Saturday, 2 April 2011

Eadweard Muybridge: Landscape Photography

(click each image to enlarge)

Eadweard Muybridge wrote his name in to the history books for the invention of the Zoopraxiscope, a device which is essentially the first movie projector: "The zoopraxiscope projected images from rotating glass disks in rapid succession to give the impression of motion." Muybridge had helped move photographic technology into film.

As you can see above, Eadweard Muybridge not only dabbled with the creation of film, he was also a most excellent landscape photographer, with my favourite of his subjects being the gorgeous natural beauty of Yosemite Valley in Calfornia.

Photographing Yosemite Valley didn't come without its problems, especially given as it was the late 19th century, here's a short explanation of what Muybridge had to keep in mind:

"Finding the right light and view was the challenging beginning to an equally demanding process of outdoor collodion wet-plate photography. This was the most progressive technique available, invented in 1851. Before taking shots, Muybridge's dark-tent needed to be pitched and his camera equipment and chemicals unpacked and prepared. Then wet plates were sensitised in the tent whilst exposures were made outside; to be developed immediately afterwards."

It is astounding hearing of the process it took to even take one photograph, and the fact after Muybridge's first expedition in Yosemite they came back with 260 images ready to be sold! Phew!

Eadweard Muybridge has a very able website which has all the possible information you could need on his work, including the Zoopraxiscope and Landscape work, aaaand you can access it: here

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