Eadweard Muybridge

Famous Photographer

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A smidgen of background

Edward James Muggeridge, born April 9th, 1830 to John and Susan Muggeridge. Oringinaly from Kingston upon Thames, United Kingdom.

When he was 20 years old he changed his name from Edward to Eadweard

His surname was changed in stages; it went from Muggeridge to Muygridge and finally to Muybridge.

Died May 18th 1904

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In 1872 Muybridge married Flora Stone, who was 22 years his junior. Then Harry Larkyns, a former major in the British army, came into the picture, and charmed little miss Flora Stone. So while Muybridge was taking pictures in Americas Northwest, Flora and Larkyns became lovers. During Muybridge's time away Flora became pregnant and Larkyns was rumored to be the real father of the child.

When the news and evidence of this came back to Muybridge, as you can imagine, he wasn't happy. In October of 1874 Muybridge shot and killed Larkyns. His trail was held in early 1875, it wasn't very long and in the end he was found not guilty.

After the trial Muybridge left for Central America, during his absence, Flora died and her child was placed in a orphanage. When Muybridge returned and learned of her death, he began visiting the child, even though he was convinced it wasn't his.


Made his most important photographic studies of motion from 1884 to 1887 at the University of Pennsylvania.
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What Made Him Famous?

Eadweard's trotting horse piece as shown above, is what made him famous. The way he captured the moving horse in a series of pictures attracted attention. In 1872 Muybridge and Leland Stanford made a bet regarding the position of a trotting horse's legs. Using the fastest shutter available, Muybridge was able to provide only the faintest image.
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His Style

Muybridge had a unique style, he tried doing photographs in motion, but didn't have a fast enough shutter speed. The horse in Motion is one his most famous pieces. The way he arranges his pictures give a sense of motion. His subjects, were often in the nude.
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What Do People Think of Mr. Muybridge?

According to some people on Amazon, reviewing the book Eadweard Muybridge: The

Human and Animal Locomotion Photographs, This is what some people had to say;

"Muybridge has long fascinated me without his innovative thinking we wouldn't have motion pictures and host of other related photographic fields"

"These are amazing photographs and a great collection to have"

Then by Richard Dorment;

"Muybridge’s photographs are also objects of elusive beauty, mysteriously imbued with the powerful personality of a man you feel by the end of this show you have come to know."

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"…we have become so accustomed to see [the galloping horse] in art that it imperceptibly dominated our understanding, and we think the representation to be unimpeachable, until we throw off all our preconceived impressions on one side, and seek the truth by independent observation from Nature herself." (1898)

"When you did me the honor of asserting to Gov. Stanford your confidence in my ability to take a photograph of ‘Occident’ while he was trotting at full speed—provided I could be induced to devote my attention to the subject—I will candidly admit I was perfectly amazed at the boldness and originality of your proposition. Having, however, given my patient devotion to the task the Governor imposed on me, and instituted an exhaustive series of experiments with chemicals and apparatus, it affords me pleasure to submit to you proof that your flattering confidence in the result of my endeavors was not altogether erroneous, and I herewith enclose you a photograph made from a negative, which I believe to have been more rapidly executed than any ever made hitherto." (1877)

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What I Can Appreciate

I love the fact that he started something others wouldn't. He was different, daring, and when his pictures didn't work the first time, he tried again. I have to try to create something similar to his work but I know I won't be able to compare to his beautiful and very intriguing work.
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In his time Eadweard received no awards

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I find the fact that he got to travel around the world amazing. Taking pictures in Central America would be so much fun. Although his life was kind of lonely, he wasn't even in the country when his wife died. I don't know if he'd seen his family often, but he left them to go to a new country and changed his name so I'd guess not.