Eadweard Muybridge and Harold Edgerton
: invention of movements
Anywhere where people are gathering, we always carry our camera. On vacation trip, family gathering, social meetings, birthday parties or any event, we carry our camera. It could be digital camera, DSLR camera, camcorder or even the camera attached on a phone, whatever the device is, we carry it and take the precious moments that we want to keep in our memory with it. What more fascinating is, it does not take much time to capture those times. Just by pressing one button, we can keep the memories in our pocket, and remember it forever by watching it. However, it was just a dream for about a century ago. People instead capture those moments by painting and drawing of the scene and loved people, but it took amount of time, and it didn’t look exactly the same as people wanted. Around that time, Joseph Nicephore Niepce invented Heliograph technique, and produced the first photography that remained as the first permanent photograph. Inspired by him, Louis Daquerre invented Daguerreotype, then William Henry Fox Talbot invented advanced Calotype process of photography and re-inspired others to reach to current day’s technology of photography. However, their inventions were limited to still cut picture, not moving ones or describing motions we love to watch. It is hard to imagine a life without the motion pictures such as films or animations. Nothing would have been possible without those technologies, because lots of sources we get knowledge and entertain us come from those moving images. Movie stars and associated workers would lose their jobs, documentaries describing other part of the world which we are not familiar with will not be able to know, and for my case, I wouldn’t be able to watch my grandfather playing with me through video and recall those beautiful memory.
It was the effort and passion of Eadweard Muybridge and Harold Edgerton who made our current entertainment through photography and furthermore, movies and videos. It doesn’t mean that they invented the video, but Eadweard Muybridge gave the idea of moving pictures, and whether it was indirect or direct, he influenced others to create cinematograph (It is a film camera, by Lumiere brothers). And in contrary, Harold Edgerton impressed us with the photos that look like the time has stopped while it is actually moving. Then how did they thought about this techniques that surprises us and what process it took them to develop all those fantastic ideas into real life? By introducing and comparing those two great artists, their contribution to the photography will be researched throughout this paper.
Muybridge was born in 1830 in London with the name Edward Muggeridge. (Hendrick,10) He moved to United States in 1852, and moved to San Francisco in 1855 when he was looking for new career. He first worked as a publish agent and bookseller. However he got an accident, so he went back to England for few years. While staying in England, he happened to learn about the wet-collodion process. He started to get interested in photography and when his injury was cured, he came back to United States in 1866. Surprisingly, when he came back, he was commissioned to take pictures of the Pacific coast by US government, so he did. It was the project that US was working on to promote Manifest Destiny of United States, which was the American belief that US was destined to expand from Atlantic to Pacific areas. One of the photo he took was the Yosemite Studies, created between 1868-1873. Along with this pictures, his series of photographs of Pacific got noticed and exhibited, and he started to build his fame as landscape photographer. He changed his name from Edward Muggeridge to Eadweard Muybridge around this time. Later he joined the expedition to Alaska where was the recently gained territory, and built his reputation more and more as a photographer. Around mid 1870s, one man...
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