Muybridge and the Riddle of Locomotion
By Marta Braun Firefly, 23 pages, $20 IN the 1870s, English photographer Eadweard Muybridge amazed the world (and settled some bets) by taking a series of photos showing a horse in mid-gallop, including the first photograph to show the animal with all four feet off the ground. In the years that followed, he took tens of thousands of photos of animals and people in motion. Ryerson professor Marta Braun’s slim hardcover, written for ages nine and up, sketches a brief outline of Muybridge’s career, illustrated with Muybridge plates and four lenticular images — figures printed under a plastic, ribbed coating that makes them appear to move when viewed from different angles. The lenticular images are more gimmicky than useful — they render irrelevant frame sequences, which are much of the point of Muybridge’s work — and some of the other illustrative plates, such as a California gold-rush poster, are of questionable value. But the book provides a factual, if bare-bones, introduction to Muybridge’s work for younger readers.