04/09/2013 08:37 am ET

Eadweard Muybridge Birthday: Celebrating The Moving Image Master (PHOTOS)

Today marks the birthday of British photographer and moving image master, Eadweard Muybridge. Considered by many to be the Father of the Motion Picture, the iconic artist would turn 183 years old if he were miraculously still alive today.

Mr. Muybridge made a name for himself in the late 1860s -- both figuratively and literally. During this period, the young photographer settled in the American West and changed his given name, Edward James Muggeridge, to the curious name we know him by now. He also began snapping pictures of California's Yosemite Valley, images that would later make the artist famous for his technical expertise and the impressive physical risks he took to capture a photo. (Scroll down for rest of article.)

Eadweard Muybridge (NSFW)

It wasn't until the 1870s that Muybridge became enamored with the idea of capturing motion, beginning with his detailed photographic studies of trotting and galloping horses. He went on to explore the realm of moving animals such as ostriches, bison, elephants and later nudes in a series of pictures projected in rapid succession using his own glass disk invention, the zoopraxiscope. His obsessive love of animated sequences persisted into the 20th century when in 1904 he passed away, just a few years after publishing his popular books "Animals in Motion" and "The Human Figure in Motion."

Muybridge left behind a powerful legacy, as creative icons like Philip Glass, Francis Bacon and Marcel Duchamp have counted him as an inspiration.

Let us know how you are celebrating the artist's birthday in the comments.

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