The nineteenth century was a time for growth across the world, with advancements in every aspect of life. The art of photography not only grew up during the century, but it also aided in the advancements in many aspects of society. With the constant improvements in technology, the abilities of photographers and their cameras reached aspects beyond art. One such aspect that was significantly aided in several ways because of photography was science. Dorothea Lange said it perfectly, photography is the ability of capturing what the eye is not trained to register, whether it is a motion that is to quick to see or an occurrence never noticed before. This ability became photography's right of passage from just an art form to a universal tool.
[...] During the nineteenth century photography was yet again called upon to help document something that had yet been registered by camera as well as the untrained eye, social conditions. Rosenblum describes, need for accurate visual documentation in support of programs for social change was a matter of ideology rather than just technology; it was not until reformers grasped the connections between poverty, living conditions and the social behavior of the work force (and its economic consequences) that the photograph was called upon to act as a ‘witness' and sway public opinion” (342). [...]
[...] The first photographs of working people showed attitudes that seemed pleasing towards their occupation. Photographers, such as William Henry Fox Talbot, began using lighting to alter the focus on an image from the representations of the occupation to the individual's expression and posture. This hinted to the possibility of the increasing interest of the artists and scholars in the person in the image as an individual, not just on the type of work. Although this did not spark any immediate reforms, it was a start. [...]
[...] For further analysis of motion, Muybridge used a similar setup to capturing the horse except he used twenty- four cameras, instead of twelve cameras, six inches apart and his backdrop had both vertical and horizontal lines. Rosenblum explains how technology heavily contributed to advancements in Muybridge's work: By the time the Pennsylvania project began in 1884, advances in technology enabled Muybridge to use more sensitive dry plates instead of collodion, and to affix a roller shutter in front of each camera lens. [...]
[...] Following Talbot's success, the determination of photographers in the analysis of motion by camera was picked up again in 1872 and continued for about twenty years by Eadweard Muybridge and Thomas Eakins in the United States, Etienne Jules Marey in France, and Ottomar Anschutz in Germany. Towards the end of the 19th century horseracing became one of society's leading forms of entertainment. There became a demand for strong training programs for the horses as well as the “desire by painters of history pictures for greater accuracy in the depiction of battles scenes” (294). [...]
[...] Marey's chronophotography enabled him to determine the exact location of the body at a specific moment. The mysteries for scientists of how to study motion were in the process of being solved, however the ability to document physical motion was nowhere near complete. The next step attempted was reconstitution of the appearance of movement by viewing the separate analytical images in a rapid sequence” (253). Marey and Muybridge turned to philosophical tools such as the Phenakistoscope (zoetrope) and the Praxinscope. [...]
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