Eadweard Muybridge- creator of Zoopraxiscope

Watched a documentary on Eadwear Mubridge, below are some notes from watching it. In short he was the creator of the zoopraxiscope, the only reason he created it is so he can prove that all 4 horses’ legs are off the ground in a given time each cycle. He murdered a person. He was a self-promoter and wanted credit with people to know what he has done, even though he had frequent name changes. He photographed many cycles of movements, many artists of the time and early animators used his work as a point of reference. Researched about this person because his work on capturing movement.

1904- Left his home town a legacy. He died
– He presented himself as a professor
– When he went to – he became a book seller under the name” E.J muygridge” he was also in trade of photographs for instance victims of murder.
– When he was 30 he announced to the newspapers that he was “moving on “and left everything to his brother.
– He missed the boat where he could go places, instead he traveled to the old country with a 6 horse’s and a carriage
– His stage coach crashed, this caused him to have a serious injury to the head.
– He came back as a “Muybridge” the photographer.
– Some argue his obsession of houses is from the traumatic experience.
– His kit was heavy, he used the  pseudonym name as “ helios” and his “ flying studio” is the carriage that help him carry all his equipment.
– He took inspiration from landscape painters like “William Keith” and European photographers.
– He would risk his life, for the “shot” for example hang off a cliff.
– He was interested in dramatic and mythical photography that mimics landscape paintings. “Wilderness and landscape” as well as cities.
– In his foreground of photos- broken branches and rocks.
– 1869 – rail road connected to the east- lot more people came compared to being a remote lace when he came in 1855
– 1872- he posed in a photograph under a large redwood tree
– His wife was described as a “flirtatious women” he paid for her divorce before marrying her.
– Stanford bet the financier £25000 that in one instance, all four legs of a horse is off the ground. He asked Muybridge to help prove it.
– At first Muybridge said he couldn’t but claimed he would try to.
– In his bid to try, to obtained as many white bed sheets as possible to create a crisp white background. First couple of attempts was a failure so he created a system where a cameras “shutters” to open and close.
shutter thing
– (Recreation photo) he devised a shutter that comes down that touches a spring. He boasted that the horse’s legs came off the ground to the newspapers but he captured a shadowy indistinctive photo at first, and lost the bet after he admitted the state of the photo.
– He and his wife lived in south park, often he would be away at work.
– The wife had an affair with “harry larking’s”.  Muybridge found the photo of the baby inscribed “little harry”, when confronted to who the babies was, she replied that she does not know.
– He hurried to the “Vallejo farrier” for 2 hours then caught an evening train. In nights valley he stopped to ask for directions. He then killed larking’s with a gun “ an inch below the left nipple” from then larking’s jerking moved, fell and died under a large oak tree.
– People in the background was playing cards.
– 4 months in a cell before trial, only talked to a reporter, didn’t say anything in trial.
– Defense team try to get an insanity plea and using the photographs of hanging off a cliff as an example, how he turned down well paid jobs if they were not artistic and his mood swings.
– Found not guilty, people applauded him.
– His wife dies 9 months after larking’s was killed and her son is put in an orphanage.
– He goes to Central America by boat and took a range of photos and changed his name again.
– His hair turned white not long after the murder he committed. Stanford was the one that financed Muybridge defense.
– .They both teamed up to try and capture the horse with the legs of the ground. One had said Muybridge wore a slouched hat, smoked a lot and didn’t give anyone eye contact in the house, this signified the murder changed him.
– 1876 – Stanford brought land.- 8000 acres. And 800 horses.
– Muybridge created a camera shed and created a line of 24 cameras, he had help from engineers that created a electronic shutter where each time the horse touch the wire, it would break and the caused the shutter to go off.
– There was a lot of skeptics, so he developed the zoop  raxiscope to demonstrate that’s how horses actually ran.
– This was a great advance of the time because this was the first time people saw projected images.
– There was an argument to who takes the credit, Stanford is sometimes wrongfully credited to of done the work.
– His actual photos appeared tall and thin so he had them painted on the disks to make it appear more realistic.
– He did many of these with various animals.
– Stanford publish a book and gives no credit to Muybridge.
– Muybridge photographed himself nude with a pick axe and a series with a watering can with camera aligned in a circle. Today the same technique is referred to as “ time slice photography”
– In his series of photos he had a grid in the background to easily tell the amount of movement.
– 1894 – He moved back to Kingston.

– Source : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Awo-P3t4Ho


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