Review – Eadweard Muybridge

Brief:- Images in Sequence. What defines a sequence, as opposed to a series, is the connectivity of the images in time or concept. Make sure that you are clear about the difference between a series and sequence. Photographers have used sequences of images in many different ways.

Eadweard Muybridge 1830 – 1904

Considered to be the father of motion pictures, due to his pioneering use of rapid motion photography.

The Horse in Motion 1882Fig. 1. The Horse in Motion 1882

Initial Thoughts – Film strip showing the progression of a horse in the process of galloping. This sequence is a time lapsed and is not conceptual. The sequence is presented in a grid format that reads from top left to bottom right.

Muybridge is considered to be the father of motion pictures, due to his pioneering use of rapid motion photography. For The Horse in Motion he set up a sequence of glass plate cameras that were triggered by string across the track which the horse would then touch during its gallop. Although this sequence is shown as a grid, Muybridge developed a technique called Zoöpraxography (WikiSource, 2018)which allowed the negatives to be viewed as a continuous sequence, which was the beginning of motion film. (Wildscreen, 2008, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, 2018)

Leland Stanford had hired Muybridge to photograph on of his horses in motion in order to see if all four of the horses hooves left the ground at any one point whilst the horse was in motion. This groundwork was the foundation of Muybride’s Animal Locomotion series which contained 781 series of animals photographed in motion. (Johnson et al, 2016; 293-301)

Muybridge began his studies of motion using the single plate negative technique that was similar to that of Etienne-Jules Marey before developing his multiple camera technique. (Hacking, 2014; 142-145)



Figure 1; Mubridge, E; The Horse in Motion [wet collodion]; AT: (accessed on 21/02/2018)


Hacking, J; 2014; Photography the Whole Story; London; Thames and Hudson

Johnson, WS, Rice M, Williams C; 2016; A History of Photography; Cologne; Taschen GmbH;

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc; 2018; Eadweard Muybridge; Online AT: (accessed on 21/02/2018)

Wikisource, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc; 2018; Descriptive Zoopraxography; Online AT: (accessed on 21/02/2018)

Wildscreen; 2008; Eadweard Muybridge; Online AT: (accessed on 21/02/2018)

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