Amateur Photographer speaks to guitarist Brian May about his passion for photography and the launch of his new book, Queen in 3D
We’re celebrating the launch of Queen in 3D, a new book of 3D photography of the band taken by guitarist Brian May – here’s a bit of background about the legendary axeman’s passion for all things stereoscopic…
Get the July 1 issue to read the full interview, on sale 27th June. Click here to buy the back issue if you miss it in the shops.
Photography is in Brian’s family
“My interest in photography came from my dad who was a very good photographer, and processed all his stuff,” Brian explains. “He taught me how to develop and print black and white film in a little darkroom in a spare bedroom.”
Brian got into 3D photography after being intrigued by an offer in a Weetabix packet for a 3D viewer. “When the viewer came and I put in the picture card of a hippo, it was a magic moment – instead of two little flat pictures of the animal, I’m looking out on a scene which looks ‘real.’ It changed my life.”
The life of Brian
Brian soon started creating his own stereo pictures using a VP Twin pocket camera. “It wasn’t a stereoscopic camera, so I’d take one picture for the left eye and than move to the right for the right eye. I’d then print out the pictures and stick them on cards, getting my parents involved.”
While many of his rock star peers were throwing TVs out of windows and generally acting the goat, Brian used his downtime from gigs to seek out rare 3D cameras. “I sought out collectors and dealers, and became part of that community, which I still feel part of now.”
Hail the Taxiphote
One of Brian’s greatest finds during his early years on the road was a Taxiphote auto-changing viewer for 3D glass slides, dating from around 1909 and picked up for a song at a photo market.
Not just Brian
Brian took numerous stereo photos of the band relaxing and working during the Freddie Mercury years, and these form the backbone of Queen in 3D, along with pictures of live performances taken by gig photographers using his cameras.
Labour of love
Together with Denis Pellerin, his collaborator and archivist, Brian did all the work of transferring the images from 35mm and other media into the digital domain, then cleaning them up and aligning them for a 3D viewer.
Despite his impressive stereoscopic camera collection, Brian uses his iPhone for everyday images, along with an app called3D Camera. You simply go click click with the iPhone or Android phone, combine the images with the app and enjoy them with the Owl Viewer (www.londonstereo.com)
Queen in 3D by Brian May is published by the London Stereoscopic Company and is available now from all good booksellers for £50. To learn more about the book and stereoscopic photography generally, see www.londonstereo.com