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Fixed-Plate Chronophotography Machine, 1883

Fixed-Plate Chronophotography Machine, 1883


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41.7 MB (1.5 MB compressed)

3300 x 4416 pixels

27.9 x 37.3 cm ⏐ 11.0 x 14.7 in (300dpi)

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Marey's fixed-plate chronophotography machine, with ten slit-disk that acts as a shutter, on the ground is the sensitized-plate holder, 1883 model. The fixed plate camera was equipped with a timed shutter that was able to combine on a single plate several successive images of a single movement. In order to allow shooting in different positions, he placed the camera inside a large wooden cabin that ran on rails. Etienne-Jules Marey (March 5, 1830 - May 21, 1904) was a French scientist, physiologist and chronophotographer. He started by studying blood circulation in the human body. Then shifted to analyzing heart beats, respiration, muscles (myography), and movement of the body. He became fascinated by movements of air and started to study birds. He adopted and further developed animated photography into a separate field of chronophotography in the 1880s. His revolutionary idea was to record several phases of movement on one photographic surface. In 1882 he made his chronophotographic gun. This instrument was capable of taking 12 consecutive frames a second, and the most interesting fact is that all the frames were recorded on the same picture, using these pictures he studied mammals, birds, fish, microscopic creatures, mollusks, insects and reptiles. His research on how to capture and display moving images helped the emerging field of cinematography. His last great work was the observation and photography of smoke trails. In 1901 he was able to build a smoke machine with 58 smoke trails. It became one of the first aerodynamic wind tunnels. He died at the age of 74.

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