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November 2006 Issue

Vol. 4,
No. 11

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Is Marilyn Monroe's First Nude a Stereo Pair?

Is this the first nude photo of Marilyn Monroe?  Photo courtesy of Sloans and Kenyon.
Could this 3-D slide be the first nude photo of Marilyn Monroe as well as one of her first photographs as a professional model?
Photo courtesy of Sloans and Kenyon.

Norman Jean Baker appeared nude on a very famous 1950s calendar as well as being the first Playboy Playmate. She is, of course, better known as the iconic movie star Marilyn Monroe. However, that calendar image photographed by Tom Kelley in 1949 might not be the first time Norma Jean appeared in a mass produced nude image.

A Virginia roofer, who wishes to remain anonymous, discovered a naked picture of Marilyn Monroe, or someone who looks just like her, in a hidden stash of photos, and now the rare image will be auctioned on November 11, along with other Americana.

In 1997, the roofer was working on a Falls Church home when construction workers rehabbing an old house next door discovered a secret cache of photos in the rec room ceiling. Everything was dumped on the curb as trash, but the roofer took home the interesting bits. One of them was a set of 3-D slides mounted in a plastic holder.

The slides, on Anscocolor film, had turned magenta from age, but upon closer inspection, he decided that one of the six nude models on the 35mm filmstrips looked just like Norma Jean Baker, Monroe's early professional name.

After years of exhaustive research, the roofer is convinced that the historic image is not only the very first nude photo published of Monroe, but the image is amazingly taken in the 3-D format. He took the picture to Sloans & Kenyon auction house in Chevy Chase, Maryland, where it will be on the auction block on November 11.

"We believe it might be her first nude," says Sloans and Kenyon Auctioneers and Appraisers President Stephanie Kenyon. "A leg scar matches one from other authenticated pictures of Monroe at the time."

Modelscope ViewerThe photo may have been made by W.O. Schwartz in May 1945, when the 19-year-old model was just beginning her career. The image is totally nude but not full-frontal. Photographer Douglas Kirkland, who photographed the actress in 1961 for Look magazine said, "Entirely possible." Kirkland said Monroe survived by modeling at that time, although he had never seen anything like the filmstrip.

The filmstrip, mounted in a plastic filmstrip holder, contains images of six models. A Hollywood company distributed 3-D slides in a similar plastic holder under the names Modelscope or Treasurescope. This might be one of the Modelscope 3-D slides. The filmstrip, made to insert in a hand-held viewfinder, also includes other models from L.A.'s Blue Book agency, all posing for cheerful girlie shots in a style typical of the period and popular with World War II GIs. The plastic filmstrip holder is a reddish color and has tiny molded pins that allow the viewer to "lock" the slides into position when inserted into the viewer. To view the 3-D slides the user moved the plastic filmstrip holder either left or right until it locked into position. It is not known if the Modelscope plastic filmstrip holder came in color variations.

The Modelscope brand is a likely candidate as to the original format. Several photographs provided by the owner of the slide holder and the images on the slides show the slides in the same type plastic slide holder as the Modelscope and the images contain a similar numbering system as Modelscope slides. Research by the owner also confirmed that other models from the agency are the same as those appearing on the other images of the filmstrip.

The item description for the auction reads as follows:

Sale 25 Lot 1488 RARE 3-D FILMSTRIP DEPICTING NUDE NORMA JEANE BAKER DOUGHERTY (LATER KNOWN AS MARILYN MONROE), Circa May 1945. One of six images on two strips depicting six individual nude models photographed in Hollywood area outdoor landscape settings; on 35mm Anscocolor film, in 3-D format with plastic casing devised for use in Modelscope Viewer produced in Hollywood, CA. Photo attributed to W. O. Schwartz, located in 1945, at 426 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, six blocks from the Ambassador Hotel which housed the Blue Book Modeling agency, employer of Norma Jeane. This image is thought to be Norma Jeane's first nude (significantly pre-dating Tom Kelley's famous image of 1949), and one of her first photographs as a professional model.
Estimate $3,000-5,000

PROVENANCE: Full details of discovery of filmstrip in Falls Church, VA, and subsequent authentication research available. PLEASE NOTE: To preserve the value of this never-before-published image for the successful bidder, only a portion of the entire photograph is illustrated here. However, the full nude image can be viewed at the Sloans & Kenyon gallery prior to auction.

Statements of condition are provided as a service to potential bidders; such statements are educated opinions and should not be regarded as facts. Sloans & Kenyon Auctioneers and Appraisers has no responsibility for any errors or omissions. Absence of statements of condition are not indications that lots are flawless or without normal signs of wear consistent with age.

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NASA to bring the Sun into the Third Dimension

NASA STEREO LaunchTwo spacecrafts have been launched from the same rocket for the first time in a mission to capture the first three-dimensional images of the sun.

NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observation mission, or Stereo, successfully blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida on October 25 after a series of technical hitches delayed previous launch attempts.

The two-year mission will study powerful eruptions from the sun, known as coronal mass ejections, which trigger space storms that can disrupt powers supplies on Earth.

The two spacecraft were launched from a Delta II rocket. About 25 minutes after lift-off they separated from the rocket and are sending signals back to NASA.

The two observation craft have been set on separate orbits to provide the unique images of the solar star.

A statement from NASA likened this to the vision of pair of eyes. "Just as the slight offset between human eyes provides depth perception, this placement will allow Stereo observatories to obtain three-dimensional images of the sun," it said.

Dr. Michael Kaiser, NASA's project scientist for Stereo, said the mission would help predict space weather.

"In terms of space weather forecasting, we're where weather forecasters were in the 1950s. They didn't see hurricanes until the rain clouds were right above them, in our case, we can see storms leaving the sun but we have to make guesses and use models of figure out if and when it will impact earth."

It is hoped that understanding of coronal mass ejections, which can be a billion times more powerful than a megatonne nuclear explosion, will give power companies better protection against space storms.

It should also help satellite and airline operators and improve safety on future manned space missions.

NASA has also released a video about the project.

Watch video of the launch: Windows or Real.

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Rare 3-D Camera used to film Scar

Angela BettisA rare, high-tech 3-D camera was used for filming Scar on a location shoot at High River in Canada.

The crew for the movie Scar employed a one of a kind, high-definition 3-D camera to film scenes for the movie. "It is the only one in the world," said Darryl Solly, location manager. "We're trying to take a huge leap in technology with filmmaking."

He said the creators of the camera, Japanese company NHK, made it available for use for the movie. Solly said Scar is to be released next summer in both regular theatres and in IMAX 3-D. "You can get the 3-D effect on IMAX screens, but also on screens using digital projection," he said.

He said High River had a number of locations that met their needs for the film, including Sobeys, a portion of Macleod Trail between 3 and 4 Avenue as well as a nearby private residence, which was used for a night scene.

The movie's plotline follows Joan Burrows (Angela Bettis) as she returns to her hometown for her niece's graduation, only to be confronted by the serial killer she thought she offed years ago, after he kidnapped and tormented her and her best friend.

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Jolie in 3-D

Angelina Jolie 2-D to 3-D conversion by Van Beydler
Angelina Jolie 2-D to 3-D conversion by Van Beydler

Filmmaker Robert Zemeckis is bringing his live-action/CG adaptation of the classic Beowulf tale to the big screen in three dimensions. A story in The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Zemeckis is creating a version of his epic to be shown in Real D and other larger format 3-D theaters. The enhanced versions of the film will open the same day as the standard release, Nov. 16, 2007.

Angelina Jolie, Ray Winstone, Crispin Glover and Anthony Hopkins are attached to star in the film which will use performance-capture technology, similar to what Zemeckis used on The Polar Express.

The film is based on a screenplay by esteemed scribes Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary, inspired by the ninth century Old English poem. In the poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats tribe, travels to Denmark to help defeat a monster named Grendel. He later returns to Geatland, where he becomes king.

The Hollywood Reporter adds that Beowulf, from Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, is expected to play in more than 1,000 Real D theaters, as well as other 3-D locations, in what will likely be the largest day-and-date large-format 3-D release ever.

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James Cameron to produce 3-D Adventure Movie for Rogue Pictures

James CameronRogue Pictures have announced that James Cameron is to produce a 3-D adventure film. Emmy Award nominee Gary Johnstone will direct the film through Cameron's Earthship Productions company. The script has been written by John Garvin.

The film will be shot with the 3-D Fusion camera system, developed by Cameron and Vince Pace. The HD/3-D lensing will allow the film to be theatrically released in both traditional theaters in 2-D and simultaneously in theaters equipped for digital 3-D exhibition.

Rogue adds that the 'story takes place in the breathtaking world of cave diving, one of the last frontiers of exploration remaining on this planet. The film will explore the human mind as well as the underground depths, as the characters are stripped to their most primitive selves after they are trapped and lost deep below sea level. There, a father and son will struggle to survive and come to terms with each other in the most dangerous and unforgiving environment on Earth.'

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U2 Making 3-D Concert Film

RealD screeningIrish rockers U2 are planning to bring their Vertigo tour to movie screens everywhere in the form of a 3-D concert film planned for release next year.

Directors Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington, according to Variety, will piece the film together from more than 700 hours of footage they shot of the band performing seven South American shows early last year.

In the band's typically sensational fashion, U2 isn't stopping there. They're set to make history by performing live in the first 3-D concert ever beamed to theaters nationwide. The live 3-D event would coincide with the concert film's theatrical debut in summer or fall 2007.

Variety explains that the film's producers, 3ality Digital Entertainment, assembled the most 3-D camera technology ever used for a single project. A representative for the band called it "the first-ever 3-D multi-camera live shoot." 3-D director of photography, Peter Anderson (T2 3-D: Battle Across Time), used nine pairs of Sony Cinealta 950 cameras to film the band in swooping shots and kaleidoscopic imagery that will play to the three-dimensional format. Director of cinematography for the film's 2-D footage is Tom Krueger.

The film is expected to be displayed using Real D technology, the same used by theaters showing the new version of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas.

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Life Time Fitness View-Master® Reel

View-Master Virtual ViewersThe press release is alive, and well, at 100 years old. On Oct. 28, 1906, what is recognized as the first news release was produced by Ivy Lee, who many call the father of public relations, for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Being the first, it escaped the fate of many modern news releases, being totally ignored by the media.

It was issued after a train accident in Atlantic City, N.J., that caused more than 50 deaths, said Greg Jarboe, co-founder and president of SEO-PR, a San Francisco-based PR and search engine marketing firm. "It was so objective and so factual" that The New York Times ran it verbatim as "a statement from the company," he said.

It wasn't long before releases were being cranked out by businesses, nonprofit groups and government agencies, said Dulcie Straughan, a professor of public relations at UNC-Chapel Hill. The appeal: News releases are an efficient way for groups to get the word out to news-hungry outlets.

To mark the centennial, Raleigh public relations firm Capstrat posted a think piece about releases on its Web site (www.capstrat.com). And, yes, the firm issued a release to trumpet the fact.

Likewise, Business Wire, which disseminates about 1,000 releases daily, is sponsoring panel discussions and other events nationwide to commemorate the anniversary.

The downside of news releases: They're so popular that many are overlooked or discarded. That's why some companies resort to gimmicks to get the media's attention. Life Time Fitness, a national chain of fitness centers that is opening a center in Cary, included with its recent news release a View-Master® viewer with a reel of 3-D photos depicting the amenities that the chain offers.

Today's news releases aren't aimed only at the media. Organizations post them on their Web sites, and they pop up in Web searches. Anyone can read them.

Will there still be a news release in 2106? "Oh, yeah," Straughan said. "It may be coming to us in microchips implanted in our heads, but it will be there. It will probably say, 'For Immediate Release,' too."

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3-D Images of The Face on Mars

The European Space Agency has posted several new high resolution anaglyphic 3-D images of "the face on Mars."

See the 3-D images here. Read more about the face on Mars here.

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Fantasy Sci-Fi 3-D TV serial to air in India

A scene from Maayavi, a 3-D teleserial to be aired on Jaya TV. Maayavi, a Tamil television serial shot in 3-dimensions, is all set for telecast on Jaya TV this Dussera season.

The producers of the serial, GV Films Limited, claim this is the first time an entire serial has been shot in 3-D for the small screen anywhere in the world.

At a press conference in Chennai, representatives of GV Films said the first season of the fantasy-science fiction serial running to 26 episodes had been shot using a technology called Anagylf.

The production has been made through collaboration with a Los Angeles-based firm, Dimension 3.

All the scenes in the serial were shot using two cameras fixed at a specific angle and mounted on a special rig. During the post-production work, the shots from both cameras were combined to create a three-dimensional effect.

The serial will require 3-D glasses for viewing.

GV Films Limited CEO V. Ravee said the technology was one of the three mainstream 3-D picture capture technologies, and was well suited for television. "The advantage of using Anaglyf is that the end product can be viewed without 3-D glasses without blurring of the image. In other formats, this is not possible," said Ravee.

The producers and channel executives have made arrangements for the distribution of 3-D glasses needed for viewing the serial. The glasses have been made in collaboration with the Los Angeles firm and will be available soon through cable TV operators and in retail shops at a price of Rs.6.50 each.

The serial has been slated for telecast on Saturdays for the 9 p.m. prime slot. Each episode will run to approximately 22 minutes.

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3-D Images of 911 created from CNN Videos
Images courtesy of David at Ironic Sans.com

World Trade Center stereo pair

Ironic Sans has posted several 3-D images created from videotape taken of the World Trade Center following the 911 attacks. Images are posted in both anaglyphic 3-D and cross-eyed 3-D.

"On Sept. 16, 2001, CNN.com posted a video of aerial views of the World Trade Center site taken by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter flying around lower Manhattan. Using near-consecutive frames from this video to simulate right-eye and left-eye views, I’ve created 3-D images of Ground Zero as seen a few days after the attacks of 9/11," said Ironic Sans.com's David Friedman. "I think it’s pretty powerful."

To see all the 3-D images, visit Ironic Sans.com.

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Shanahan Gallery Presents The Third Dimension

Shanahan Gallery in Astoria, Oregon, is featuring a special exhibit of three-dimensional photography of Astoria and other northwest cities by Dean Walch in The Third Dimension, a show of stereoscopic photography and other three-dimensional works opened to the public on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2006.

Walch creates his stereoscopic images using two digital cameras affixed to one another and the images merged on a computer. Viewing the work requires he traditional red and blue glasses patrons may remember from 3-D movies.

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Displays with Depth

Advanced Imaging Pro logoAdvances in 3-D technology are affecting the world like never before even though the process of simulating 3-D from 2-D sources has always been one of illusion and compromise. What has changed a great deal is that science has progressed since the first 3-D imaging of 1838, and we're all likely to benefit from those advances with better 3-D displays.

Advanced Imaging Pro explores some of the new 3-D displays that are seeing the light of day. Read more about it here.

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3-D Auction Results

Here are a few 3-D auction results from the past month.

No. 2 Stereo Brownie
A No. 2 Stereo Brownie Model A sold for $461 with 22 bids. Kodak introduced this camera in 1905 and it was discontinued in 1910. All mechanical components appear to be present and all operate smoothly. Exterior is in good condition with minor wear present on corners of the imitation leather case. The red leather bellows are in beautiful shape and give this rare find a stunning appearance.

1910 Graflex catalog

A 1910 Graflex camera catalog sold for $411 with seven bids. It has 52 pages. This catalog has the finest equipment of the time. It has the prized Cirkut 16in panoramic picture camera and outfit and the Stereo Auto Graflex, Stereoscopic Graphic and other accessories.

Watkins stereoview

An early Carleton E. Watkins stereoview card that features a view of the railroad depot at Winnemucca, Nevada sold for $338 with nine bids. The card is number 319 in the Watkins Pacific Railroad/Central Pacific Railroad series and features a nice view with three locomotives present. The card is captioned under the right photograph reads 319 Winnemucca Depot. In smaller print at the bottom edge 334 miles from Sacramento. At the left end of the card the print reads: WATKINS PACIFIC RAILROAD, 22 & 26 Montgomery St., opposite Lick House entrance, San Francisco. At the right end the fine print reads: Photographic Views of California, Oregon, and the Pacific Coast generally embracing, Yosemite, Big Trees, Geysers, Mount Shasta, Mining City, etc., etc. Views made to order in any part of the State or Coast. The back of the card is light pink in color without any printing.

Soda Fountain stereoview

A stereoview of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition Soda Water Fountain sold for $407.98 with 11 bids. "The Largest and Most Magnificent Soda Water Apparatus In The World, 33 feet high, 12 feet in diametern it has 28 soda and mineral water tubes, and 76 syrups. Manufactured by James W. Tufts, Patentee of the Arctic Soda Apparatus, Boston, Mass.. and used at the grounds of the Centennial Exhibition 1876." The fountain had hanging ferns, a chandelier and even sprayed prefume in the air.

Civil War stereoview

A Civil War era stereoview sold for $429 with 14 bids. The card is by Sam Cooley, the Civil War Photographer of the Tenth Army Corp. The card shows soldiers standing outside in various state of dress with their rifles and bayonets.


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