Halsmann was certainly someone who knew what magazine editors were looking for. I personally always found the jumping pictures gimmicky and superficial, I was surprised how many subjects went along with the idea. I was pleased to read in Peter De Smidt's post that Marilyn Monroe for one effectively told him to get lost!
For me, "Dali Atomicus" was the best picture Halsmann ever did. In contrast to the jump pictures, which just show celebrities being "good sports" and doing something silly (but not generally character-revealing), "Dali Atomicus" is in the true spirit of the subject, as must be underlined by Dali's apparent energetic cooperation in making this image.
Indeed. In my mind Atomicus remains the greatest example of a script written and executed for a character - if that were possible in a photo. Sorry, don't understand the jumping thing. Is there a cultural aspect to the whimsy he conveyed I wonder?