Eadweard Muybridge's Animal Locomotion Studies

You know the name Eadweard Muybridge as the man who first animated a galloping horse with photographs in 1878. After this groundbreaking work, Muybridge continued to photograph moving animals -and people. His work contributed to the field of motion studies as well as motion pictures. By 1890, he had a portfolio of over 20,000 images, most of them arranged to show motion through the aid of a gadget called a zoopraxiscope, a relative of the zoetrope. The motion studies were made using both photography and line drawings.  

Muybridge's animal locomotion studies were a great success and he traveled around showing the horse and other creatures in motion through his "zoopaxiscope" that brought the series of frozen images to life in a sort of early stop motion movie projector. Collected in the Descriptive Zoopraxography book are some of these images, which were traced from his original photogravures. While you might not have a zoopaxiscope handy to reanimate the animals, we do have the magic of animated GIFs.

See a collection of these motion studies rendered in gifs at Atlas Obscura.


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