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Stereoscopic Photography; seeing images in 3D.

Stereoscopic Photography; seeing images in 3D.
Stereoscopic photography is poised to take off and revolutionise the way people take photographs. Although the subject is not new (stereo views were shown to the public in the 1851 Exhibition), stereoscopic photography has been largely ignored by most photographers and photographic courses. However, with the digital revolution there is reviewed interest in the subject. Digital 3D imaging is becoming ever more popular, particularly with IMAX cinemas, the launch of many films in 3D, eg Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, 3D TV in Pubs, and the new 3D TV channel from Sky. 3D imaging is really taking off, so why not join the bandwagon.

Recent Digital Developments. In 2009, Fuji brought out the world’s first digital stereoscopic camera, the W1, complete with stereoscopic viewing screen and separate autostereoscpoic viewer, so that 3D images can be seen without the need for glasses. With this system, alignment of the two images is completely automatic and images may be viewed in 3D on the back of the camera as you take the picture. The camera even does 3D videos. Sony followed with their digital stereo camera in 2010. 3D images may also be taken with custom made twin lens cameras, but increasingly twin standard Canon digital cameras (connected via their USB ports) are used, whose shutters are synchronised accurately with free software downloaded from the internet (StereoDataMaker). Computer alignment of the twin digital images may be carried out simply using StereoPhotoMaker, another free software download. Stereo videos can be produced with the aid of StereoVideoMaker, also free. Good 3D still images may be obtained using a single lens camera, and taking two shots from about 65mm apart. Whichever method of obtaining the images is used, simple viewers can be used to see 3D images from prints, or computer screens. Computers now are available with 3D screens eg Acer Aspire 5738DZG laptop, and also a 3D screen suitable for use with any computer, eg the Trimon screen from Zalman. With these screens the user has to wear special polarising glasses. However, recently, digital picture frames with autostereoscopic screens have come onto the market, so that images can be seen in 3D without the need for glasses. 3D images may be displayed to large audiences using twin digital projectors fitted with polarising filters, but the audience will have to wear polarising spectacles.

The Stereoscopic Society was formed in 1893, and its aim is to create and view photographic images in 3D and promote all aspects of photography in 3 dimensions, both digital & film. The Society has evolved from being exclusively involved in film to an ever increasing proportion of digital imaging. Anyone interested in stereoscopic photography would be most welcome at any of the meetings of the Society and see images come to life with true depth, and in full colour, (unlike the old red/green anaglyph system). Many of the Society’s members give 3D slide shows to local groups; and may be able to provide a show for your local club/society.

The Society meets once a month on Saturday afternoons in London and Coventry from 2.30 till 5PM (doors open 2.00PM). London meetings are held at St Pancras Church Hall, Lancing St, (off Eversholt St) Camden, NW1 1NA, (2 minutes from Euston Station). Admission £5. Coventry meetings are held at St Barbara’s Church Hall, Rochester Road, Coventry, CV5 6AD. Admission £2. The Programmes for both meetings are always shown on the website. The results of the annual 3D Photographic Exhibition are shown at the April meetings each year, where some of the best 3D images in the country will be viewed. Come along; you will be amazed.

The Stereoscopic Society purchases in bulk supplies of 3D kit for sale to members at considerably less than otherwise available. We also have a library of 3D books available for loan to members.

For further information and to see some of the previous year’s Exhibition images see the Society’s website www.stereoscopicsociety.org.uk, or contact Colin Metherell, Supplies Secretary, Stereoscopic Society; Email; colin.metherell@ntlworld.com

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