"In the Larder" by T.R. Williams's "First Series" c.1854. Albumen Stereoview

What is a "Stereo-View"?

Stereoscopic Photography is not new.  Examples of the practice date back to the start of the commercial photography with portraits and landscapes from around the world being sold in Europe as early as the mid 1840s. 

It works due to "binocular vision" what each eye sees separately is combined by the brain into a singular image with depth perception. A "Stereoscopic Camera" features two lenses spaced approximately the distance between the human eyes apart, and produces two separate photographs at the same moment in time.  Printed and presented side-by-side, and viewed in a "Stereo Viewer" a Three Dimensional image is created. 

This is a practice that gained great popularity during the Industrial Revolution with Stereo-Views created to show the world, famous people, family and friends, comical scenes, fashion of the era, and risque scenes and sold for small cost on a large scale.  There are also examples of its possible inclusion into eye tests.  Going out of fashion near the end of the nineteenth century with the invent of cinema, it has come and gone ever since being used both in still and the moving image, until most recently the rise of 3D Cinema and phone-based Virtual Reality.

The Creation of Stereo-Views

In the creation of the stereo-views featured here, it was quickly realised that the rules of composition i usually follow must be rethought, until now photography has been a Two Dimensional genre for me, and what works for 2D composition does not necessarily work in Three Dimensions.

Most of the stereo-views you see here are produced using a 1950s Stereo Graphic, produced by Wray London for Graflex (maker of the large format press camera: The Speed Graphic) on 35mm film, others are ‘sequential’ created using separate photographs taken one after the other.

To view these, it is recommended to use a stereo-viewer such as the "Lite Owl" licensed by the London Stereoscopic Company.  Or, you try to cross your eyes to allow the images to overlap.