Stereoscopy is epic! and a few questions


 Nikè Lambooy wrote:

Dear Brian,

A belated Happy Birthday! And please wish Roger the same. I recently sat myself down to figure out how to freeview stereo pictures for some time – I wanted to know what the fuss was about. Turns out it’s awesome (every time I successfully see the 3D image I go like ‘yay!’ in my head. I especially enjoy the one you posted on your soapbox from Paris). I also downloaded the app to take stereo pictures myself, so here’s one of a certain brilliant album being played on my turntable:


I now find myself wishing I knew about this stuff before I went on holiday. Oh well. Nothing to be done about that.

What I am wondering about is how come the 3D images I see when viewing them seem sharper, more in focus somehow, than the pictures taken? Is that just me, or is it because the brain is receiving more information? (Or something like that. Really, I don’t know much about it.)

I am also curious about why some images are so much easier to view than others, for example this one:

Byzantine Court


was much harder for me to get right in the beginning than this one:


Why is that? I read the question on the LSC site about a picture being harder to view because of a tree branch, but I don’t see anything that could be interfering like that in the upper picture (Again: it could simply be me).

On a side note, the method of freeviewing you describe on your site doesn’t really work for me – I do it slightly differently. I block one half of the image for each of my eyes with my hands, so that when I get my eyes to converge the right way I see not three pictures with the middle one being 3D, but only one picture in 3D.

Free viewing thing

I find it a lot easier, and it might help people who are having similar difficulties. Of course, I doubt it is something I came up with first, but it isn’t mentioned on the site from the London Stereoscopic Company, and I figured you might want to know.

I hope you will answer my questions and thank you for your time, Nikè Lambooy. Ps. Please excuse any spelling or grammatical errors. I’m not a native English speaker, so I am (mostly) unaware of what I’m doing wrong.

Sources of the pictures:

[1] T. R. Williams ‘The Byzantine Court – Crystal Palace’

[2] T. R. Williams ‘The Ferry’

Brian replied – see SOAPBOX.

Nikè Lambooy replied:

Dear Brian,

Thank you for your reply.

Of course you have my permission to publish my email on your site.

About alignment – I am wondering: how did they do it in the nineteenth century? When I make a stereopicture on my phone, it gives the opportunity to align it right, but obviously that wasn’t an option back then. For example, in ‘A day’s sport (group of fish)’ (T. R. Williams, First series) you can clearly see that the left photograph is placed slightly higher than the right, but how did they know how much higher (or lower) to place said photograph? Was it simply trial and error, or did they have a specific method for it?

What also mystifies me is that when I look at the diableries from the ‘A’ series, all of them seem ‘level’. Why was there no alignment needed? Or could it simply be that the stereocamera used was perfectly aligned, and therefore excluded the need for further alignment? What comes to mind is the mystery of T. R. Williams turning a stereo-camera on its side. In that case, allignment might be needed after all if one of the cameras stood slightly higher or lower than the other… Could it be that he did the same thing with ‘A day’s Sport’? Of course I am only speculating and trying to make sense of the information I have, and I hope you could give me further clarification.

Something I don’t fully understand is the concept of vertical misallignment. I tried to purposefully vertically misalign a picture on my phone, with the horizontal alignment still being good, but I didn’t have any difficulties with viewing the picture, in fact I hardly saw any difference at all… I hope you are willing to explain.

Thank you for your time, and all the best,

Nikè Lambooy

Brian replied: see SOAPBOX