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Picture Quality – Early Beginnings

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PICTURE QUALITY – THE BEGINNING

In 1872, an American had taken a position on a popularly-debated question of the day: whether

all of a racing horse’s four hooves are off the ground at the same time during a gallop.

 

He made a wager that all of a trotting horse's hooves couldn't be off the ground at the same time.

Apparently, popular thought at the time was that at least one foot was grounded at all times.  The

problem was that galloping hooves move too fast for the eye to see.

 

Definitive proof was needed.  To settle the bet once and for all—the argument had been raging for

decades—Muybridge was hired as photographer to set up 16 cameras (using 1/1000 shutter speed)

along a race track to snap still pictures in a rapid sequence as a horse galloped by.  When the pictures

were developed it was found that the horse did indeed have all four feet off the ground at some point;

thus, settling the bet.

 

 

The real magic happened when decisive proof was established, the bet had been won and the dust of

excitement turned to mundane silence. At that very moment, the stack of photos held tightly in one hand

and the sudden flip of the thumb through stack with the other hand revealed the discovery of MOTION

eventually making that $25,000 wager look like pocket change.

 

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