Article ID: CBB000932160

Stopping Time: Henry Fox Talbot and the Origins of Freeze-Frame Photography (2008)


As an image-making tool for scientists studying the transient, instantaneous photography has long been seen as opening up a visual realm previously inaccessible to the inferior testimony of the human eye. But when photographic pioneer Henry Fox Talbot took the first photograph of a moving object by the light of an electric spark in 1851, he was guided by existing visual practices designed to create instantaneous vision in the eye itself. Exploring the background behind the peculiar subject of his experiment -- a mechanically spinning disc -- reveals a hidden prehistory of spark-illuminated photography: physicists' pre-photographic techniques for stopping time.

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Authors & Contributors
Schaaf, Larry J.
Talbot, William Henry Fox
Watson, Roger
Brusius, Mirjam
Dean, Katrina
Ramalingam, Chitra
History of Photography
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
Metascience: An International Review Journal for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science
Yale Center for British Art
Hutchinson Benham
R.D. Wood
Yale University Press
Science and technology, relationships
Museum and exhibit catalogs
Talbot, William Henry Fox
Herschel, John Frederick William
Daguerre, Louis Jacques Mandé
Scott, Walter
Time Periods
19th century
Great Britain
Bath (England)

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