Thursday, June 14, 2018


Edweard Muybridge perfected the technique of capturing motion in a series of separate photographs.
Chronophotograph by Étienne-Jules Marey
But around the same time, Étienne-Jules Marey pursued a slightly different photographic technique  for representing movement called chronophotography. We might call it stroboscopic photography today.

Instead of breaking down the action into a series of separate images, he superimposed all the phases of the action into a single image. That makes it harder to study each pose, but it's easier to see the overall path of action and the arcs of movement of the smaller forms.

Marey also created sculptures that show the pattern of movement in three dimensions.

Chronophotography was a big inspiration for Duchamp's "Nude Descending a Staircase" and it also inspired the emerging field of animation.
Wikipedia on Étienne-Jules Marey
New Scientist: Art and science in motion
Marey's Movement Sculptures


Jim Douglas said...

The sculpture of the bird flapping its wings in flight is absolutely beautiful. It's simultaneously static and dynamic, technical and poetic. Just yesterday, I watched a squirrel run across the road in a series of leaps and bounds. I had wondered how to best capture the motion. Marey's sculpture is a wonderful solution.

Susan Krzywicki said...

Along the same lines, did you see this article in the Smithsonian about how artists represent lightning?

Juan Álvaro said...

These are somewhat like strange skeletons.

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