John & Anne Wiley



I got fascinated by a photo Neal Graffy posted on Edhat recently, when I realized it’s one of those old 3-D photos that people looked at with a special viewer that looks like offspring of binoculars and slide projector. I found a way to see the 3-D effect without that device, and posted it on my Photo Page. Here’s a smaller version.

Antique 3D Picnic

Antique 3D Picnic

On my Photo Page I described a method to see the 3-D effect. What I like about this is the extra dimensions. Not just the 3-D effect that adds so much to the sense of being there. Nor the extra detail gained when I could tell several people are reaching, and the top-left is the distant SB ridge line, and those are baskets hanging from the branch at the right. Most of all I liked the sense of looking back into the dimension of time.

No surprise then that it got me thinking more about 3-D photos and how to view them. Today I found an easier way to view them than what I’d outlined before. I made a pair of “binoculars” out of my hands rolled up next to each other so that each tube points at the half of the photo on that side. Much easier than just staring at the pic cross-eyed! Then I found an even easier way, and decided to try making my own 3-D photo in color with better resolution:

2254 3-D Memory

2254 3-D Memory

Here’s my easier (and less ridiculous looking) way to see it:

1. Close your left eye and hold one finger a few inches from the screen so that it blocks the left half of the smaller image on top. Moving your finger closer and further from the screen, you can adjust it until the right image is all visible but most or all of the left one is blocked.
2. Switch eyes (close right and open left) and repeat, until switching eyes without moving your finger makes first one and then the other side visible while the opposite side is blocked.
3. Open both eyes as you hold your finger steady, focus on a single point (the chimney works well) and allow your eyes to cross slightly so that you see two images come together (two chimneys move toward each other and become a single chimney). Then look around the photo, and you may notice 3D effects like the tree in front of the car at the bottom, and depth of the swimming pool.

Once you’ve managed to merge the images, do the same thing with the larger version at the bottom of the photo, using your thumb. If you like it, click to see the largest version and try it with two fingers.

This home is the first one Anne’s family lived in when they moved to California, though of course it looked much different back then. So again, this photo takes us back into the dimension of Time. Maybe I’ll try this with some aerial landscapes and other scenes, now that I’ve figured out how to do it. This could add another dimension to my photos. 🙂


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