Stereo photography came into being soon after the first Daguerreotypes were introduced in 1839. Double-lensed cameras soon captured "life" with the illusion of depth that we are able to see because each eye sees an image that is taken from a slightly different perspective (typically the lenses are 2.5 inches apart). While there a variety of viewers that can be used to view stereo pairs, usually one may merge the two photos into one with a little practice. (When one successfully sees depth without the use of a viewer, three images are seen--with the middle one being in 3-D.) For more information about stereo photography, I recommend visiting Reel 3-D Enterprises. I recommend Ray Zone's The 3-D Zone for information about anaglyphic books.

Here is a stereograph from the nineteenth century (click on for larger version):

During the early 1950's 3-D movies were very popular--but uneven projection and mediocre movies ended the 3-D "fad" quickly. A few good films were made as "depthies", but most of them came out too late to keep the format popular--and thus they were mainly released in flat format. Recently I was fortunate to see a very good 3D presentation of The Charge at Feather River (1953). The print was probably as good as one can expect--acceptable color and very few black frames replacing damaged/missing frames (necessary to keep the projected images in sync). It also has a more than acceptable story--something of combination of the later films The Dirty Dozen (1967) and The Searchers (1956). Here is stereo pair from Gun Fury (1953), which starred Rock Hudson, Donna Reed, Phil Cary, and Lee Marvin.

Although I have used stereo cameras for several years, I didn't start photographing reenactors in "3-D" until a few years ago. Now I usually carry at least one stereo camera when covering an event. The photographs below are among the first stereos that I took at Roaring Camp in Felton, CA:

'99 OWLHF Norco Competition in 3D

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