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How Do I Become a Stereographer?

Terrie Brockmann
Terrie Brockmann

Still photography and motion-picture photography are the two types of stereography, and, fundamentally, a person uses the same techniques to become a stereographer in either field. Essentially, a person needs to have a strong background in the style of photography that he or she wants to pursue as a stereographer. Although a few successful stereographers are self-taught, most have formal training in their field, including college courses, art school classes, and workshops. Stereography is a complicated process, and generally people do not learn it through simple workshops, but rather through years of experience. Apprenticeships and internships are hard to acquire because the employers sign on only the best applicants, but these are some of the best ways to learn to become a stereographer.

Stereography is the art of using two almost identical photographs to create a three-dimensional (3D) image. The viewer uses special glasses or a stereoscope to see the 3D image. Originally, stereography became popular in the mid-1800s, and with modern technology, it has expanded into motion picture and television mediums. Often people experiment with stereography using clay animation movies. Creating your own 3D films is a good way to show prospective employers your skill level.

Woman posing
Woman posing

To become a stereographer, you should get a college degree majoring in still or motion photography or be able to show prospective employers that you have several years of experience in the field. Reading a variety of job descriptions and employer requirements can help you tailor your schooling or self-guided learning. Often, stereographers are more marketable if they have good computer skills.

Modern stereography uses specialized computer software and camera hardware. Most employers expect their employees, interns, or apprentices to be proficient with the necessary software. Other skills usually help a stereographer's career. An example of one of these skills is a thorough knowledge of cameras to the extent that a stereographer can create custom cameras to meet the director's needs. To become a stereographer, you need to realize that knowledge and skill alone do not necessarily ensure a successful career.

Typically, a good stereographer has the ability to think in 3D. This is a different perspective than normal 2D photography. Frequently, workshops or classes can introduce the prospective stereographer to the challenges of thinking in 3D. By practicing creating stereography works, watching professionals work, and experimenting with new techniques, usually a person can become proficient in this skill.

Employers judge applicants by viewing their work. To become a stereographer, it is essential to create a portfolio of your work, of both your professional and private pieces. If the equipment is too expensive, enroll in classes or workshops where you can use the school's equipment. Many stereographers find their skills are more marketable if they can write software programs and create cameras. Therefore, it is advisable to highlight these talents in your portfolio of your visual effects artistry.

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