Friday, March 8, 2013


Étienne-Jules Marey. Source: via minouette on Pinterest

The Victorian photographic method of chronophotography, which captures motion in several photographic frames (both as a sequence or layers one on top of another) is a wonderful means of showing a times series of motion of people and animals. You might be familiar with the examples by Eadweard James Muybridge or Étienne-Jules Marey. The method has been very influential, obviously on animation, but also as a means of diagramming motion for scientific purposes, and even in contemporary art.

Eadweard James Muybridge. Source:

Dan Carr. Source: via minouette on Pinterest

A sequence of Sammy Carlson hitting three backcountry jumps in a row during a Poorboyz Productions filming session at Pemberton Icecap,Whistler British Columbia,Canada. March 23, 2011. Photo: Dan Carr.

Gjon Mili photo of drummer Gene Krupa. Source: via minouette on Pinterest

The National Film Board of Canada's online collection includes the 1968 classic Norman McLaren short film, Pas de Deux. The dancers seem to move forward and backward in time, and are also reflected in several planes, but particularly the second half of this beauty employs a cinegraphic equivalent of chronophotography.

Pas de deux by Norman McLaren, National Film Board of Canada

Consider this experimental short film by Michael Langan & Terah Maher, (perhaps reminiscent of Pas de Deux) Choros: A Transfixing Experimental Dance Film (via this is colossal) to see what else can be done with a contemporary take on this Victorian method.

Michael Langan & Terah Maher. Source: via minouette on Pinterest

Choros from Michael Langan on Vimeo.

If one were to make dancers the subject of a chronophotographic study, with photos taken at such high frequency that the frames blend fluidly, you might be able to create something like New York based photographer Shinichi Maruyama has made with naked dancer looping gracefully through poses (via io9.

Shinichi Maruyama. Source: via minouette on Pinterest

Shinichi Maruyama. Source: via minouette on Pinterest

Shinichi Maruyama. Source: via minouette on Pinterest

This amazing sand sculpture by artist Katie Grinnan captures timelapse of yoga pose, like a 3D chronophotograph.

Katie Grinnan. Source: via minouette on Pinterest

For an interactive take on chronophotography, try this 4-dimensional Webcam app.

Edited March 15th to add 'Pas de Deux' and the '4-dimensional Webcam'. (via being compiled).

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