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3-Dimensional Photography

In the past, I've experimented a little with various techniques for creating stereo, or 3-dimensional, images.  Sometimes I've drawn - by hand or by mouse - images in the typical red and blue colors, thus requiring the old-fashioned 3-D glasses to achieve the right depth effect.  My results have varied greatly in quality.

This time, I went out and took some photos using the left eye, right eye technique.  That means I took a picture of a subject, moved slightly to my right, and took a second picture. (Some of the pairs have yielded great results, in my opinion.)  Okay, so now we have two similar photographs side by side.  So how do we make a 3-D image emerge from them?  Good question.

Well, if you've heard of and tried viewing stereograms, you may already know exactly what to do.  But in case you haven't done that, I'll do my best to help you put some depth into these otherwise ordinary-looking pictures.

How To Do It

I can't tell you what the best technique is for you, but I can tell you what has worked for me.  Bear in mind that once you've successfully viewed one, the rest should come fairly easily.  I think it's like riding a bicycle; it comes very naturally for me now.

The trick is to allow your eyes to relax and focus beyond the screen.  You can first try by moving your face very close to the image and then slowly backing away until your eyes are at least 18 inches from the screen.
(Have you ever sat in front of your computer and gone blurry-eyed while staring at the screen?  If it's gonna happen anyway, you might as well have a cool 3-D image jump out at you!  Right?)

It's important that you not tilt your head while trying to focus your eyes.  Don't forget also that the wider the double image is, the farther from the screen your face should be before your eyes and brain can merge the two images into one.  Try it now on the image below...

Pretty Flowers

So, did the picture come to life with a neat sense of depth?  When you succeed, you'll know it.
(Note: You should actually see a triple image when the two photos merge.  The middle one's 3-D.)
If you think you need a smaller image for your initial attempt, you'll find it on each Stereo Pix page,
along with two larger versions.  If all else fails, a small pair of binoculars turned backward should work, although the sense of depth may be diminished.

Well, if you think you're ready...

Fix Your Eyes On Some Cool Stereo Pix

© 2001 Joe Jankovic