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.