Stereo close-up photography in your garden.
Digital Stereos for Cross-Eyed Viewing.
by Donald E. Simanek.This page requires a monitor width of at least 1000 pixels in order to see both images for cross-eyed stereo viewing. Since the photos also have large vertical dimension, it helps to toggle the "full screen" view (F11 in Windows). However, if you haven't mastered that viewing method, these may also be appreciated as 2d flat photos. All are copyright by Donald Simanek. Most were taken with a homebuilt 3d digital camera attachment described in 3d Gallery Four.
The project has resulted in two versions of the bugshooter attachment.
One uses 50mm lenses 9.5 mm apart and set for a short working distance, resulting in a field of view about 2 inches wide. This one has small apertures and uses the popup flash of the camera with ISO 400. The other has 40mm lenses and a longer working distance of about 10 inches. Typically the camera was set at ISO 200 in daylight, and sometimes supplemental flash was used from the camera's pop-up flash. The apertures of the camera attachment are fixed at about f:40, and the shutter speeds in daylight were about 1/100, allowing hand-held shots without flash.
For instructions on free-viewing 3d by the cross eyed method, see the How to View 3D page.
Public gardens are a great place to shoot stereo pictures. This scene was in one of the greenhouses at Kingwood Gardens in Mansfield, Ohio. Stereo Realist and Extachrome film.
Digital cha-cha picture in Hillside Garden Center.
But if you don't happen to have such a garden nearby, your own backyard garden provides many opportunities for close-up stereo with the bugshooter attachment. And don't overlook local garden and landscaping centers for photo subjects. With my hand-held system I don't need a tripod or extra lights, so I can photograph in such places without annoying other customers.
The following picture was taken at a garden center. It violates many composition "rules". Judges of photo competions generally dismiss such pictures as "pattern shots" because they "lack composition", so they don't win prizes. Worse, in 3d I have chosen to avoid perspective clues, so there are only two planes of depth. But, for some reason, I still like it.
[June 2008] Catalpa trees are in bloom. These clusters of blossoms are exceptionally beautiful, and some varieties have a sweet fragrance.
[June, 2008] Blooms are getting larger, and some minor tweaking of the adapter lets me cover a larger angle of view, without distortion. 1/16 inch diameter apertures, cloudy day, ISO 200, no flash.
The bugshooter 3 has evolved. It has a shorter masking tube (4.25 inches) and a reflector for the popup flash, so that the cardboard tube does not cast a shadow onto the subject. The reflector also provides a broader effective source, located higher and forward of the flash lamp. It is made of white cardboard from candy boxes and an aluminum top from a peanut can. The aluminum redirects flash light up to the white cardboard, which scatters into a hemisphere. This gives softer, more natural-looking lighting.
All pictures on this page © 2008 by Donald E. Simanek.
More cross-eyed stereos in 3d Gallery One.
Reverberant flash for shadowless lighting.
Donald E. Simanek