How did it all begin?

02/09 - 2014

The creation of movie magic has always had much appeal and has always been enticed with stories of extremes and at times unbelievable circumstances, but rarely does one ask… how did it all begin?

The answer, amazingly enough, that question is only one word… a bet!

Lets take it from the top though.

Its no secret that the first steps of cinematography was photography, and in turn was camera obscura.

 Aristotle described how sunlight passing through a small hole projected an inverted image on the wall of a darkened room, the oldest known reference to the camera obscura.

 The roots of modern photography trace back to 1816, when Nicephore Niepce, a French lithographer, experimented with recording images on metal plates coated with a sensitized material. Niepce subsequently collaborated with Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre in the development of the world's first practical photographic system. They recorded clear, sharp images on silverized copper plates. They gave their invention to the French government, which put in public domain.

 By that time William Henry Fox Talbot from England had invented a process of making positive prints from negative images but it was another Englishman, Richard Leach Maddox in 1871, which discovered the crucial building block of modern photography. He discovered that silver halide crystal is extremely effective in capturing light.

An Englishman named Eadweard Muybridge made the oldest recorded attempt at motion picture photography. He was a vagabond photographer who had migrated to California. In 1872, California Governor Leland Stanford hired Muybridge to help him win a bet by proving that there were times in a horse race when all four of the animal's feet are off the ground. Five years later, Muybridge set 24 cameras up in a row along a racetrack. He attached a string to each camera shutter, and stretched the strings across the track. Muybridge chalked lines and numbers on a board behind the track to measure progress. As Stanford's horse raced on the track, it tripped the wires and recorded 24 photographs that proved that all four of the horse's feet were off the ground at the same time.

Stanford won his bet, and Muybridge continued experimenting, little did they know that they had created the first steps of the 7th art.