The Chronophotography of Etienne-Jules Marey


For the last years of the 19th century, French physiologist Etienne-Jules Marey was already experimenting with movement and how he can visualize them. He develops a graphic method through chronophotography.

More than just being a physiologist, Marey was also a scientist who made major developments in cardiology, physical instrumentation, aviation, and cinematography. Marey invented a chronophotographic gun in 1882, an instrument capable of taking 12 consecutive frames a second. He would study horses, birds, dogs, sheep, elephants, microscopic creatures, mollusks, all in the name of science. Some would even call it the "animated zoo".

He wanted to understand motion very much -- for example, a bird. He would attach a bird to a harness so that the movement of the wings will cause lines etched on to the charcoal paper. He would take multiple exposures of a runner dressed in all black except for the white lines and dots. Marey also made movies, with a high speed of 60 images per second with excellent quality. Throughout his life, he would study motion in abstract forms.

Images are from Graphicine.

2017-08-29 #culture #photography-history #etienne-jules-marey #chronophotography

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