I’m following an online course – a MOOC – about Victoria-era stereographic photography.
As a geologist, I was introduced to the principles of stereographic photography as part of my job – it’s good for cartography and aerial imaging observation – and I decided to learn more about the history of this technology, and its artistic applications in the Victorian era.
And so I discovered Francis Frith.
Frith, a Derbyshire Quaker born in 1822 was a pioneer of photography and a travel photographer extraordinaire.
In particular he visited the Near East, producing a stunning collection of stereographic photos of Egyptian sites as they were back then.
His work is showcased in his official website – but h ere’s a small selection of stereographic images of Egypt.
NOTE: to view the stereo effect, you can use the Google cardboard stereo viewer, or simply pull back roughly two feet from the screen, and stare at the image, wide eyed, trying to focus beyond the photo. You’ll see double, and the ghost images wills lowly slide towards each other, and generate the stereo picture. It does not work for everybody, but about 75% f the human population should make it.