1878 - Edweard Muybridge pioneer of high-speed photography

Animal Locomotion : Eadweard Muybridge uses a row of cameras with trip-wires to make a high-speed photographic analysis

Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) was one of the most influential photographers of his time, and is best known for photographing horses in motion – proving for the first time through high-speed photography that all four hooves leave the ground in mid-gallop. He advanced film-processing chemicals and in 1879 invented the zoopraxiscope, the precursor to cinema.

Originally from England, he began his photography career in 1867 in San Francisco, at a time of rapid advances in transport and communication. Following the publication of Animal Locomotion, he lectured widely in Europe during 1889-91 and visited Dublin and Belfast at the invitation of the Photographic Society of Ireland and Belfast Natural History and Philosophical Society. According to the Daily Express, “The Royal Dublin Society’s Theatre was filled to its utmost capacity yesterday afternoon, when Mr Muybridge resumed his course of lectures. The demonstration is simply marvellous.” The Irish Times reported that “the lecture and admirable illustrations were loudly applauded.”

His influence can still be felt today, from studies in anatomical motion to animation, cinema and painting.

Above: Animated gif from frame 1 to 11 of Muybridge’s The Horse in Motion. It shows the horse ‘Sallie Gardner’, owned by Leland Stanford, running at the Palo Alto track, 19 June 1878.
Animation courtesy Nevit Dilman, [Wikimedia Commons]

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