Derek Medhurst

Stereo 3D photographs

I've been interested in stereo photos for many years but became more active around 2005/6 when I acquired a secondhand Stereo Realist camera. I Iater 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 other stereo competitions around the world to get an idea of what different people think of my pictures.

Essentially 3D stereo photography involves creating two photos of a scene, usually taken from about the same distance apart as are our eyes. You view the two pictures so that the left eye sees the left image and the right eye the right image. The brain then fuses the two parts and you see a fair representation of what your eyes were seeing originally - depth in the picture.

There are various technologies for viewing stereo photographs. 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.

The selection of my stereo photos in his section 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 or other viewers to enable the stereo effect. If not you may be able to "freeview" the photos.

Freeviewing is often easier to do than describe. But if you were able to view those "magic eye" pictures that were popular a few years ago, the technique is the same.

To "freeview":

  • Have the main picture small on your screen (having equivalent points on the left and right halves about 65mm apart should work).
  • Look through the pictures, as if looking at something behind the screen, with the left eye looking through the left frame 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.

Not everyone can see stereo photos. If you can't, just have a look at one side of the pair anyway - I hope they may still be of some interest!

Stereo photo galleries