Saturday, October 2, 2010

3D TV? 3D books have been around for 150 years!

In the last few years 3D movies have made a comeback (from the 1950s) and now 3D TVs are around the corner. But you could get a book of 3D photography 150 years ago!

A Village Lost and Found presents the idyll of life in an 1850s village, "far from the sound of the train's whistle". The identity of the village was lost to the world for 150 years, and only by a miracle does this lovely set of stereoscopic views survive, brought together for the first time by Brian May (yes, the guitarist of Queen) and his co-author, photohistorian Elena Vidal. Their research is in-depth, but the book is very readable, and the pictures leap into glorious 3-D, viewed in the new focussing stereoscope which May has designed and produced, to bring the stereos to life, and then fold back neatly into the slip-case of the book.

The book gives an insight into everyday village life at the time - with a woman at her spinning wheel, the blacksmith outside his smithy, three men at the grind stone sharpening a tool, the villagers in the fields, bringing in the harvest as well as often taking time to enjoy a good gossip. In every case the original verse which accompanied the view is reproduced. In addition, May and Vidal have researched and annotated all the views, revealing another layer of meaning, by exploring the history of these real characters, this idyllic village and its links with the present day.

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