Static Motion

Static Motion is built around a paradox. Photography being a static medium, makes it restricted in depicting actual motion. The motion that the viewer might see in a photograph is all happening in their head. Photography’s ability to freeze a motion is an advantage when for example studying the galloping of a horse. (The Horse in motion, Eadweard Muybridge, 1878). However, photographys inevitable freezing characteristics, as opposed to video, becomes a problem when the visualization of movement is the primary goal. This is the case for instructing and informative pictures. After flipping through a 1950s instruction book of table tennis this came to my notice.

The book instructs through both texts and photographs on how to play table tennis in a proper way. How to move your arm and body and how to perform the strokes. Frequently series of photographs was used, showing the stroke being performed step by step. Probably since a single picture was found deficient of showing the whole movement. In other sport instruction books similar to this one, the body motions was clarified and enhanced through additional symbols; arrows, lines, crosses and circles. The illustrations was added to the photographs afterwards to indicate directions of motion, explaining what had happened before and after the captured moment.
The photograph was (in explaining the motion fully) not enough in itself.