When could cameras stop motion?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Guest, May 6, 2005.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    From my understanding, its not until 1871, with Maddox and the 'dry
    plate' processing method, that motion could be frozen.

    So even in 1870, one could not, say, take a photo of, say, a slow
    moving bird in flight?
    Guest, May 6, 2005
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  2. Guest

    Peter Chant Guest

    When was it that the bloke investigated horses?
    Peter Chant, May 6, 2005
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  3. Guest

    Owamanga Guest

    1877. His name was Eadweard Muybridge.

    Strange name... An early form of Edward or a mixture of He'sWeird?
    Owamanga, May 6, 2005
  4. Guest

    Peter Irwin Guest

    There were some "instantaneous" photographs made
    on wet collodion with fast lenses in the 1850s.
    But "instantaneous" was probably not much faster
    than a tenth or maybe a twentieth of a second.
    Normal exposure for wet plates was around 10 seconds
    at f/16, so even with an f/4 lens such pictures would be
    somewhat underexposed. (Wet plates tend to be rather
    tolerant of underexposure.) Stereoscopic views of
    street scenes were often done with such
    "instantaneous" exposures, and Oliver Wendell
    Holmes wrote an article for the Atlantic Monthly
    in 1863 about what these pictures showed about
    how people walked.
    Eadweard Muybridge did his first successful series of
    a galloping horse in 1877. He used wet plates.
    He photographed the horses against a slanting board
    fence covered with rock salt which made a dazzlingly
    bright surface against which to capture silhouettes of
    the horses. He is supposed to have spent around $40,000
    of Leland Stanford's money on equipment (lots of very
    fast lenses must have accounted for much of this).
    It was a very expensive way to win a $25,000 bet.

    Most of the pictures you see in books are taken from
    later experiments in the 1880s. The 1877 shots were
    very high contrast black and white silhouettes.

    While dry plates were invented by R.L. Maddox in 1871,
    they were initially slower than collodion wet plates.
    It was not until 1878 that gelatin dry plates became
    appreciably faster than collodion wet plates when
    Charles Bennett discovered the ripening of the grains
    by heat treatment. Wratten and Wainwright
    advertised plates in 1877 as being 15 times as
    fast as wet collodion, so perhaps the date of
    1878 for the first major speed gains is a little
    late, but it isn't off by much.

    By 1879 you could buy plates by Wratten & Wainwright
    which were 40 times as fast as wet plates (about ISO 4)
    While we tend to think of ISO 100 as being "slow" today,
    it wasn't until the 1920s that the very fastest plates
    were that fast.

    Peter Irwin, May 6, 2005
  5. Guest

    Peter Irwin Guest

    He was born Edward James Muggeridge. He changed his name
    to Eadweard Muybridge in the belief that this was
    the Anglo-Saxon original of his name.

    Peter Irwin, May 6, 2005
  6. In 1892, Leland Stanford settled an argument about whether galloping horses
    were ever fully airborne: he paid photographer Eadweard Muybridge to devise
    an apparatus with multiple trip wires attached to camera shutters. The
    photos, the first documented example of high-speed time-lapse photography,
    clearly showed the horse airborne.
    William Graham, May 6, 2005
  7. From: http://www.answers.com/topic/horse-gait
    William Graham, May 6, 2005
  8. Guest

    Peter Irwin Guest

    Now I know not to trust everything from answers.com.
    Stanford approached Muybridge in 1872. Muybridge had
    a not entirely satisfactory picture in 1873. In 1874,
    he was accused of murdering his wife's lover. He was
    acquitted, but he had to leave the country. He resumed
    his work in 1877 and made a successful series of pictures
    using a complex set up which used strings stretched along
    the track to fire electric shutters on a series of cameras.
    Drawings of his photographs were published in American,
    English and French scientific magazines in 1878.

    See: Beaumont Newhall. The History of Photography from 1839
    to the Present Day. Museum of Modern Art 1949. page 105.

    Peter Irwin, May 6, 2005
  9. I forwarded this directly to answers.com. Perhaps they will correct their
    William Graham, May 6, 2005
  10. Guest

    Bandicoot Guest

    This prompts another question in my mind - when was it that the first flash
    pictures were taken? I seem to remember a copy of The Times pasted to a
    spinning wheel and then 'frozen' in a picture taken by an electric spark,
    but can't recall when this was.

    Bandicoot, May 7, 2005
  11. Guest

    Colin D Guest

    Eduard(sp?) Muybridge took his galloping horse shots in 1872. I'm not
    aware of earlier attempts at stopping motion in photographs.

    see: web.inter.nl.net/users/anima/chronoph/muybridge/

    Colin D, May 7, 2005
  12. Guest

    Colin D Guest

    A nitpick here. The horse wasn't 'airborne' at all. The air wasn't
    supporting the horse, and the horse was not deriving lift from the air.

    Colin D, May 7, 2005
  13. Guest

    james Guest

    Muybridge, early 1870's through late 1880's. The really famous projects
    were started in '84. He had a 1/1000th second shutter and an emulsion
    that could get a pretty good daylight image with that.

    By 1875 you could have had a shutter and fast enough film that could
    catch a hummingbird's wings.
    james, May 7, 2005
  14. Guest

    james Guest

    It's the spelling of Saxon Kings Eadweard.
    james, May 7, 2005
  15. Guest

    james Guest

    I think the main problem was that he spotted the image,
    which led to exaggerated claims of it being "retouched."
    james, May 7, 2005
  16. Guest

    Peter Irwin Guest

    1851 - Fox Talbot photographed the Times on a turntable frozen
    by the flash of an electric spark from a battery of Leyden jars.

    In 1887 Ernst Mach published a shadowgraph of a bullet
    travelling at supersonic speed. He also used an electric
    spark as the light source.

    Peter Irwin, May 7, 2005
  17. Guest

    Bandicoot Guest

    Thanks Peter, just what I had been wondering.

    Ah, Leyden Jars, he says, remembering the look on his old physics master's
    face when he fetched from the cupboard some that we had - oh so helpfully -
    charged up with a Wimshurst machine nice and ready for him... ;-)

    Bandicoot, May 7, 2005
  18. Guest

    ian lincoln Guest

    Flash powder has been around for a long time. Its just aluminium dust?
    ian lincoln, May 8, 2005
  19. Guest

    Peter Irwin Guest

    Formulas vary, but typical late 19th century flash powder was
    magnesium powder mixed with potassium perchlorate and
    potassium chlorate. For really large amounts a slower burning
    powder of magnesium and potassium nitrate was sometimes used.

    In the early twentieth century various proprietary smokeless
    flash powders were common.

    Flash powder doesn't have much motion stopping power. Typical
    burning time was around one tenth or possibly one twentieth
    of a second.

    Flashbulbs (which appeared as a regular item of commerce
    around 1929) were usually fine aluminium wire in a low
    pressure oxygen atmosphere. Flashbulbs are somewhat better
    at stopping motion: they have a typical duration of around
    one fiftieth of a second.

    Peter Irwin, May 8, 2005
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