New York Daily Photo Analytics

Friday, February 04, 2011

View Master


I grew up with very few photographic images of any sort. We had no coffee table or travel books and few magazines. And of course we had no PCs or Internet, so moving images were limited to TV and movies. Our television reception was limited to 3 networks, one of which did not come in well at all. Programming was rather mundane from an imaging perspective - there was no Travel or Discovery Channel. There was no videotapes or DVDs. On rare occasion we went to a movie theater or drive-in (see With Six You Get Eggroll here).

There were a few family vacations to scenic destinations and the occasional family Sunday afternoon drive in the country. There was certainly nothing locally.

Primarily, we had imagination, the world children live in and it was a ripe fertile ground for me when growing up. And I had a View-Master.

The only memory I have of any inspiring photos were those from a set of paper disks for my View-Master, with its remarkable stereo 3D images. I never tired of this small device and its ability to awe me with those three dimensional photos. Our collection of disks was small and I remember viewing them repeatedly, particularly the disk of Switzerland and its alpine wonders.

The occasional movie, like Heidi with Shirley Temple, did much to cement my impressions of Switzerland as the dream alpine destination, only to be fulfilled much later in life on a whirlwind tour of Europe. In the 1980s, I made a number of trips to the West Indies, where I always looked for tropical mountains, explaining my obsession with the island of Dominica - see Miracles In Our Midst here. It was always mountains and vistas - best of course were mountain vistas.

On my recent excursion via the Manhattan Bridge to photograph the enigmatic 110 York Street, I decided to proceed across to the Brooklyn side, looping around and returning to Manhattan via the footpath on the south side of the bridge, affording spectacular views of the East River, Brooklyn Bridge, South Street Seaport, the Municipal and Woolworth buildings and the financial district (see more photos here) with American International Building and its mountain motif - see Magic Mountain here. If you enjoy panoramas, I do recommend a walk or bike ride across the Manhattan Bridge by day or night. You won't need your View-Master :)

10 comments:

jb said...

"..particularly the disk of Switzerland and its alpine wonders."

I had that one in New Zealand, too. Zermatt mit Matterhorn.

Plus QE2's Coronation.
Its fate always reminded of the antique shop in Cambridge UK named "My Gran had one of those....but we gave it away'

Matthew O said...

Great to have discovered your blog, Brian.

Nice to hear of the View Master, too. I loved playing with my View Master as a child back in the late 1970's. My favourite disk of images was of Mary Poppins.

Fast forward thirty years: In January this year, I spent a whole month in the USA, visiting your country for the first time. I saw that Mary Poppins the Musical was playing on Broadway in NYC! Went along to see it. I wasn't disappointed :) Pure magic :) Like watching a View Master come to life:)

kakon said...

Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was also looking for it, And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him. So I should thank you for the free lunch I got.Kesha Tickets

Monika said...

Ha! The View-Master! I remember that. You all must be old ^-'. I didn't even own one but - growing up in Switzerland - I had more than enough mountains around me.

Aehm, what I meant to say....: This is a most gorgeous night shot!

Lina said...

Gorgeous is the word. Good job! Magnifique...

Shawn H said...

What a great shot of the bridge at night. Thanks for sharing. On the topic of view masters, theirs a company view master custom reels that makes a living off creating all kinds of photo wheels including menus.

William K Wallace said...

I had totally forgotten about the view-master. The world sure has moved on since those days. I doubt if it would keep a kid amused for more than about 30 seconds nowadays.

And a superb picture by the way...

Denver Photography said...

I love the lights!

Sarah said...

oh, i remember walking over that bridge by night with my boyfriend just a few months ago.. thanks for bringing back those memories.. *sigh*

Tietie007 said...

Brooklyn Bridge ?