My Stereoview Box Set Collection and 3D Photography

My Stereoview Box Set Collection and 3D Photography

My stereopho­tog­ra­phy and stere­oview col­lec­tion are two sides of the same coin for me and have a com­mon ori­gin sto­ry. Trav­el back with me to May 2014 — Lon­don. A chance encounter on a canal boat. A ques­tion asked. An answer giv­en. My life… transformed.

The birth of Stereoscopy: Wheatstone on Binocular Vision 1838, original source

The birth of Stereoscopy: Wheatstone on Binocular Vision 1838, original source

Back in 1838 the con­cept of binoc­u­lar vision had not yet been explored or writ­ten about any­where. It was a sci­en­tist in his mid 30s who not only described the phe­nom­e­non lat­er called stere­op­sis but also con­struct­ed a device to view two flat images in 3D which he called a stere­o­scope. This is espe­cial­ly remark­able as pho­tog­ra­phy was not invent­ed until one year lat­er. Charles Wheat­stone’s obser­va­tions were based only on draw­ings. Most of these draw­ings are based on hor­i­zon­tal mir­ror­ing which is why we call them mir­ror stere­os today. Read Wheat­stone’s orig­i­nal source here.

MINUTA STEREO — a new pinhole stereo camera

MINUTA STEREO — a new pinhole stereo camera

In 2020 the MINUTA STEREO Pin­hole Cam­era cam­paign got suc­cess­ful­ly fund­ed on Kick­starter with­in one month. The devel­op­er tells what hap­pened since.

A Declaration of Love

A Declaration of Love

Alfred Silvester’s 1857 series of stere­oviews enti­tled ‘Dec­la­ra­tion of Love’ begins with a scene depict­ing a young woman seat­ed at the piano. Jonathan Ross inter­prets the series and reveals a Valen­tine’s tale — not only for Victorians.

A Trip to the Underworld

A Trip to the Underworld

Ladies and Gen­tle­men, please fas­ten your seat­belts because we are going to embark on a trip to the Under­world! This is a series of “Mod­ern Dia­b­leries” inspired by the orig­i­nal French Tis­sue stereo cards.
While most of the time the orig­i­nal Dia­b­leries were intend­ed to be scary, my approach and inter­pre­ta­tion on such Dev­il­ments is most­ly cheer­ful and entertaining.

A Restorer’s Journey

A Restorer’s Journey

Some­times you will get a glimpse of the indi­vid­ual his­to­ry of your trea­sure and know where it was stored, wether it was looked after or long for­got­ten, if the own­er was well sit­u­at­ed or not, etc. For me, these sto­ries are invalu­able. As a pas­sion­ate restor­er, I espe­cial­ly appre­ci­ate view­ers that have remained untouched since their last use. I care­ful­ly remove the dust of decades to reveal the orig­i­nal beau­ty of a stere­o­scope. Being the first one to do so feels almost like get­ting in touch with those who bought it a cen­tu­ry ago. I want to take you to one of those journeys.

My Magic Cards

My Magic Cards

What kind of enter­tain­ment would you have as a Sovi­et kid grow­ing up in the 1980s? A cou­ple of dolls, clothes; metal­lic con­struc­tor sets, the vinyl record­ings of children’s sto­ries; some cas­settes with pop­u­lar Russ­ian songs, and a bunch of film­strips. These things were in almost everyone’s pos­ses­sion – at least, that’s how I remem­ber my friend’s toys. How­ev­er, I had some­thing very spe­cial – a set of stereo cards, along with a sim­ple stere­o­scope that looked like binoculars. 

Fine British Stereoscopes and their makers

Fine British Stereoscopes and their makers

Not long after the Brew­ster view­er first appeared and the inter­est in stere­oscopy grew the mar­ket for view­ers grew like­wise and many designs of stere­o­scopes appeared includ­ing some very fine British view­ers. Read about box slid­ing view­ers, book view­ers, view­ers with cab­i­nets and many more.

Nostalgia, Semiotics & Weird Stuff: A Guide to Collecting View-Master

Nostalgia, Semiotics & Weird Stuff: A Guide to Collecting View-Master

It’s prob­a­bly safe to assume that most peo­ple were intro­duced to 3D images via View-Mas­ter. Intro­duced at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, the hand­held 3D view­er was a very pop­u­lar for­mat that sold lit­er­al­ly bil­lions of prod­ucts from the 1940s right on through the 2000s. Here you’ll find a brief his­to­ry of View-Mas­ter, some images from my col­lec­tion and key con­tent cat­e­gories that may be of inter­est to those look­ing to start or grow their collections. 

The Brewster Stereoscope – its improvements and variations

The Brewster Stereoscope – its improvements and variations

The Brew­ster stere­o­scope was with­out doubt the sin­gu­lar most pop­u­lar design of stere­o­scope from 1851 until the 1930’s when new for­mats took over and dur­ing this time its basic design changed very lit­tle. Though, there soon was a broad vari­ety of improve­ments and elab­o­rate decorations.

Le Taxiphote — the most famous French stereo viewer

Le Taxiphote — the most famous French stereo viewer

The Veras­cope and the Tax­iphote are two halves of an unbe­liev­able stereo devel­op­ment effort that went on for 40 years essen­tial­ly with­out any changes. The Tax­iphote was export­ed to and patent­ed in many coun­tries. All this serves as an exam­ple of how attrac­tive stere­oscopy was at that time, and also con­firms the qual­i­ty of the Tax­iphotes as a tech­ni­cal device. We can only guess at the pres­tige of hav­ing a Tax­iphote at that time. 

A Plea for Analog Stereo Photography

A Plea for Analog Stereo Photography

I under­stand it’s 2021 and I’m talk­ing about shoot­ing on film. From an edu­ca­tion­al stand­point though, the lim­i­ta­tions it impos­es forces you to learn the basics of expo­sure, com­po­si­tion and how to be more inten­tion­al with your artis­tic choic­es. Spend­ing an hour or two mount­ing slides is def­i­nite­ly an exer­cise in humil­i­ty as you reflect on all the things you wish you did right. As you get famil­iar with it, there’s a rhythm that devel­ops with the tac­tile expe­ri­ence and it’s pret­ty relaxing.