Steve's Stereo Photos

Here is a selection of stereo photos that I took at Legoland California in 2001. These are all divergent stereograms (i.e right eye photo on right) and can be viewed without a viewer with a little practice. If you have dificulty melding the images, try getting further away from your screen and tilt your head to rotationally align the images if necessary. Avoid screen reflections as much as possible. Once you get the images to overlap exactly, you brain will stop fighting you and "lock on". Then you will be able to move your eyes around the picture a little without losing alignment. Don't "cross" your eyes (the photos are the wrong way round for that) but align them as if you are staring into the distance. If you still have trouble, have your wisdom teeth taken out. It worked for me... the dentist gave me some painkillers and I have been able to view stereo photos ever since!

Before taking these digital photos, I experimented a bit with film. I was able to take quite passable stereo photos with two disposable cameras duct-taped together. With a little practice it is possble to fire the shutters at very nearly the same time. With most disposable cameras the lenses end up a little too far apart than the ideal, but you can get quite good results.

The photos shown here were taken sequentially with a digital camera. I always take the first picture with the left eye to the viewfinder and the second with the right eye to the viewfinder. That way it is easy to tell which photo is which. Of course, doing sequential shots limits the views to ones without movement in them.

If you can't master the "divergent eye technique" necessary to view your photos on-screen, it is possible to buy stereo viewers inexpensively on the Internet. Some are intended to be mailed as postcards and fold flat. Not very good lenses, but workable. The last time I looked, you could get a nice wooden one from the Getty Museum shop. I'm sure there are lots of other sources too.

Steve Champion, April 2009