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33. Take some excellent stereo photos.

1 March, 2007: Obviously, this is one of the fun ones. I have taken some 'quite nice' stereos since getting my new camera, but I've been hampered slightly by the complete lack of light in the British winter. Perhaps my favourite so far is this one of my friend Caroline and various children in London's Chinatown the other week. It will pop up in its own window. This is a "cross-eyed stereo pair" -- basic instructions for seeing it in 3d are to cross your eyes until the two pictures overlap as closely as possible, and then wait for your brain to reinterpret it as a single picture. At which point it should be in 3D.

I haven't written much about stereo photography. To take and view stereo photos, you need two things. First, a camera that takes two separate pictures (about 63mm apart, but you can generate special effects by having different distances) of a scene at exactly the same time. I have had various makeshift versions of that for several years, but I now have a lovely camera that should be capable of taking first-rate photos. The second thing is a viewing method. Of course you can freeview without a viewer -- and I've displayed this as a cross-eyed picture because that is the easiest way to get started. But it's much better with a viewer. When you get the pictures out of the camera, you process them (using Photoshop, or dedicated programs such as Stereo Photo Maker) in different ways depending on what viewer you're using; all the viewers find their own ways to channel the picture from the left-hand camera/lens to your left eye and the picture from the right-hand camera/lens to your right eye. Systems you may be familiar with include hand-held 'Holmes' stereoscopes, much beloved by the Victorians, or Viewmaster -- and you will certainly have seen red-cyan or red-green anaglyph photos which use cardboard viewers with different coloured lenses. The best system uses polarised glasses, and projects images onto a silver screen -- and that is the system used by modern 3d cinemas such as IMAX. But for home use with digital, the cost is prohibitive, though steadily reducing.

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