3D photography or stereo imagery as it’s sometimes know has been around since before the invention of photography.
Stereoscopy is a technique for creating or enhancing the illusion of depth in an image by means of stereopsis for binocular vision.
Most stereoscopic methods present two offset images separately to the left and right eye of the viewer. These two-dimensional images are then combined in the brain to give the perception of 3D depth.
Most 3D displays use this stereoscopic method to convey images. It was first invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone in 1838 and improved by Sir David Brewster who made the first portable 3D viewing device.
Modern 3D Photography
Fast forward 180 years or so and modern 3D photography images, video and games are consumed on devices such as Facebook’s Oculus.
The principal for creating 3D images remains the same. You need two images, one for each eye.
3D digital cameras are few and far between as are the viewing platforms.
Along with Facebook, Google have been keen to embrace 3D photography and video in descent years. Rather than spending hundreds of pounds on an Oculus, Google have created a very affordable viewing device called Google Cardboard.
Google offer an app to accompany the Google Cardboard which will let you easily create 3D images with your smartphone.
Download Google Cardboard App
Modern 3D cameras
There are a handful of modern 3D cameras. I own an Insta360 Evo which not only allows me to take Stereo images like these from a trip to Alaska but also 360 images. You can see some of my 360 images at London In 360.
Brian May, The London Stereoscopic Company and 3D Photography
Did you know that Queen’s Brian May has the largest private collection of stereotype prints In the world (probably)?
Stereotype or stereoscopic prints are early 3D photography images which were extremely popular in the mid 19th Century.
Some time in 1854, the “London Stereoscope Company” was born, and under the leadership of Managing Partner George Swan Nottage, by 1856 the company had changed its name, to “The London Stereoscopic Company”, and finally found in 1859 assumed the name it was to retain for years to come: the “London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company”.
Their business was selling stereo views and viewers to the public, and they were leaders in a boom – a craze – which swept England, Europe, and eventually the United States too, of stereo photographs of every conceivable subject, which, viewed by means of a stereoscope, presented scenes in life-like three dimensions. In a world which had never experienced Television, the Movies, or the Internet, this was understandably a revelation.
Today, under new management, the London Stereoscopic Company aims to recreate the magic of the company, and hope that one day to publish stereo cards once more.
The London Stereoscopic Company has already published a number of books, all of which come with their own famous OWL stereoscope viewer, which was designed by Brian May.
The London Stereoscopic Company books and viewers
The London Stereoscopic Company sell a range of products from 3-D cards to books and the famous OWL stereoscope, which was designed by Brian May. We have a few in our collection, including Diableries – Stereoscopic Adventures In Hell, The COMPLETE Edition and Crinoline: Fashion’s Most Magnificent Disaster.
How to take modern 3D photography stereo pictures
3D Photography Grey Anaglyph images
The 3D photo app also has the ability to create grey anaglyph images. We have a stack of red and green anaglyph glasses at The Photo Cafe if you’d like to pop in and pick up a free pair.
We took a few 3D Photography grey anaglyph images on a recent trip to the Science Museum.