Le Praxinopose


Georges Brunel (1856-1900), Le Praxinopose (Bordeaux?, ca. 1890). (2) pp. folder with the text page mounted to the verso of the cover. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2013- in process.

The praxinopose is a metering apparatus for photographers, designed by the French mathematician Georges Brunel (1856-1900). It was used to determine the shutter speed for obtaining a clear image of moving objects, such as a bicycle or a train. Our praxinopose includes a series of four concentric moveable disks mounted inside a leather binding, along with instructions for use in French.

Early practitioners of high-speed photography include Eadweard Muybridge’s 1878 images of horses in motion; Peter Salcher’s 1886 photography of a bullet; and Ernst Mach’s capture of the shadows of supersonic shockwaves. The praxinopose was meant simplify the guesswork.