Tuesday, June 20, 2023

World Stereoscopy Day '23: A Garden of Guitars

World Stereoscopy Day is June 21st. I had planned to place several solargraph stereo pairs around on the winter solstice for a blog post to be done when the sun stopped moving north. I couldn't think of any great places I could affix them and kind of forgot about it. Recently there have been many reminders by the solargraph community that the traditional time to harvest your images are on the solstices. That reminded me that I only had a couple days if I were going to do a post on Stereoscopy Day.

The least I could do was expose a roll of film in the 45mm 6x6cm 120 Stereo Populist. What could I do to make six stereographs? Taking inspiration from the organization behind the day's celebration, and the coincidental match to the number of guitars in our house, I thought of taking them out in the sunny garden, which also provided a nice alliterative title. They would stand out well as foreground objects in front of the vegetation, which always has surprising random depth in stereo.

There are several ways to present stereo pairs for viewing. I'm going to use two in this post. 

The next three paragraphs from last year's Stereoscopy Day Blog, with updated links.

First is the most natural method, cross-eyed viewing, with the left view on the right and vice versa. You cross your eyes to make a double image. As the left and the right sides of the pair overlap in the middle, they fuse into stereo and depth is revealed. Note that you still see three pictures. It's the one in the middle that's 3D. That may seem unnatural to you, but they're just scanned (or printed) as they appear together on the negatives with no other manipulation or equipment. It does take some learning to view them. I created an exercise with simplified graphics at this link and have been told it does make it easier to learn.

The second is with anaglyphs, where the left and right views are rendered in red and cyan and overlaid on top of each other. Viewing through a red lens on the left eye and a cyan one on the right eye tricks the brain into calculating the depth. You of course need an appropriate pair of spectacles.

 If you want to play along and you can do parallel viewing or if you've got a lorgnette, Brian May's Owl, Google Cardboard or an Oculus rift, here's a link to a PDF with the pictures set up for stereo viewers, in the same order they're in the blog. If you've got a regular Holmes Stereocard Viewer, if printed at 100% they should be the right size.

About the turn of the millenium, I was trying to get back into playing the guitar after 25 years or so of never touching it. I kept entering sweepstakes giving away electric guitars so Andy and Sarah got me this Fender American Standard Telecaster for my birthday, on which I had the bridge pickup replaced with a Seymour Duncan Hot Rail (like Bruce Springsteen although I didn't know that at the time). Our friend the guitar salesman who installed it warned me I'd never get a truly clean sound out of it.

When I collided with a Corvair trying to get a girl to the dorm before hours (look it up, kids), she put her knee through my brother's Alvarez nylon-string acoustic which he had abandoned after he got married. I replaced it with this Alvarez, which is a clone of a Gibson Hummingbird. This was the instrument I played in my folkie career during the Vietnam War.

Everybody has a brush with Gear Acquisition Syndrome. eBay led me to acquire this lovely Ventura clone of an ES-335 with a curiously narrow neck.

A double humbucker solidbody is another major classification ya gotta have. Another eBay Ventura Clone of a Gibson L-6 with the very unusual six-way rotary pickup selector switch.

Sarah gave me the BC Rich Warlock for my 60th birthday. You can understand why that "clean sound" comment didn't concern me. My playing is best described as Punk Surf Metal.

Andy's student Rodriguez which took him halfway through his Bachelor's in Guitar Performance, here with a mind-bending reflection on it's shiny top.

The 120 Stereo Populist has two side by 6x6cm chambers, 45mm from .27mm hand-drilled pinholes on the axes and 10mm above them. The film is Ilford FP4+ semistand developed in caffenol.

As my Pinholic tendencies have gotten more severe, playing these guitars has gotten very rare. When I was rockin' the basement a lot, there were open-mics and jam groups around, but they always specified "acoustic only" which really rubbed me the wrong way. Now I know a drummer who's willing to play with me if I got my calluses to where I could play for more than one song. There's also a bar just a few blocks away that has a regular open-mic/jam night with plenty of amplification. Maybe I just need the right encouragement.

1 comment:

  1. Love the stereo images and descriptions of guitars! Great series.