Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dinner in 3D

Those of you who used to read my old pic o' the day site know that I kind of got hooked on taking 3D stereoscopic pictures. At the time, I was using one camera and I would lean to my right, snap a picture, then lean to my left, snap another picture, and then I would combine them on the computer into a pair of images for cross-eyed viewing. Well, I've now gone one step better in that I bought a second identical camera and mounted them on a single bracket so that I can take both pictures at almost the same time (to within the accuracy of my fingers depressing both shutter buttons at the same time). This means I'll be able to take slow action shots in 3D! I can't wait to experiment more with the possibilities. The mounting bracket puts the cameras further apart then the human eyes are, which means that things are in super-stereo: the depth "feeling" is stronger than you would have in real life. But this is ideal for use with telephoto lenses, so that even with the higher magnification, you still get that 3D feeling. Try it on the image above. Sit back from the computer screen, cross your eyes and you will see two copies of each image. Relax your eyes until they overlap into a line of 3 images, and try to get your eyes to bring the central (overlapped) one into focus. It will appear in 3D. If at first you don't succeed, try, try, drink, and try again. I'm bringing the rig with me on my upcoming trip to Tanzania, so hopefully I'll get some awesome shots of lions and zebras and oryx, oh my!