Animals Pictures Free Download BiographyMuybridge had left San Francisco in 1860 as a merchant, but returned in 1867 as a professional photographer, with highly proficient technical skills and an artist's eye. He would use the surname "Muybridge" for the rest of his life. He rapidly became successful in photography, focusing principally on landscape and architectural subjects, as did other prominent men, when the West was the land of imagination. He converted a lightweight carriage into a portable darkroom to carry out his work. His business cards also advertised his services for portraiture. His stereographs, the popular format of the time, were sold by various galleries and photographic entrepreneurs (most notably the firm of Bradley & Rulofson) on Montgomery Street, San Francisco. Early in his new career, Muybridge was hired by Robert B. Woodward (1824–1879) to take extensive photos of his Woodward's Gardens, a combination amusement park, zoo, museum, and aquarium which opened in San Francisco in 1866.
Muybridge established his reputation in 1867 with photos of the Yosemite Valley wilderness (some of which used the same scenes taken by his contemporary Carleton Watkins) and areas around San Francisco. Muybridge gained notice for his landscape photographs, which showed the grandeur and expansiveness of the West; if human figures were portrayed, they were dwarfed by their surroundings, as in Chinese landscape paintings. He signed and published his work under the pseudonym Helios, which he also used as the name of his studio.
Muybridge took enormous physical risks to make his photographs, using a heavy view camera and stacks of glass plate negatives. A spectacular stereograph he published in 1872 shows him sitting casually on a projecting rock over the Yosemite Valley, with 2,000 feet (610 m) of empty space yawning below him.
In 1868, Muybridge travelled to the newly-acquired US territory of Alaska to photograph the Tlingit Native Americans, occasional Russian inhabitants, and dramatic landscapes for the US government. In 1871, the Lighthouse Board hired Muybridge to photograph lighthouses of the American west coast. From March to July, he travelled aboard the Lighthouse Tender Shubrick to document these structures. In 1873, Muybridge was commissioned by the US Army to photograph the Modoc War against the Native Americans in northern California and Oregon. Many of his stereoscopic photos were published widely, and can still be found today.
During the construction of the San Francisco Mint in 1870–1872, Muybridge made a sequence of images of the building's progress, using the power of time-lapse photography to document changes over time.
In 1878, Muybridge made a famous 13-part 360° photographic panorama of San Francisco, to be presented to the wife of Leland Stanford. Today, it can be viewed on the Internet as a seamlessly-spliced panorama, or as a QuickTime Virtual Reality (QTVR) panorama.
Stanford and horse gaits
Main article: Sallie Gardner at a Gallop
Muybridge's The Horse in Motion, 1878
The Horse in Motion by Eadweard Muybridge. "Sallie Gardner," owned by Leland Stanford; running at a 1:40 gait over the Palo Alto track, 19th June 1878. Frames 1-11 used for animation, frame 12 not used.
In 1872, the former governor of California Leland Stanford, a businessman and race-horse owner, hired Muybridge for some photographic studies. He had taken a position on a popularly debated question of the day — whether all four feet of a horse were off the ground at the same time while trotting. The same question had arisen about the actions of horses during a gallop. The human eye could not break down the action at the quick gaits of the trot and gallop. Up until this time, most artists painted horses at a trot with one foot always on the ground; and at a full gallop with the front legs extended forward and the hind legs extended to the rear, and all feet off the ground. Stanford sided with the assertion of "unsupported transit" in the trot and gallop, and decided to have it proven scientifically. Stanford sought out Muybridge and hired him to settle the question.
Galloping horse, animated in 2006, using photos by Eadweard Muybridge.
In 1872, Muybridge settled Stanford's question with a single photographic negative showing his Standardbred trotting horse Occident airborne at the trot. This negative was lost, but the image survives through woodcuts made at the time (the technology for printed reproductions of photographs was still being developed). He later did additional studies, as well as improving his camera for quicker shutter speed and faster film emulsions. By 1878, spurred on by Stanford to expand the experiments, Muybridge had successfully photographed a horse at a trot; lantern slides have survived of this later work. Scientific American was among the publications at the time that carried reports of Muybridge's groundbreaking images.
Stanford also wanted a study of the horse at a gallop. Muybridge planned to take a series of photos on 15 June 1878 at Stanford's Palo Alto Stock Farm (now the campus of Stanford University). He placed numerous large glass-plate cameras in a line along the edge of the track; the shutter of each was triggered by a thread as the horse passed (in later studies he used a clockwork device to set off the shutters and capture the images). The path was lined with cloth sheets to reflect as much light as possible. He copied the images in the form of silhouettes onto a disc to be viewed in a machine he had invented, which he called a zoopraxiscope. This device was later regarded as an early movie projector, and the process as an intermediate stage toward motion pictures or cinematography.
The study is called Sallie Gardner at a Gallop or The Horse in Motion; it shows images of the horse with all feet off the ground. This did not take place when the horse's legs were extended to the front and back, as imagined by contemporary illustrators, but when its legs were collected beneath its body as it switched from "pulling" with the front legs to "pushing" with the back legs.
Murder, acquittal and paternity
In 1872, Muybridge married Flora Shallcross Stone, a divorcee 21 years old and half his age. In 1874, Muybridge discovered that his young wife Flora's friend, a drama critic known as Major Harry Larkyns, might have fathered their seven-month-old son Florado. On 17 October, he travelled north of San Francisco to Calistoga to track down Larkyns. Upon finding him, Muybridge said, "Good evening, Major, my name is Muybridge and here's the answer to the letter you sent my wife", and shot him point-blank. Larkyns died that night, and Muybridge was arrested without protest and put in the Napa jail.
He was tried for murder. His defence attorney pleaded insanity due to the severe head injury which Muybridge had suffered in the 1860 stagecoach accident. At least four long-time acquaintances testified under oath that the accident had dramatically changed Muybridge's personality, from genial and pleasant to unstable and erratic. During the trial, Muybridge undercut his own insanity case by indicating that his actions were deliberate and premeditated, but he also showed impassive indifference and uncontrolled explosions of emotion. The jury dismissed the insanity plea, but acquitted the photographer on the grounds of "justifiable homicide", disregarding the judge's instructions. The episode interrupted his horse photography studies, but not his relationship with Stanford, who had arranged for his criminal defence.