(1908 - 1980)
Yakov Khalip was born in 1908 in Saint Petersburg in a family of musicians. His first publication in the magazine Ogonek, a snapshot of The Moscow River Embankment at Night, took place as early as 1926. Two years later, Khalip becomes a participant in the exhibition "10 Years of Soviet Photography" and receives a diploma for a portrait series of actors. Soon his photos begin to publish the magazines "Cinema and Life", "Soviet Photo".
At the same time, he is studying at the camera department of VGIK and works as an operator’s assistant. Boris Barnet and Sergei Eisenstein had a great influence on Khalip, with whom he worked at the Moscow Film Studio. In the first iconic picture, where Khalip worked as an assistant, production designer and photographer, was Alexander Rodchenko. Methods of work Rodchenko served as an important work model for the young author.
In 1930, Yakov Khalip comes to the famous journal “USSR in Construction”, where he works together with such masters as Arkady Shaikhet, Max Alpert, Semyon Fridland and Georgy Petrusov. Soon he becomes one of the leading edition’s reporters. There is also was a second acquaintance with Alexander Rodchenko, whom Khalip considered as his mentor. Thanks to his professionalism and readiness for experiments, in 1936 Yakov Khalip was invited to work in the “Intourist” magazine.
In the same year, work begins on the photo album "Red Army". For this album Khalip creates one of the most famous photos “On Watch”. The idea of the picture appeared in the Rodchenko workshop while working on a magazine layout, the sketch of which also belonged to Rodchenko. This is a classic case of production: carpenters made a special ladder for shooting, so that Khalip could remove the cannon's mouth at the right distance, the captain posed, stood on a small elevation, and the signalman gave signals to the battleship to go exactly where the photographer needed.
Another no less significant work for Khalip is the documentary series on the work of the North Pole-1 Drifting Station and the rescue of the Papanin Four.
In 1938, Yakov Khalip, as a special correspondent for the Izvestia newspaper, went to the North Pole and became one of the few witnesses of the operation. The war and postwar biography of Yakov Khalip has many other stories. His photos are familiar to everyone who came into contact through the photo with the history of Russia of the 30s of the twentieth century, the Second World War and the postwar period. Shooting on the instructions of newspapers, magazines and books, Yakov Khalip always kept the author's view, maintaining a fine line between art and politics.