Stereo macro photography in your aquarium.
Digital Stereo Macrophotographs 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.
Fishy Photography.Looking for suitable subjects (small, colorful, living and interesting), aquarium fish come to mind. Home aquariums have lots of advantages for this kind of photography. You don't have to don a wet suit and become shark bait to take the pictures. You don't need an underwater housing for your camera and you stay dry. None of the subjects are particularly vicious.
Water has an index of refraction of about 1.5. This causes objects seen through the glass wall of the aquarium to appear closer than they really are, and this also decreases the relative depth in all planes. This can be seen with the eye, and the 3d camera sees it, too. So depth seems compressed in the photos.
If you don't have an aquarium of your own, perhaps a nearby college has one. The next four pictures were taken at the Biology Department of Lycoming College, of fish in an aquarium maintained by Dr. Mel Zimmerman.
The following pictures were taken in a pet shop aquarium.
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