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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Some stereoscopic (3D) images from the Great War


Ian Ference
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I just spent 3 months processing this entire collection, consisting of almost 300 artifacts (some duplicates) in various conditions - I try to develop the negatives the way I suspect that the photographer intended for them to be viewed, and clean up as much major damage as I can without going for the "too clean, pristine" look that actual retouching would do. These were all taken in the Verdun area between October and December 1918; three images in the collection (none pictured here) were taken on 11 November! Anyhow, here are some highlights from what has come to be known as the Honorat Collection (note the shadow of the photographer in one image - this was the 1918 version of the "selfie"):

 

 

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These are great - thank you for sharing. There seems more of a shift between images than I have seen on others?

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15 minutes ago, Open Bolt said:

These are great - thank you for sharing. There seems more of a shift between images than I have seen on others?

Well, these are scans of negatives, and most people who scan negatives do it incorrectly (including, sadly, the IWM). You can't just put the glass on the scanner, but you have to also transpose the images. When you print from negatives, you only use part of the image typically - meaning there is a lot more data in a negative than ever makes it to positive. I have a somewhat more detailed explanation here, but basically, if you don't do the transposition, you won't see the image in 3D when you look at it through a stereoscope, and the only way to free-view it is by crossviewing. These slides were a particular challenge because Mssr Honorat cut his own glass and coated it with his own emulsions - making them particularly difficult to process. Any shift you're seeing is a result of these being negatives, combined with Mssr Honorat's very particular shooting style.

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Excellent images Ian, and an interesting perspective on scanning images. Much appreciated.

Pete.

 

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Fattyowls said:

Excellent images Ian, and an interesting perspective on scanning images. Much appreciated.

Pete.

 

No worries Pete - FWIW I do this for a living, and if you ever have any questions on the conservation or proper care of glass plate negatives, their digitization, and theory of photography, feel free to send them my way. I am always happy to help any member of the Great War community learn to digitise their archive and get it online; if we all work together, we'll minimize loss & attrition of these unique artifacts!

Edited by Ian Ference
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