In the last month I’ve been getting completely re-excited by 3D, or stereoscopic photography and gaming. Recently Fujifilm released the first ever commercial 3D digital camera (I saw it on The Gadget Show), and after a week of realising I didn’t have the money to buy it, I bought one anyway.
If you’re unaware of stereoscopic photography, or at least sketchy on the details, the camera basically just takes two photos: one for each eye. Then, somehow (and there are about 5 different viewing methods) each image is presented back to each eye. The most common method for viewing a stereoscopic image is probably anaglyphs, which is the typical red-blue or red-green filtered image popular in the 60s. However, because each image is being filtered and differently coloured images are being shown to each eye, it destroys the effect of colour in the scene you perceive. In modern cinemas 3D films are presented with differently polarised light and filtered glasses, which is a better approach for colour but does result in a certain amount of ghosting, as each eye may see some light from the other eye’s image. If you’re particularly adventurous, you may also be able “free-view” images presented side-by-side, by going cross-eyed, or making your eyes go parallel. This is a similar technique to viewing a magic eye picture.
So my apologies if I’ve been rampantly snapping your mug with my new toy, but be assured it’s all in the interest of raising awareness of stereoscopic photography. I love how it adds such a sense of depth to your pictures, very much like pausing a live scene in front of you. I can feel a lot more like I’m back there at the moment of the photograph.
Fujifilm are also running a 3D printing service at fujifilmreal3d.com, where you upload your stereo images and they send you printed lenticular sheets. This is the same material a lot of 3D DVD covers are currently using. There is quite a lot of ghosting but if the parallax (the seperation between the images) is right, the effect can look good. I have ordered a few prints and will hopefully get the first batch soon.
The camera is still very expensive (retailing for about £400) but I managed to get mine from eBay for £300. I trust those “as new” condition items, if the seller’s feedback is good.
I’ve uploaded a few of my favourite 3D photos to my gallery here on my website (www.davidaddis.com if you’re reading this on Facebook), in (red-blue) anaglyph format as it seems to be the most accessible at the moment. In the future, I would love a WordPress gallery that archives MPO files, and then allows the user to choose the viewing format. I am a programmer, so maybe I should make one?
This is not an advert for Fujifilm by the way, I am just very enthusiatic. 🙂