'The Trot', c 1872-1885.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate 609 from Muybridge's 'Animal Locomotion' (1887) depicts a horse and trap in motion. Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) was the first photographer to carry out the analysis of movement by sequence photography, an important stage in the invention of cinematography. In 1872 he was hired to settle an argument to prove that a horse had all four feet simultaneously off the ground at one phase of a trot. He designed elaborate photographic systems with batteries of from 12 to 24 cameras with fast shutter mechanisms to capture movement, and succesfully proved the argument. He devoted the next twenty years to photographic studies of humans and animals in motion published as the encyclopaedic 'Animal Locomotion'.