Each member of Queen was on another career path when they formed their band at the beginning of the 1970s: Freddie Mercury had been in art school, guitar player Roger Deakins studied electrical engineering, drummer Roger Taylor was in dental school, and guitarist Brian May studied astrophysics. Years later May would go on to earn his doctorate in the field, and the rock star comes full circle this week blending a childhood hobby with his band and his passion for space science with the release of two new books: Mission Moon 3-D: A New Perspective on the Space Race and Queen in 3-D: Second Edition. Many fans of Queen may not be aware that May had a unique passion for taking three-dimensional photographs. He took 3-D photos as a young boy and transitioned to a 3-D camera as they became popular in the 1950s, and when Queen started to tour he continued. The result is 300 previously unpublished 3-D photographs, capturing the history of Queen from the early 1970s to present day. May has updated the book with more 3-D images, including images he took on the set of the new biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, and the premiere release of this updated edition is timed with the release of the film this week in the UK and next week in the U.S.
The first history of any rock group created in 3-D and written by a band member, Queen in 3-D was a labor of love for May. The photographs include shots taken on stage, behind the scenes, on the road, and during leisure time. May shares recollections of his bandmates for the first time. The book is particularly unique in its coverage of Freddie Mercury, who was normally shy and private, but comfortable and even playful when May brought out his camera. The book is the result of a project he worked on during nights while touring with the band, and continuing on with a company he founded, The London Stereoscopic Company Ltd (check it out at www.londonstereo.com), which sells books, viewers, and more, sharing a passion for 3-D imagery across every subject.
Dr. May put his astrophysics knowledge and interest in the space race to good use as we approach next summer’s 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, releasing this week his next 3-D book project, Mission Moon 3-D: A New Perspective on the Space Race. Written by May and David J. Eicher (editor of Astronomy Magazine), the authors narrate the story of Apollo and space travel leading to Apollo 11’s lunar landing in July 1969. The Apollo astronauts were trained to take 3-D images, but primarily Dr. May researched NASA archives to sort thousands of images to present the same image in stereoscope form which, when viewed with his patented Lite Owl viewer (a viewer accompanies each book), provide full, detailed 3-D images. The same science behind the human eye and camera fundamentals applied to the 19th century with the popularity of the stereoscope camera and viewer as with May’s use of 3-D images included in his books.
For the first time the story of the space race has been captured in stereo 3-D. Mission Moon 3-D presents the largest-ever collection of stereo photos of the Apollo program, including more than 150 unique stereoscopic views. A foreword and afterword to Mission Moon 3-D was provided by astronauts Charlie Duke and Jim Lovell.
Check out these preview images from the books, and this interview May was part of last week for a UK radio station, discussing his interest in 3-D photography and his two new books:
In the States you can pre-order Queen in 3-D: Second Edition here at Amazon, and Mission Moon 3-D: A New Perspective on the Space Race is available now here. In the UK you can order the books from the London Stereoscopic company website here, available now.