Eadweard Muybridge demonstrating animal motion, 1889.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate taken from the 'Illustrated London News'. Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904), carried out a photographic investigation into the motion of animals beginning in 1889. To determine whether or not a horse lifts all four legs off the ground when trotting, something which cannot be observed with the naked eye, Muybridge took several of short-exposure shots with a series of cameras, placed so as to capture the various stages of motion. He later experimented with re-creating the motion using a series of pictures inside a rotating disk. With stroboscopic illumination, the illusion of motion is projected onto a screen. This device was known as the zoopraxiscope.