I started my stereoscopic journey in late 2016 soon after I spotted a small handheld cardboard viewer of the French brand Brugière from around 1940 with a bunch of films on a local antiques market. At home I remembered a Viewmaster that my parents had bought during our holidays in California and what joy it had brought to me as a child. Upon doing further research, I soon found the same Brugière viewer for a takeaway price on a local advertisement website. This little viewer sparked my interest.
Not much later I had discovered that there was a broad field that was called stereoscopy. My first collector’s item was a French Taxiphote. It’s the left-most stereo viewer on the photo above.
While expanding my area of interest and adding more items to my little collection I also wondered if it would be possible to make stereo photos with a modern camera. I had absolutely no clue that there is an active community of modern stereo photographers. But once I reactivated my old Instagram account, the next chapter of my stereo journey started immediately. You can read about my current standard workflow for taking stereo photos here.
So far, my collection includes dozens of wooden viewers, both handheld and tabletop, sometimes with their storage furniture, cameras and developing tools as well as historic documents like catalogues and thousands of stereo views. I also started restoring viewers that are in a bad condition including complete disassembling, cleaning, replacing, repairing, adjusting and so on. Bringing back the original beauty to a viewer or camera that was long forgotten in an attic or basement is a really joyful experience.
I soon came to the point where I had to set borders to my collecting activities. So at the moment I am limited to glass slides, their specific viewers and the time before 1945. So my collection remains one-sided despite its diversity but this is also a kind of focus.
Besides my collecting craze I also got more and more involved in the present stereo community. A crucial experience was the 2019 ISU congress in Lübeck, Germany. I built my own stereo rig and got much input from long term stereo photographers. Instagram became my main channel to share my own stereo photos and chat with other stereo photographers. In 2020, I got involved in the Virtual Stereoscopic Community.
I always enjoy meeting other stereo enthusiasts and learning something new. It’s therefore a natural choice to include guest authors on this website to share their knowledge, treasures and photos. So don’t hesitate to get in touch by e‑mail to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to share anything stereoscopic here. Finally, I welcome your feedback to help me improve the Stereosite.