Today’s ever useful Google doodle for highlights that it’s the 182th birthday of Eadweard Muybridge (née Edward James Muggeridge), ground breaking photographer and inventor of the Zoopraxiscope, a proto-film projector variation on the Zoetrope.
While working on a project to film galloping horses at high speed (proving that all four feet of a trotting horse come off the ground in their strides), Muybridge refined his automatic shutters to the point that his ‘system of magnetic releases… gave an exposure two-thousandths of a second.’(The Film 100, p.112) Muybridge’s work on the mechanisms involved in capturing a sequence of images at high speed helped spur the development of the motion picture camera in Edison’s lab. The actual images have provided untold inspiration to animators, photographer and anatomists, as well as becoming part of our collective visual vocabulary.
To explore Muybridge’s work and legacy further:
Animals in motion / Eadweard Muybridge – QP301 .M83 1994
The male and female figure in motion : 60 classic photographic sequences / Eadweard Muybridge – QP301 .M86 1984
Muybridge’s human figure in motion / Eadweard Muybridge. – QP301 .M85 2007 CD-ROM
Eadweard Muybridge / Marta Braun – TR849.M87 B73 2010
Landmarks of early film – V-F B573 Lan DVD
River of shadows : Eadweard Muybridge and the technological wild west / Rebecca Solnit – TR849.M87 S55 2003