Brian May: "If you can take 3D pictures, why would you bother taking 2D pictures?"

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by Karim Ghantous, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Queen's Brian May on his lifelong fascination with stereo photography:

    Rock star Brian May revives Victorian virtual reality

    Brian May has been mentioned here a few times but I don't recall seeing his interview from 2018 with the BBC.

    There are quite a few things to say about stereo photography, and whether or not it should be mainstream, etc. What do you think? We now have the Red Hydrogen which has a 3D display, which means we don't need special viewers. They plan on releasing a module for the Hydrogen which is intended for professional use.

    A few years ago, HTC made a similar phone with a 3D screen, but that never took off. I wonder if Apple will go down that road?
    mikemorrell likes this.
  2. If you can take color pictures, why would you. take B&W?

    I don't personally subscribe to the utterances of rock stars.
    movingfinger, AJG and stuart_pratt like this.
  3. Because I can.
  4. You don't need one of those stereo viewers either. I dabbled with stereo a few years ago out of curiosity. I you can go cross eyed, then you can see these in '3D'. I can do it at will now, but I crash my car every time I go out!

    To view this without the need for any accessories, sit about 2ft (600mm) from your screen. Concentrate on the central white line, and go cross eyed. As you do so, the line will split in two, with one line going to the LHS and one to the RHS. Keep forcing these two lines apart (whilst maintaining focus on the centre of the image) and once the lines are the same distance apart as one image on it's own,the central image will pop into 3D. Simple.

    If your mother told you that you'd stick like that if you went cross eyed, then don't do it!

    Stereo ferns.jpg
    JeffOwen likes this.
  5. I've got a lovely book by Brian May and Elena Vidal, "A Village Lost and Found" about a series of Victorian stereo pictures. He has of course gained his PhD in astrophysics and according to Wikipedia "As part of May's role as a collaborator with the NASA's science team on the New Horizons mission, he worked on the first stereoanaglyph based on images of Ultima Thule that were captured by the spacecraft".

    I believe he is also a guitarist of some repute.
    mikemorrell and Ludmilla like this.
  6. Is he Vulcan?
  7. I've read that human depth perception from binocular vision is limited to about 20 feet, beyond that your vision depends on perspective to determine depth. (Can you tell which stars are closest to you?)
    mikemorrell likes this.
  8. Great links, @Karim Ghantous! Thanks for these. I'd never see the Brian May interview on his life-long passion for 3-D photography or heard of his 3-D books but both were fascinating!

    He makes some interesting points about why 3-D photography and viewing has never really caught on or been developed since the Victorian age. Well with notable exception of Weetabix ;) and a few cinema movies. My guess is 3-D cameras were too expensive and viewing technologies too cumbersome, for mass photography markets that primarly wanted to take 'snaps' for the family album. It's also true that 3-D depth doesn't add much value for many types of photo.

    3-D camera technology has been around (in cinema) for years. It's interesting that new screen technologies might enable 3-D photo's/videos/movies to be viewed without having to wear "3-D glasses". It could be the next big thing after flat-screen Hi-res TVs. Or for phones/laptops. I'm not sure whether I'll live to see it though,
  9. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Actually, when I was a boy there were both hand held Stereo Viewmasters that took discs (quite collectable!), and an older system - Tru Vue, which took film rolls. There were even simple projectors that took the reels. If I recall correctly, they remained popular thru the start of the '60's. Still can be found for sale on the on line sales sites.
    Mark Keefer likes this.
  10. Why would you take double image 3-D when you can go anaglyphic (red-green, aka "analgyphic")?
    Vivitar Q-DOS Series 1 70-210 Lens
  11. @Ed_Ingold, I have great respect for your posts on PN but on this one occasion I have to respectfully disagree with you. I don't give much credence to the 'utterances of rock stars' either but Brian May's well-documented life-long interest in - and passion for - stereophotography - has nothing to do with his ever being a rock star. As he says (and demonstrates) in the interview, his interest in stereophotography started at a very early age, many years before he ever got involved with Queen who at the time were far from fame.

    Personally, I'm convinced that May's life-long passion for stereophotography is completely authentic. A bit quirky maybe, but authentic nevertheless. Just as quirky as photographers who - in 2019 - are still passionate about 'classic cameras'? I believe that it's to May's credit that he has somehow managed to sustain and cultivate his passion for stereophotography throughout his 'rock star' years with Queen.

    Over the years, I've read and watched a couple of interviews with May and to me, he's always seemed a very natural, authentic, down-to-earth person and a reluctant 'rock star'. At least he's always refused to buy into - and downplay - any 'rock star' image. After his hectic Queen years, I have great respect for the fact that he - after 30+ years - worked to (sucessfully) complete his original PhD research. He was/is a visiting professor at a number of Universities. To me, this says that May is much more than just a 'rock star'. I'm sure that his fame gets him more media attention for stereophotography than "the average Joe". But that does't necessarily mean that his passion/views should be discounted beacuse he's a (past) rock star.

    QUOTE="Ed_Ingold, post: 5737585, member: 419409"]If you can take color pictures, why would you. take B&W?

    I don't personally subscribe to the utterances of rock stars.[/QUOTE]
  12. Interesting, @JDMvW! But you do still need 'the glasses' to get the full benefit of (or even make much sense of) anaglyphic images/movies. I still remember the first movies with anaglyphic clips. Every now and then a voice would say "NOW PUT ON THE GLASSES!!". The last 3-D movie I watched was shot fully in 3-D so everyone in the cinema could keep the 3-D glasses on for the whole movie.

    What's interesting to me is that there are now 'converging 3-D technologies'. 3-D (movie) cameras have been around for years. If new screen technologies are able to give the viewer the perception of added 'depth' without having to wear glasses, that could be a real break-through.

    I have almost no experience of 3-D (except at exhibitions) but 3-D videos do make the make viewing experience more 'real'. At the moment, you still need to wear some kind of viewing device to experience the 3-D effect. But what if you didn't? That's the most interesting innovation for me.

  13. If May had been introduced by the OP as a "Rock star, photographer and PhD in Astrophysics," rather than simply as a "rock star," my interest would have been piqued.

    Stereoptikons were all the rage in the late 19th century into the 1920's, and stereo cameras enjoyed a brief revival in the late 50's. I even saw a 3D movie a couple years ago. I can't remember the title, which probably speaks to the overall quality of the film.
  14. With the right spacing, and with my glasses (about -5 diopters) off, and from about 6 inches away,
    I can usually see it. For the above image, I had to shrink the screen image down to 67% to get
    the spacing right.

    If your newspaper has Hocus Focus (find 6 differences between these pictures),
    look at the two as a stereo pair, and the differences become very obvious.
    (Usually after I have found five of them.)
  15. My only concern with 3-D photos is the ease to share those photos with others who do not have the equipment or devices to view them. If that was the only photographic technique used, the viewership would be minimal compared to posting 2-D photos on social media, viewing on a 2-D monitor, hanging on a wall, or publishing in a book.
  16. Funny how some rapidly pass judgement based on stereotypes. You would be surprised how many of those rock stars have a higher quality of education than average.
    davidrosen and Robin Smith like this.
  17. I don't know about the Red Hydrogen and I don't know if I can afford it. Other methods 3D have serious drawback.
  18. Conversely, it is funny how some grant credence to a source based on celebrity status.

Share This Page