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"The Horse in Motion" Photograph

Date(s)
June 19, 1878

In 1878, renowned motion photographer Eadweard Muybridge was commissioned by Leland Stanford, a racehorse owner, to help solve a popular question of the era: whether a racehorse in motion was at any point entirely clear of the ground. Using 12 separate cameras and a series of trip wires on Stanford's estate and with reporters as his witnesses, Muybridge was able to capture a series of images, which each had an exposure of just a fraction of a second, that conclusively proved that all four of a horse's hooves leave the ground for just a fraction of a second while it gallops.

"The revelation, imperceptible to the naked eye but apparent through photography, marked a new purpose for the medium. It could capture truth through technology" (Time).

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