Cardiff's David Wynn with Sir Brian May at Proud Galleries

Mine’s a double: How a conversation with friends in the pub led a Queen fan to end up in Brian May’s new book

A Cardiff photographer’s 3-D picture was hand-picked for the rock legend’s publication

OUT of hundreds of entries, a 3-D photo taken by David Wynn from Tremorfa was selected for a book by Sir Brian May – as well as a subsequent London art exhibition.

Queen guitarist Sir Brian has been a lifelong enthusiast for stereoscopic photography, which is a form of 3-D photography. That led him to revive the London Stereoscopic Company (LSC) in 2005.  Through this company, he has published many 3-D books, most recently Stereoscopy Is Good For You: Life in 3-D in November 2022.

Proud Galleries, a leading London photography gallery, has subsequently installed an exhibition showcasing a selection of the images until March 25, creating a “wondrous immersive experience.”

Sir Brian May at the book launch

Stereoscopy Is Good For You contains the work of over 100 21st Century stereoscopic photographers from the UK, Thailand, Mexico, Indonesia and many more places around the world.  The collection of photographs in the book and exhibition can be viewed in 2-D or with the supplied viewer – the OWL-lite.

In a statement, the LSC said: “Brian May asked a new generation of stereo photographers around the world to show us what kept their spirits up during and following the lockdown period.  The result is the first ever book of captivating global 3-D photographs, with the special context of the whole world dealing with the Covid pandemic.”

Mr Wynn, a Queen enthusiast whose hobby is taking stereoscopic photos, was one of the lucky few who were selected to appear in the book.

“I sent in dozens,” he said. “However, it was two of my 3-D photos of our dog Punky on the Welsh Coastal Path that caught Sir Brian’s eye. Sir Brian eventually settled on a photo of myself and our dog Punky running across a wooden bridge on the coastal path.”

The 3-D photo that was hand-picked by Sir Brian May (Credit: David Wynn)

Throughout his life, Mr Wynn has always been a 3-D enthusiast, from 3-D comics and games to 3-D films. While attending art college, he was also fascinated with clay modelling and animations.

“Creating things in three dimensions, which I could then animate for plasticity and animation, was one of my distinctions in art college,” added Mr Wynn.

“I’ve always been into 3-D, I think it’s a sense of capturing things in a more realistic manner that I enjoy, like the 3-D glasses that came with the Eagle comic; it added a bit more dynamism to the comics that I was reading; the characters seem more rounded.

“When I went to the cinema to see Jaws 3 in 3D when I was a child, it blew me away. There were some moments in the film that were absolutely horrific, but for the 3-D, it’s excellent. There’s this layer of realism that’s also added with gaming.

“You’re literally in the world wherever you turn your head, you’re seeing things in three dimensions – they’ve created a completely different landscape to explore, and that’s absolutely fascinating!”

David Wynn enjoys taking 3-D photographs of Cardiff and its people in his spare time (Credit: David Wynn)

Mr Wynn, who works as a trainer for an insurance company, only began his hobby of 3-D photography in October 2021 after his friend and fellow Queen enthusiast, Wayne Mathias, showed him Sir Brian’s book Queen in 3-D an autobiographical work featuring Sir Brian’s own photos throughout his career.

“Wayne pointed me in this direction,” said Mr Wynn. “The conversation with him in the pub was what led me down this route. He told me about the 3-D Queen book and I was absolutely stunned!

“If Wayne hadn’t showed me that book, I wouldn’t have met the rock legend Brian May, let alone ending up in his book. I also wouldn’t be doing these presentations and showing my photography to people around the world.”

David Wynn and Sir Brian May at the Proud Galleries exhibition, showcasing his 3-D photograph (Credit: David Wynn)

In his spare time, Mr Wynn enjoys cycling around Cardiff taking photos of the landmarks, streets and the people of the city. He then uploads these photos to his Twitter account @StereoSimian for everyone to view.

“Armed with a reconditioned Fuji Finepix 3D W3 that I picked up from eBay, I set about learning the art of stereoscopic photos. I have taken pictures of everything – Welsh landscapes, locations, and places, Welsh people going about their business, rugby fans, cyclists, and more.

“This camera allows me to capture instantaneous action shots. The kind of pictures are taken around Cardiff, or ideally of people, because people seem to provide this element to a 3D filter. The people act as the focal point which then allows viewers to explore the other depth within the photos.”

A Scout Trooper in 3-D outside the Principality Stadium (Credit: David Wynn)

However, 3-D photos aren’t confined to special cameras; three dimensional photos can be taken on a smartphone camera too.

“You can use the cha-cha method: you lean left (cha!) you take a picture and then you lean right (cha!) you take a picture. As long as the thing that you’ve taken a picture of is absolutely still. You take one picture and then you move your camera slightly to the right and then you take another picture. You can then use an app called i3DSteroid to combine the two pictures to make the 3-D images.”

All the photos in this article can be viewed either with an OWL-lite viewer, or through the freeview method:

  • turn screen horizontal
  • fill screen with photo
  • put face up close
  • look in between the two photos
  • relax focus
  • pull mobile back slowly
  • when you see 3 identical image the middle picture will be in 3D!

On November 2 last year, contributors to Stereoscopy is Good For You were invited to Proud Galleries so see their photographs exhibited and meet Sir Brian.

At the event, he told contributors: “I am so, so proud of all of you – all of you contributors to the book – it’s incredible – it’s much better that I even imagined and the book started off quiet small and it grew and grew and suddenly I realised it was very important because this is a statement of what stereoscopy is in the 21st century.

“Here you will see an amazing breadth of invention. Some people took their smartphones into their garden if they were lucky enough to have one, capturing flowers, plants and garden creatures. Some snapped the newly appreciated beauty of their immediately surrounding landscapes on permitted walks. Some, stuck indoors, ingeniously managed to create whole model scenes from toys and models. And some even turned their cameras to the sky. And, as the COVID restrictions eventually began to relax, the new stereographers ventured back out and reclaimed the world!”

Sir Brian May speaking to the contributors to his new book (Credit BrianNews)

Mr Wynn added: “The standard of photos in this collection is spectacular, and I am very proud that my photo of our corner of Wales was chosen by Brian May to be in it.”

Mr Wynn has recently spoken at the Virtual Stereoscopic Community, a worldwide stereoscopic society and will be featured in the International Stereoscopy Union journal next month.

To see more of David Wynn’s photography click here.

Stereoscopy Is Good For You, is available from The LSC Shop. The exhibition runs until 25 March 2023 at Proud Galleries, Charring Cross, London.