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"PEASANTS GOING TO FIELD WORK" -- From Stereo Proof to Hand-Colored 3-D Print | by Okinawa Soba (Rob)
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"PEASANTS GOING TO FIELD WORK" -- From Stereo Proof to Hand-Colored 3-D Print

Photographed by T. Enami ca.1898-1905. View number S-475 from Enami's 3-D Catalog.


Enami variously titled this work as farmers "going to" and "coming from" the fields.


The 1908 3-D Catalog title is "A Farmer and his Family Returning from the Fields"









This is an excellent example of Enami's close cropping of well-arranged groups. His style as seen here is reminiscent of the Japan and other Asian 3-D work done for the KILBURN VIEW COMPANY by a circa 1899-1901 photographer who is still unknown to photo historians.



TOP VIEW : Original contact sheet proof print from a 5 x 7 inch glass stereoview negative, trimmed to roughly 3 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches. "Peasants going to field work" written on the back in stilted Japanese cursive, possibly by the hand of photographer T. ENAMI himself. The raw image is "untransposed" and can be free-viewed using the "cross-eyed method". Enami shot a few "variant" plates of this scene, while the people generally held the pose.


BOTTOM VIEW : Finished and mounted stereoview, done in Enami's studio ca.1902-10. This was made from a slightly different variant negative than the proof sheet shown above it. The most obvious difference is the woman in the cart who has turned her head. The meticulously hand-tinted images have been switched, or "transposed" for "parallel viewing" with the eyes (if you can free-view that way), or in a stereoscope. When viewed in a stereoscope with optics that correctly matched the focal length of the camera lenses that took the picture, the photograph appeared not only in 3-D, but was "orthoscopic" as well --- that is, everything appeared to be the the correct size.


Although this image was taken during the last years of the Meiji era, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE used this (and other timeless T. ENAMI views) almost 20 years later to illustrate a story about Japan in their September 1922 issue. While Enami says these folks are headed to the fields, the National Geographic caption says they are coming home ! Further, they title the photograph like this : THE MOTHER AND ONE OF THE BABIES GET A STRAW RIDE.


On the same page was a another nice half-stereoview taken from the original seen here :


All told, many T. Enami images were used by the photo editors of National Geographic in at least four issues of their yellow-bordered journal that even today features the work of the world's finest photographers. His greatest honor from National Geographic came in 1988, almost 130 years after he was born :


For more about Enami and his contributions to the photographic art and document of old Japan, see :




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Taken on March 15, 2014