top of page

Stereo Photographs

Call to Adventure, Brotherwise Games

Call to Adventure

Stereo photographs can be viewed using a 3D viewer like the Owl, or if you are able, you can look 'beyond' the image on your phone and kind of relax your eyes until the two images become one. I'm a big fan of stereo photography, so will share with you some 3D pictures of board games, so that you can enjoy a new perspective on the games in my collection.


The OWL Stereoscopic Viewer, LSC.


The Ever Tree from Everdell, Starling Games.

If you don't have a viewer, you can try to view the images as they are, on a small device like a mobile phone. This is called 'free viewing'. Look ahead, relax and unfocus your eyes. The photographs will look like 3 images as your eyes relax and you 'look through' the photograph. Concentrate on the central image and it should come into 3D. It's kinda like trying to look at those Magic Eye pictures...

Scythe, Stonemaier Games


This next image shows how stereo photographs work well when you have lots of depth of field in your picture. Look at those buildings in Mombasa from Pegasus Spiel.


Taking stereo photos of highly reflective surfaces can be tricky as it creates strange effects if the two images are wildly different, but it is amazing how our brains manage to make sense of what it is seeing, as here in this stereo image of Hoplomachus and its shiny chips and dice..


Hoplomachus, Chip Theory Games

Interesting components make great subjects for stereo photographs. How about the dice tower from Wingspan, and those looking good enough to eat wooden eggs...?!

Wingspan, Stonemaier Games


Stereo photography was popularised in the Victorian period when millions of stereoscopic cards were printed, many of which featured landscapes and historic occasions, as well as staged scenes depicting life at the time and comedy sketches.

Ticket to Ride, Days of Wonder.

Ticket to Ride

And of course I couldn't pass without giving you a picture of the game I designed, Renegade:

Renegade, Victory Point Games


These stereo photographs were created by taking one photograph, then moving the camera horizontally a couple of inches to the right and taking a second photograph from the same perspective; imagine taking one picture with only your left eye and then a second, without moving your head, with only your right eye.


When capturing the two images, the further the subject is away from the camera, the further the distance from each other two the images should be taken (left and right) to give you the necessary perspective.


In first of the three stereo images of Kamisado below, where the game was further away, the left-hand picture was taken from about 2 inches to the left of the image on the right. In the second stereo image, because the subject is much closer to the lens, the camera was moved only about 1 inch to the right relative to the picture on the left. If you move the camera too much or adjust the angle, as in the third image, you get a slightly distorted sense of perspective; this is because it is beyond the limit of the parallax range for comfortable viewing.


Kamisado, Burley Games

Board games are like landscapes, and miniatures are like figures in those landscapes. Stereoscopic landscapes come alive when they feature figures and so do the stereo photos of boardgames. Indeed, the miniatures themselves also make good subjects for a still life... 


Kemet, Matagot

Stereo photos are a great way to show off all sorts components, like here in the Mage Knight spin-off Star Trek Frontiers from WizKids, which has great cards, tokens, dice, miniatures and a super modular board for exploring space:


Star Trek: Frontiers, WizKids

As the hobby continues to become more luxurious, one of the biggest attractors and developing trend has been for more exquisitely rendered miniatures, like here in Cthulhu: Death May Die from Cool Mini Or Not:

bottom of page