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Home » News » Eadweard J. Muybridge celebrated by Google doodle

Eadweard J. Muybridge celebrated by Google doodle

Eadweard J. Muybridge, born on April 9, 1830, was an English photographer who spent a large portion of his life in the United States. Born in England, he went traveled to San Francisco and started a career as a publisher’s agent and bookseller. He did remarkably well. Unfortunately, due to an accident in which he received grave and severe head injuries, he was forced to return back to England.

There, he bacame a famous photographer. Muybridge is especially known for his breakthrough work on animal movement, in which he used multiple cameras to capture the locomotion. He also invented the zoopraxiscope, a device for projecting motion pictures.

He is also considered one of the pioneers of stereo photography or, 3D photography and 3D imaging. He did this by taking shots of the same object at slightly different angles than the shots before it, thus creating a ‘moving effect’. In other words, once the images were placed in a specific order they created the illusion of movement. Today, the film industry still uses this basic form to create a movie.

In 1866, he decided to give the United States a try once again, and returned back to San Francisco. He took beautiful shots of landscape and architectural subjects and is highly appreciated for the photos he took of Yosemite Park.

Tragically, in 1874, Muybridge discovered that his wife had a lover, Major Harry Larkyns.He shot the Major, was put on trial for murder, but was later released as one aspect of his defense was that he was insane; that the head injuries he had sustained in the accident long ago had caused him to lose his mind momentarily. The jury dismissed the insanity plea, but he was acquitted for “justifiable homicide”.

One of sequence of images that Eadweard J. Muybridge took was that of horses galloping; one of the earliest forms of videography, this was called ‘The Horse in Motion’. It answered a question that the former Governor of California, Leland Stanford, had. That question was whether all four of a horse’s hooves are off the ground at the exact same moment while trotting. The said question was answered by Muybridge through this videography – that the hooves do leave the ground simultaneously.

The Google doodle version of ‘The Horse in Motion’ uses frames from the original set of photographs taken by Muybridge. Then, the browser starts moving at a progressively increasing speed, giving the impression of motion that Muybridge demonstrated more than 130 years ago.

Muybridge passed away on May 8, 1904, in Kingston.

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