Red/Cyan 3D glasses are needed for viewing these pictures.

I’m starting a new occasional column here, “Then and Now”. I’m a little obsessed with 3D(you might have guessed that, as that’s half the reason I started this blog). It goes beyond taking my own photos, though- I’m also interested in vintage 3D photographs. I have a collection of old stereoscope cards, and was playing with the idea of occasionally putting them up on my blog. On some rare occasions, I’ve been at the same location as the stereoscope picture, so have two 3D images of the same area taken decades apart. Photos before January 1, 1949, are public domain in Canada, and I believe all my stereoscope photos were taken well before that date. So, lets get on to the pictures.

Today was the 150th anniversary of the founding of Canada(called Canada Day now, Dominion Day earlier in our history). So, I thought I’d focus right on the heart of Canada, the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, Ontario. The stereoscope photos I have were taken sometime before 1916; they depict the original Centre Block of the Parliament buildings, which burned down on February 3rd of that year. The structure was completed in 1866, a year before the Dominion of Canada was created.

Canada, Ontario, Ottawa- Parilament buildings 2 (2)Canada, Ontario, Ottawa- Parilament Buildings (2)

Now, these two stereoscope cards have both been colourized, but they are clearly both the same photo. Personally, I prefer the second card- the colourizing is more subtle, and there seems to be more detail in that photo.

Of course, seeing as these cards are designed to be seen with a stereoscope viewer, red-cyan glasses are useless. However, it’s simple to overlay one photo over the other, and adjust the colour- It’s the same technique I use with my own photos. I also touched them up and tried to reduce the spots and stains on the original cards.

Canada, Ontario, Ottawa- Parilament buildings 2Canada, Ontario, Ottawa- Parilament Buildings

Flash forward a century or so- Centre Block was rebuilt, and the parilament resumed using it in 1920, although work continued for years after that date. in  I visited in 2010, when I was still getting started in 3D photography. I only had one camera at the time, a Canon Powershot SX100. I understood the theory by then, but was still learning how to put it into practice. The result- these photos are still a little rough. I’ll have to take some better ones next time I go to Ottawa.

The first photo is of the Parliament building’s Centre Block from the front.

2010 05 20 Parliament buildings

In the back of the Centre Block is the Library of Parliament, the only part of the building to survive the 1916 fire. The metal doors protected the structure, so it remained secure. The Library was built in 1876, and looks largely the same from outside.

2010 05 21 Library of Parliament

Finally, one of my favourite photos. When I flew to Ottawa in 2010, I had a window seat. The windows was slightly frosted over, and not the best view, but clear enough to take photos. On the descent, the plane flew right over the Parliament buildings. I quickly took a few photos in the seconds it was visible. Later, I realized that the plane had been moving fast enough that I could try to make a 3d image out of the sequence of photos- My first attempt at aircraft-based 3D.

2010 05 17 Parliament buildings from plane

Happy Canada Day 2017!