My Gallery of Stereo Images

Bath
Bath
Beaulieu
Beaulieu
Bletchley
Bletchley
Bristol
Bristol
Broadway
Broadway
Clevedon Court
Clevedon Court
Clovelly
Clovelly
Cornwall
Cornwall
Dyrham
Dyrham
Fleet Air Arm
Fleet Air Arm
Forde Abbey
Forde Abbey
Hailes Abbey
Hailes Abbey
HanburyHall
HanburyHall
Lacock
Lacock
Lynmouth
Lynmouth
Montacute
Montacute
Shugborough
Shugborough
Snowshill
Snowshill
Sparkford
Sparkford
Stourhead
Stourhead
Waddesdon
Waddesdon
Westonbirt
Westonbirt
Witley Court
Witley Court
Worcester
Worcester

Notes


Like many stereo photographers, my interest started with the Weetabix stereo viewer back in the sixties, followed by the View-Master reels. There are three main methods of taking stereo photographs, all three of which I've tried. The first method is to use a dedicated 3D camera with two lenses producing two separate images on two frames of film. These have been around for a surprisingly long time, starting in Victorian times, when stereo viewers were very popular. I've only used a digital stereo camera, in recent years.

The second method is to attach a splitter to the front of a conventional camera to give two side-by-side images on a single frame of film. The main disadvantage is that this method gives rather narrow images in portrait format rather than landscape.

The third method is called the "cha-cha" method. It's the one I use most of the time, and can be done with any conventional camera. The method is to take one picture, then move the camera to the side, and take another picture. This is usually achieved by taking a side-step and back again to repeat - like a cha-cha dance.

The cha-cha method has one major drawback - the subject could move in between taking the two the photographs! The secret is to take subjects that do not move, such as buildings or still life. On a very calm day with no wind, trees and plants also make good subjects.

The cha-cha method also has one major advantage, which is why I use this method. With a conventional stereo camera, the distance between the lenses is fixed, and works best for short to medium distance subjects. With the cha-cha method you can take anything from close-up photos by moving the camera a small distance, to a cityscape, by moving the camera many feet between taking pictures.

My gallery of photographs here was taken using the cha-cha method, with some recent ones taken with a Fuji Real-3D digital stereo camera. There are two ways to view them. Firstly, with a bit of practice you can de-focus your eyes and 'free-view' them, but not everyone can do this.

The second method is to use some form of viewer. These range from a VR Headset, to a simple pair of lenses to help you focus. This method has been around since Victorian times, and most people have no trouble seeing 3D using these viewers. A great viewer to use is the 'OWL' designed by Dr Brian May.

To help to get a better view, there are controls at the top of each page to alter the size of the images, and the gap between them. Using these you can get a good fit for your viewer, or you may even be able to view without a viewer. I find I can free-view best when the images are relatively small (just a few inches).

There is a lot of useful information about viewing stereo photographs on Brian May's excellent website here... londonstereo.com/stereophotography.html

There were three 'Great Ages of Stereo' roughly every 50 years. The first was in Victorian/Edwardian times, when the stereo photograph and the Holmes viewers were all the fashion. The second was in the sixties, when red and green glasses were all the rage in cinemas, especially for horror films! The final one was in the first decades of the 21st century, when Stereo cinema and TV made a comeback with the perection of poleroid glasses and passive/active glasses for home TVs. Sadly, the TV manufacturers unilaterally decided to stop making stereo TVs and an inevitable decline followed.