Muybridge Boxer
Muybridge Boxer


From The Photographic News, March 17, 1882: “I should like to see your boxing pictures,” said the Prince of Wales to Mr. Muybridge on Monday at the Royal Institution, when the galloping horse, the running deer, the trotting bull, the halting pig, and the racing dogs had successively crossed the screen in life-like measure.

 “I shall be very happy to show them, your Royal Highness,” responded the clever photographer; and promptly there was thrown up the screen two athletes, who pounded away at one another right merrily, to the infinite delight of the audience in general and the Prince of Wales in particular. Mr. Muybridge, in this case, had taken rapid successive pictures of a pair of boxers as they assume one fighting position after another, and then these photographs were rapidly thrown on the screen in the same order by means of his zoopracticoscope. This is a boxing-match reproduced in all its photographic reality. “I don’t know that pictures teach us anything useful,” said Mr. Muybridge, “but they are generally found amusing.”

Read it. Learn it. Do it.

You Did it Then: Rediscover intermittency as the matrix of movies by constructing a two-second "movie" using nothing more than Muybridge's photos above. Those photos are just like the serial photographs Muybridge projected for the Prince of Wales. Click the button on the left for instructions and files to download. Find your inner Edweard Muybridge.

You Do it Now: Shoot an object in motion using the continuous shooting function (burst mode) of your digital camera. From your image sequence create a two-second "movie." Find the frames per second rate that works right for your movie.