September 13, 2010
Eadweard Muybridge Athletes Walking High Leap
Eadweard Muybridge Boxers
Eadweard Muybridge famous horses
Between 8th September 2010 and 16th January 2011 The Tate Britain will be hosting a unique exhibition, which celebrates the career of one of the World’s most influential photographers, Eadweard Muybridge.
Muybridge was born in Britain in 1830, and quickly made his name as a skilled image manipulator and as one of the most successful landscape photographers of all time. He is celebrated for his locomotion series of animals and humans, which signified the first projected motion images. He was the first photographer to inspire people to start using shutters in their photography after his legendary photograph of a horse in motion. Ian Warrell, the co-curator of the retrospective says “up until that point you’d just take the lens off, count however many seconds you needed to and then replace it. Muybridge was thinking of ways you could capture time, basically.”
The exhibition highlights just how way ahead of his time Muybridge was with his ideas and photographic techniques. This is best demonstrated in his creation of the “Zoopraxiscope”, which would now be known as a ‘movie projector’.
He was focussed on getting the best image possible and manipulated his photographs to achieve this, not caring whether it was a real perception or not. These innovative manipulations can be plainly seen in his image of Yosemite Valley which features a striking cloud formation – the same sky that can be seen in his image of the lighthouse at Pigeon Point in California.
You can also see the addition of extra rocks in the foreground of his photograph of Lake Tenaya due to the differences in light. He devised these manipulations by cutting and pasting different sections of photographs and slotting different negatives together. Warrell says, “He would also have people touching up his photographs, improving them, painting out imperfections. He was the master of blending different elements.” The ‘Zoopraxiscope’ of The Horse in Motion can be seen here:
Muybridge donated his photographic legacy to his home town of Kingston in Britain, where you can now view some of his unseen ‘Zoopraxiscope’ discs at the Muybridge Revolutions exhibition at the Kingston-Upon-Thames Museum from 18th September 2010.