Seriously, the photos that follow are not for the light hearted. But if you are a history buff you will find them fascinating.
So, on my last night in CT my friend Mireille and I were talking and somehow got on to the topic of the world wars (led, I think, by me telling her about some fantastic audio books I've been listening to). She then pulled out a treasure that she had inherited from her French father; a series of glass stereoscopic slides that her great grandfather had from WWI with the little wooden viewer (kind of like a view finder).
I don't think I can even begin to describe the sensation of looking through this view finder. It's like stepping into the past. Your eyes are picking up the same image but taken with 2 lenses which mimic the eyes, so that when you look at both images superimposed over the top of each other it's like you have stepped into the scene. Your eyes travel around the scene which is in AMAZING 3D. You feel like you could walk around behind the people in the photos. Absolutely astounding.
And the images themselves are remarkable. They show WWI in from a first hand journalistic perspective. I told Mireille that she had to contact some museum to get someone to record them professionally, but I had to have a go of focusing my camera through the small round eye hole to see if I could capture the images. I was surprised with how well this worked. It really cut down the perimeter of the photos and sometimes the edge of the eye hole shows, but you can get an idea.
As I said, some of these are really gruesome and show dead bodies, but that is the reality of the war.
Mireille's slides are in amazing condition...these are thin glass slides about the size of a credit card (but longer), and I think that there must be some museum out there that would love to at least record them. Any blurriness in the photos is down to my own less than perfect methods.