How I know God guides my photography.....

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the skies announce what his hands have made. Day after day they tell the story; night after night they tell it again. They have no speech or words; they have no voice to be heard. But their message goes out through all the world; their words go everywhere on earth."
Psalm 19: 1 - 4 (NCV).

Every time I look through the lens of my camera I see God working. Every day He reveals His majesty. Every night He shows me how He creates beauty even in the darkness. Even if I had not known Him before I started taking photos, the moment I looked at His creation up close (or far away) I see His glory and He guides me to see His beauty in all He has created. Photography just allows me to capture an image of what He has created.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Three Dimensional Illusions

Have you ever wanted to make photos in 3-D? It's not that difficult and really not that expensive (especially with digital cameras). Sure, you can go out and buy a 3-D camera (like the 10 megapixel FugiFilm 3D camers; or a Holga Sereo Pin-Hold camera (using 120 film); or ever a high priced 3D World Medium Format Stereo Camera (about $1,750), but with just a little effort and your existing camera (preferably digital), you can make some amazing 3-D photos.

The example here was made in less than 10 minutes:

The steps I used are simple... The first thing I did was set up various objects at different distances against a background that was stationary (doing landscape will wake a little more practice to get the effect down, however, most of us will be taking 3-D shots of family and friends (or pets) so I'll save the long distance landscape 3-D how-to for later.

The basics of 3-D photos is to remember that you already have a built in 3-D in your head... Your eyes! When taking 3-D photos, just remember the distance between your eyes. Each eye angle of view is ever so slightly different, so when you take your two photos, you may want to mark the distance between your eyes on a ruler (or paper) and then take your first photo shot at the distance of your left eye, and the second photo at the distance of your right eye. Focus your center of the photos at the same spot on both photos (as in the case of my sample, I used the center candle as my focus and then just took both shots focusing on the same spot on the candle. Then keeping my head stationary, I shifted the camera from one eye to the other (you could use the same eye to shoot, but just remember to only move your head the same distance as the space between the center of your two eyes.

Technically the name of the difference in the space and angle is called "parallax" which just means that the object being photographed (or the objects nearest the camera) change their relative position as it relates to the subject in comparison to the other background objects in the photos (just like your eyes do). You can see the difference even without a camera just be looking at something close to you and switching between your left and right eye... you'll notice the object furthest from you doesn't change that much (the background) while the subject you're focusing on does (by approximately the width between your eyes). When taking your photos, be sure to keep the objects parallel to your eyes to get the 3-D effect.

After you've taken your two photos, you can either print them and tape them together (no boarders if possible), or put them side by side (both equal sizes) and then focus on the center of the photo (I put a red dot on the sample). Adjust the photo closer or further away until both photos become one (if you cross your eyes the photos will merge into three photos... the center photo that appears will be a compilation of the two original photos and that compilation will be a 3-D image). If you have a pair of 3-D glasses (Polarized like the kind that were used when viewing the movie Avatar) and you have a program such as PhotoShop CS series, go into Layers and superimpose one photo layer on top of the other photo, then put on the glasses to get a cool 3-D effect... (I know, too much work!) There are mirrored devices that can be purchased that will merge the two photos together (like the "Multipurpose Pokescope Viewer", the "Loreo 3 D Pixi Viewer" (which is really cheap), or an "Adjustable Stereo Wide Viewer" side-by-side BIG print viewer like the "SS-1" - (all these can be found at - "" and "" (and a dozen or more sites by typing in 3-D cameras or 3-d viewers)...
(changing the colors heightens the 3-D effect)

With very little practice you can learn how to see the 3-D photo without the aid of a viewer or special devices... just remember to put the two photos at a distance (all depending on the size you made of your photos - the bigger they are, the further away they will need to be - however the better the effect will be with bigger prints) where you can move forward or back to have the two photos merge without straining your eyes. A good way to start is stand close to the photos and move either the photos away from you (or you move away from the photos) until they merge into one picture (focus in the center)... Remember also that three pictures will "ALWAYS" be seen when the proper distance is met. The picture in the center is the 3-D photo. You'll be amazed how much more detail you'll see in the center photo verses the single photos to the right or to the left of the center 3-D photo. Colors will be brighter and the depth-of-field will pop! This all happens because each eye picks out the information presented in the photo on that side of the eye... When the two pictures meld together, each eye is picking up the information in the photo on its side and your brain creates the 3-D image. Cool - isn't it! As a bonus, while looking at the center picture, move your head from left to right and back again (just sway back and forth). What you will experience is the illusion that you are actually moving around the objects.

One of the biggest problems with doing all this without the viewers is that your eyes fatigue quickly and you can't just talk long looks at the photos (hint... spend a few dollars and get a viewer)... I have an antique Stereoscope viewer and I made photos that fit in the viewer... that takes a little getting use to and experimenting putting larger photos in a 3 inch by 7 inch landscape format. The one thing I discovered with landscape photos is that to get the same effect as close up 3-D photos is that the distance between your two photos is in comparison to the distance of the object (the further the object is away from you, the wider the two shots have to be taken: (example... if I'm 50 feet away frojm a tree that I want to photograph in 3-D, I have to shoot several feet apart focusing on the same spot in both photos. You just have to experiment on that (which I'll hopefully write on soon).
(adding an object in on photo also intensifies the 3-D illusion)

Well, as I've said so often before, with photography you just need to look at things differently and experiment with your camera. Half the fun is trying new and different things that give your different perspectives and effects. That's what makes it fun!