro or vintage styles. It has four steel legs, and it comes with six various shades of velvety plush upholstery. This is stuff for your home, and it can work with many other leather and fabric furnishings.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dali prints are some of the best examples of Surrealist, Cubist and Dada art found within the 20th century and this article covers the very best prints from Salvador Dali's career as well as detailing the secrets behind the success of this famous Spanish artist. Salvador Dali was a truly creative artist who looked to extend his skills as far as possible by trying as many different art mediums as possible, but he excelled at painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and writing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Replies
    1. Buy some ad space,you cheapskate.

      Delete
  5. من المعروف ان تنظيف المنازل من بين اهم الخدمات الضرورية في التنظيف والترقية بمنازلنا الى مصاف المنازل العصرية والتي عرفت تنظيفا عصريا من شانه ان يوفر لساكنته ظروفا حياتية راقية ولابد من توفر هيئة تختص في المجال مع تقديم ضمانات متكاملة من شانه ان تجعل الافراد يضمنون نجاح خدمة التنظيف ولا حاجة للمزيد من ضياع الاموال عبر طلبات خدمة تنظيف المنازل التي لا تلبي حاجياتهم ولا تتماشى مع رغباتهم لأن العديد من شركات تنظيف المنازل تسعى فقط الى عرض خدماتها عبر طرق ترويجية فحسب من اجل كسب المال فقط دون مراعاة الوازع الاخلاقي والضمير المهني الذي يحتم على مدراء مثل هاته الشركات ان يسعوا خلف ارضاء العملاء ليس اكثر من هذا عبر اتقان تنظيف المنازل . شركة عزل خزانات بالقصيم
    شركة رش مبيد بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف بتبوك
    شركة نقل عفش بالاحساء
    شركة تسليك مجارى بالاحساء
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بتبوك
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بالاحساء
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بابها
    شركة تنظيف منازل بتبوك

    ReplyDelete
  6. Honestly I have to say that the contents of this all really very informative and highly qualified

    ReplyDelete

Top