on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Eadweard Muybridge and the River of Shadows

David Ward and Tim Parkin Book Review Podcast

David Ward

T-shirt winning landscape photographer, one time carpenter, full-time workshop leader and occasional author who does all his own decorating.


Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

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This issue we have another instalment in our Lockdown book club, although I suppose we have to come up with a new name for it as we’re mostly out of lockdown now. Anyways, this issue David Ward and I will be looking at a book about the life and era of American photographer, Edweard Muybridge by Rebecca Solnit.

The book has a couple of different titles “River of Shadows” or “Motion Studies” depending on where you get the book from. Muybridge is better known for his ‘motion studies’ work which some quite reasonably say represent the seeds of the film industry. But he was also an exceptional landscape photographer of the West of the US and was working at the same time as Carelton Watkins (who he saw as a competitor) and Timothy O’Sullivan and also was one of the first photographers to work in the Yosemite Valley alongside painters such as Albert Bierstadt (for whom he occasionally took photographs as records for subsequent painting).

On top of all this, he lived in one of the most exciting and fast-changing times in the history of the Western world and his own personal life lived up to this drama. I won’t go into any more detail as the podcast discusses much of this and we’ll be extending this into an article in a future issue.

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