Wilhelm Friedrich Philipp Pfeffer

German botanist

Wilhelm Pfeffer, working at the University of Leipzig, in 1900 published a paper on the use of the cinematograph in studying plant growth. Pfeffer's innovation was to extend the chronophotographic experiments of E-J. Marey into the true film world by time-lapse cinematography, producing a minute-long film over a period of weeks by exposing one frame at a time at regular, spaced intervals. Thus the film, by condensing time, could make the invisible visible, that is the stages of plant growth. Now a commonplace technique in television documentaries, time-lapse cinematography was brought to general and popular notice by the work of Percy Smith for Charles Urban, with such titles as the famous and archetypal The Birth of a Flower.

Luke McKernan