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My work integrates historic methods of stereo and panoramic photography with digital techniques in the processing and display of still images. It is a synthesis of the revolutionary foundations of still photography with the continuing evolution to both how the medium is produced and what current audiences accept. While my hyper-realistic photography in colour and three dimensions attempts to transport the audience into the reality the photographer experienced, the resulting image is still, non-moving and fixed. Trees do not subtly wave; people do not move but are fixed in a historic time the photograph was taken. This stopping of time allows the audience to examine closely and in detail the scene and relationships without time changing the experience. While all still photography displays this timelessness, hyper-realistic photography being the closest link to reality accents this stillness. It is ironic that a revolutionary medium such as photography can showcase this stillness.

"Realities Retouched" summarizes the essential issue that I address in my hyper-realistic photography as a still or motionless reflection of reality. The ability to visually experience slowly and deliberately the work and metaphorically touch and retouch the elements, detail, textures and lighting. Retouching realities in my work does not mean actually altering the image but rather means that the viewers is given the ability to examine closely and in great detail images either in three dimensions or in large format panoramic prints.

The panoramic photographs Blue Mountain Fog, Jao Sunrise, Kyuquot Fog and Stewart Mudflats examine the very subtle tonal ranges that existed in reality and then captured and interpreted into a high level of visual detail and long range of contrast that denotes stillness. Collingwood Elevators, Collingwood Excavator and Port Hardy Fishboats are example of sharp, extremely high in detail and colour saturation hyper-realistic scenes that also evoke stasis.


John Long is a Toronto based artist. He attained his BA in Photography from Ryerson University in 1981. His photographic practice includes the use of different equipment and technique, enabling him to exercise almost any aspect of photographic media. His artistic process combines both historic and current technologies.

John Long’s panoramic work exemplifies a great diversity. While social images, or portraits of people, animals and exotic cars display a social dialogue, they are also similar to the industrial or cultural documentary style shots that record both human presence and interaction. On the other hand, the landscapes are contemplative, serene, vast and tumultuous. Each piece is a comment about a location. Free of human presence, his African landscapes reveal exotic mystery, while landscapes of Canada speak to our Canadian identity.

Several years after graduation, John Long began to explore a technique known as the stereo format. He uses a 1929 Rolleidoscop medium format stereo camera, shooting on fine-grain, low speed film from which he makes high-resolution scans. He then assembles the images digitally, creating a three-dimensional effect, and prints on Enhanced Matte paper using Ultrachrome inks.

His stereo work is presented in a variety of formats: as stereo slides viewable in a late 19th century Taxiphote viewer, triptych prints viewable with a Hyperviewer large format viewer, as large diptych prints using a cross-eye viewing technique, and most recently as backlight stereo photographs that are viewed in the third dimension without the use of any optical equipment.


Stereo photography falls into a visual space somewhere between the conventions of traditional monographic photography and the three-dimensional world we live in. The stereo photograph creates an interactive experience with the viewer and has the potential to disrupt and reconfigure the ordinary relationship between viewer and image, challenging the viewer to perceive the image in new, complex, and sometimes startling ways.

What is Stereo Photography? When we listen to music, we listen with two ears about eight inches apart and hear the music from two slightly different directions. Thus, our brains process this information into "stereophonic" music. Stereo recordings attempt to recreate this experience by using two microphones: one for the right ear and one for the left, which results in music that has both depth and dimension.

Similarly, our two eyes see the world from two slightly different perspectives, enabling our brains to combine them into a single image. Stereographic photography mimics this visual ability by using two camera lenses that are eye width apart, and composing two photographs designated for the left and right eyes. This trick/tool/mechanism thus produces an image that has startling depth.

more on stereo photography



1975-81      Photographic Arts Department Ryerson University, Toronto


2008  One Year Younger [CONTACT] Leonardo Gallery, Toronto
2007  Shifting Season Leonardo Gallery, Toronto
2007  Sculptural Images [CONTACT] Leonardo Gallery
2006  Landscapes Revealed [CONTACT] Leonardo Gallery
2006  Gallery Artists Show Leonardo Gallery
2005  X,Y&Z: An Exploration of Stereo Photography Leonardo Gallery
2005  The Third Dimention: Stereo Images Leonardo Gallery
1980  Lincoln Coffee Bar: Black and White Photographic Essay Ryerson