I was given a 35mm camera for my 18th birthday and remember wanting a “bulb” attachement that would allow me to manually control the shutter. I thought this would allow me to take photos of the moon with more clarity than the typical fast shutter action on most cameras. I came to learn that light (and objects) can be captured in motion.
Stroboscopic Motion Photography
Using strobe lights allows the camera to capture the motion of objects on a single 2D print. Harold Edgarton (1930s) is credited with with the first stroboscopic photography. See his photo below of a golf swing. He used a strobe light (flashing light) and was able to calculate speed by measuring the distance between the flashes of light. Check out this online collection of his work.
How is the photo below different from stroboscopic motion photography?
This animation shows how the strobe light works.
Early experiments with this method involved actions such as a bouncing ball.Check out this early series of photos taken by Eadweard Muybridge, the first to develop sequences of moving objects.
Harold Edgerton created a silent film called “Seeing the Unseen” in 1936.
Here’s a great article titled, Building and Calibrating a Mechanical Stroboscope.