Tuesday, March 30, 2010

guitarists have hobbies too

I am aware it's been a week since I have last posted-- probably the longest gap in a while for me not to post.  The museum I now work for hosted a big French and Indian War-related conference this weekend, and I worked late nights and such.  But it was all fun, even if it was physically draining.  It's such a release to be doing something you love.

My friend Scott brought my attention to this article that was published several months ago in The Guardian.  Yes, this article is not "new" news, but rather interesting anyway.  Brian Mays, the guitarist from the band Queen , collects Victorian stereo photographs and cameras for fun. 

What is a stereo photograph?

According to the article, it is "...two images, taken by the same camera but moved a few inches to the left for the second, [which] created a 3D effect which the Victorians called "stereography" when seen through a special viewer..."

Here's two examples of stereo photographs.  The two pictures were placed side-by-side like this:

 image source: Early Visual Media

 image source: Early Visual Media
The slightly altered pictures created a 3-D effect in the mind when viewed through a stereoscope:

image source: Early Visual Media
 They could be hand-held, as this Holmes stereoscope was:

image source: Early Visual Media
Or kept in more permanent locations, as this stereodrome was:
image source: Early Visual Media
If you ever get the chance to look at an image through one of these Victorian contraptions, please do so.  I have had the opportunity to do so at the Henry Clay Frick mansion in Wilkinsburg, Pittsburgh.  It's quite impressive to see the images literally pop out at you as easily as they would in a 3-D viewing of Avatar.

It's pretty cool that Brian Mays takes such an extreme interest in an obsolete technology, so I thought I would bring it to your attention.

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