Fantasy was a big part of my childhood. Feeding that was the worlds created by comic books. Those comics that employed 3-D techniques held a particularly strong interest for me.|
When I was 12, I looked through a hand-held Holmes stereoscopic viewer in an antique store and was smitten. I somehow talked my parents into buying it for me ó an odd toy for a child.
The stereo viewer came with a bunch of cardboard-mounted stereo photos from around the world. It seemed to me an easy task to replicate the three dimensions but with scenes from around my home. To do so, I borrowed momís Brownie Hawkeye and started my lifelong passion for photography.
To make stereos from the Brownie I used the following process. If my subject was human, I asked them to hold the same pose for a full minute while I:
Great care was used to keep the two shots similarly framed and parallel. Often there was a moving arm or a tree limb swaying between shots, which adds either a mystery or irritating technical flaws to a shot, depending on your philosophy.
- Move laterally about two inches
- Look at the small red window, while winding the film to the next frame
- Frame the shot as close to the first shot as possible
- Squeeze off the second shot
Many stereo experiments and devices later, I find I still employ the same technique, when caught without a stereo camera or adaptor. Also, this simple technique can be used for distant landscapes ó only moving several feet apart ó for creating a hyper-stereo effect.
Of all the stereo cameras and stereo attachments Iíve ever run accross, the best is the Prism Stereo by Tri-Delta. This device screws onto the lens of a 35mm camera and orients the images in a head-to-head fashion onto one slide frame. The slides are processed and cardboard-mounted as usual.
When the slide is looked at through the prism viewer, the image is almost twice as wide as high, a closer match to the way we see than the vertical formats from most other camera stereo attachments. Also, the slide (containing both right and left eye images) never gets cut and thereby never gets out of alignment. I never got the projection device, to my regret, and havenít been able to find it since Tri-Delta went out of business many years ago.
All stereo pictures in this gallery are viewable by using red/cyan anaglyph glasses. Occassionally, there is an image that would also be viewable using the cross-eyed technique.
Both techniques have their drawbacks. With the anaglyph technique, you need to have the red/cyan glasses, and, unfortunately, the color filters never completely remove irritating ghost images.
While the cross-eyed technique offers artifact-free images, they can be hard to focus and sometimes leaves you with eye strain or a headache.
Boy, what we stereophiles wonít go through for a 3-D thrill!
All the images in these galleries pass through PhotoShop, no matter whether they began as photos from film or digital cameras, graphics, scanned prints, or from stereo cameras or stereo adaptors. Most of them have also gone through StereoPhoto Maker for aligning shots. In a pinch, PhotoShop can also be used to create the red/cyan separations and alignment.