Derek Medhurst

Stereo 3D photographs

Although I've been interested in stereo photos for many years, probably back to the 1980s, I became more active around 2005/6 when I finally acquired a secondhand Stereo Realist film camera. After a few years I bought a Fuji digital stereo camera and still use that for most of my stereo pictures. I belong to the Stereoscopic Society and enter their and some other stereo competitions around the world to get an idea of what different people think of my pictures.

Without getting into the detail of how it works, essentially 3D stereo photography involves creating two photos of a scene or object, each taken from about the same distance apart as are our eyes. You view the two pictures in a way that restricts the left eye to seeing the left image and the right eye the right image. The brain then does its marvellous work to fuse the two parts and you see a fair representation of what your eyes were seeing originally - seeing depth in the picture.

There are various technologies for viewing stereo photographs to get the 3D effect, each using different set-ups for the photos and different viewing methods. These include using the familiar red & cyan glasses to view superimposed red & cyan frames; on a 3D TV using appropriate glasses; modern or Victorian stereo viewers for stereocards.

This selection of my stereo photos are in "side-by-side" format for parallel eye viewing. Clicking on any thumbnail produces a larger photo gallery. Stereo photography aficionados may have prismatic glasses to enable viewing. Or you may be able to "freeview" the photos. Look through the pictures, as if looking at something behind the screen, with the left eye looking through the left pic and the right eye through the right one. Then try to pull your focus back to the screen, but still leaving the eyes looking forward in parallel rather than converging onto the screen. You may need to move the head to and fro to change the viewing distance, but a third image should appear between the left and right pics, in focus, and showing a 3D impression.

Freeviewing is sometimes easier to do than describe. But if you were successful in viewing those "magic eye" pictures that were popular a few years ago, the technique is the same.

  • Bromeliad at Wisley
  • Natural design
  • Strelitzia Reginae Mandela's Gold
  • Aspidistra bloom
  • At the Eden Project
  • The web
  • Steaming
  • Camelot's driver
  • Ghosts in the engine shed
  • Steam train reflections
  • Steam seen
  • Platform ghosts
  • Newly tooled
  • Traction engine details
  • Traction action
  • Fish course
  • Snacking
  • Joy of Life
  • Stone carving, 4 inch wide, Canterbury Cathedral
  • Bromeliad at Wisley
    Just one amongst the countless attractive blooms in the glasshouse at Wisley RHS Gardens in spring 2016.
  • Natural design
    This simply shows one of the designs that can be found all around us in the natural world. It was taken at the World Garden at Lullingstone Castle, Kent, England.
  • Strelitzia Reginae Mandela's Gold
    A less common form of the Bird of Paradise plant, photographed at Tom Hart-Dykes' World Garden at Lullingstone Castle, near Sevenoaks, Kent.
  • Aspidistra bloom
    The flower of the common aspidistra is inconspicuous and grows on the rhizome at soil level. This is the only flower on mine in 25 years so I must be doing something wrong, or just not spotting them.
  • At the Eden Project
  • The web
    Taken on a dewy autumnal morning with the spider’s web outlined against the berries and foliage of a pyracantha bush.
  • Steaming
  • Camelot's driver
    The Bluebell Railway in Sussex was one of the first preserved heritage railways in England. This volunteer driver was waiting on the footplate of engine 73082 “Camelot” at Sheffield Park Station.
  • Ghosts in the engine shed
    Against the light in the Bluebell Railway’s engine shed, this couple seemed almost like ghostly apparitions seen through a tunnel of ghosts of the steam era.
  • Steam train reflections
    The Golden Arrow is a Pullman dining train on the Bluebell Railway, a heritage steam railway in Sussex, England. It is named after a famous train that ran from London to Paris in the days of mainline steam.
  • Steam seen
    A detail seen on the Kent & East Sussex Railway, a heritage railway that runs from Tenterden in Kent to Bodiam in East Sussex in SE England
  • Platform ghosts
    The end of the day’s services at the Bluebell Railway heritage steam railway in Sussex, England. Carriages wait to be shunted to the shed, watched by two ghostly visitors
  • Newly tooled
    A group at the Bluebell Railway in England is reconstructing a “Brighton H2 Atlantic” steam engine, based on the original “Beachy Head” which was was cut up in 1958. These new parts contrast with the state they will be in once they are in use.
  • Traction engine details
  • Traction action
  • Fish course
    Seen on a fishmonger’s stall at Borough Market, near London Bridge on the the south bank of the Thames in London.
  • Snacking
    On a visit to a racing stables, this equine athlete was hungrily eating his hay while keeping watch on the activity in the yard beyond his stall.
  • Joy of Life
    The Joy of Life fountain in Hyde Park, London, is by T B Huxley-Jones, dating from 1963.
  • Stone carving, 4 inch wide, Canterbury Cathedral
    This small carving lives in the cloisters in Canterbury Cathedral, Kent. He is found at one end of a string of stone foliage surrounding one of the arches and seems to be one of the many “green man” carvings in the Cathedral.