I don’t know how long these stereograms have been around, but their complexity and fascination has really taken off with the application of computers to this art form. As a kid, I was fascinated with the device that sat on a small table at my grandmothers, which was used to view double picture photograph cards, which appeared in 3-D when looked at through the viewer. It was probably manufactured sometime around 1900 and maybe even earlier. There were photos of WWI and lots of other things that you saw from that time sold as postcards. Later, after WWII, we saw much the same thing sold in huge numbers and found in virtually very home, namely “View Master”. Then, in the 50’s stereograph technology was employed in motion pictures, where the audience watched a blurry screen which came to 3D reality by wearing “special” red & green cardboard glasses. I remember some wild action films where the whole audience was petrified by spears coming straight at them. Then there were birds and other objects that seemed to come right out of the screen and fly over your head. For the last 20 years we have seen stereographs in books like this and getting better all the time. I have written reviews on several others but this is the largest one so far with 200 state-of the-art stereograms. The big advance in recent years is that we can view them without the aid of special devices or viewers just your own eyes.
I suppose there are a number of categories these images can fall into but mainly they are the type where the object is quite obvious in 2-dimension and then turns into a 3-Dimensional image. Then there is the other thing where the whole picture is just indiscernible colors and/or patterns, but no obvious image. Then, while staring at the picture an object comes into view almost as a ghost. Some stereographs do both of these things at the same time. As I went through Eye Tricks: Incredible 3D Stereograms, I attempted to pick a favorite but in the end I wasn’t really able to. The one on pg. 24, a simple 2-D transformation is simply in clarity in both dimensions as the Chicago skyline on pg.167. As for hidden or ghost images I really liked the Shamrocks on pg. 11 and 79. Then for one which gives no hint whatsoever of any hidden object, I like the Star of David on pg.81 and the Point Burst in pg.26, which is utterly and completely hidden. Then the pyramids on page 103 are a little difficult to get but when you do and well worth the effort. Then there was the Glad Plaid on pg.25 which I couldn’t “get” at all. Then I turned it 180 Degrees, still no luck. Then I turned it 90 Degrees–Bingo! Then I found that many could be seen turning the pages 180 Degrees. Another thing to do is once you see the 3-D image and while keeping it in focus, slowly rotate the page and see it disappear. Overall, the book is loaded with some great images but I can’t but suspect we are still in for some exciting treats in this “electronic” art form in the future. You can purchase this book at Amazon.