From the Artist~
My first encounter with stereo I suppose would be owning a Viewmaster as a child. My adulthood introduction to stereo came in my early twenties when at an antique store a friend handed me a Holmes style viewer and what was probably a litho view. Not long after at an antique show I came across some more stereos and purchased a ghost view by Melander and a few pirated Diablerie images. From there I learned that during the nineteenth century there were photographers making stereoviews of the area I live in (Madison, Wisconsin area) and of the 1940’s-60’s era cameras available (and also the Wisconsin, Stereo Realist,Seton Rochwite, David White Co. Milwaukee connection to the “50’s stereo craze” ). It was not long before I found a stereo camera (first a Kodak, then settling on the Realist) and started making stereo slides of my own. So from about 1997 I’ve been collecting and making stereo images with varying degrees of seriousness.
A few years back I finally picked up a digital point and shoot (I seem to be the last to get in on technology). From there I started to think about the possibilities for finally making my own card format images and bought a couple more point and shoots that I mechanically synced. Finding that this setup left me wanting I invested in a pair of Nikon D90’s and having recently purchased their NX2 software am quite pleased with this setup currently. It is entirely possible, if the supply of slide film holds out, that some poor soul will have the task of prying the StereoRealist from my cold dead hands. Yet I find that the creative possibilities of using digital files to create card format stereoviews present a variety of options in the choice of tonal qualities of the final images as well as the look and feel of the mounts they are presented on, that are not present in the one of a kind, as shot nature of making slides.
My interest in antique images lead me to seek out good hard copy reference materials and also to the internet to explore the images that others have put out there. I’ve found the interenet helpful on many occasions, even identifying images I only had suspicions about.
Most importantly I find looking at stereo images, whether they are in my collection, somebody else’s, at an antique shop, the archives of an institution or out on the internet a good deal of fun and hope you do too.