Since collecting fossils as a child near his home in Dover, photographer Jim Naughten has always been fascinated by the natural world. Now a renowned photographer, he has started to experiment with stereography and has turned to his boyhood interest, gaining access to some of the world's most prestigious natural history museums. This gorgeously produced book contains fifty images of marine life, reptiles, mammals, birds and primates photographed expressly for viewing through a stereoscope, which is included with the book. Stereoscopy was invented in 1839 to study binocular vision. Having two eyes allows humans to determine distance and depth, and stereoscopy shows a left- and right-eye view from a slightly different angle, as we see things in day-to- day life. Looking through the stereo viewer, readers will see the specimens as three-dimensional objects. As the images jump off the page, their incredible details become apparent- delicate bat wings, the spiraling skeleton of a python, the almost mythic form of a leafy sea dragon. Texts on the work, the history of stereoscopy and the specimens themselves provide rich background to this photographic project and Naughten's achievement in bringing to life a world that seamlessly melds the past and present.
Number of pages: 136
Weight: 1098 g
Dimensions: 220 x 270 mm
"Jim Naughten is an artist who understands the transformative effects that photography can have on a subject. They are captivating enough even when seen in two dimensions. But once you plunge into the marvel of their stereoscopic depth you are transfixed. Through the act of viewing, an intangible transformation takes place. While the photographs exist in physical form on paper, they also live as an experience, a beautiful illusion held in the mind."
-Martin Barnes, Senior Curator of Photographs, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
"Naughten has combined two of the fancies of the Victorian age to create a unique retro take on zoological science."
-Natural History Magazine
"Some of the specimens can be a bit startling -- a severed white rabbit head, for instance, suggesting a rather catastrophic Easter -- yet Naughten photographed each one straight on, giving all the animals, whether great or small, a quiet dignity, even if they're in a flayed state . . . While we can take as many high-definition images as we like today of preserved specimens, the optic trick of stereoscopy still evokes some of that scientific wonder of centuries past."
"This is a stunning series, that also brings about a celebration of the joy of looking, a three-dimensional world in which relative scale becomes ambiguous, where one is forced to be attentive to a single subject and where the impression of time slips away." --NY Art Beat