3D Image Stereography
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Stereo Photography has been used for Terrain Analysis for many years, because it offers the most "practical method" for photographic land use interpretation. The 3-D stereographic experience is an optical sensation that is truly unique to the spectator. The capacity of the brain to retain Stereographic images is truly amazing. The person viewing a stereo image can perceive elaborate details and remember minute features far beyond normal proficiency (compared to viewing a single monographic image). This enhanced capacity to retain information opens many new possible approaches to teaching and learning. Recent advances in computer technology have created quite an interest in Virtual Reality. This super technology generates computer stereographic images that are often startling, dramatic, and compelling representations of reality. 

Only recently, did it occur to me..., to try capturing some 3D images using the popular "single use" cameras. (some of the pictures are below).  I am quite excited by this revelation.  What is presented here..., is a relatively simple, inexpensive, and user friendly stereographic technology that can be used to supplement and enhance various learning..., and teaching skills.  

The not so obviously ramifications of this basic technology:  

  • Any "reality" capable of being documented with "traditional photographic methods" can be captured using this 3-D Stereography.
  • If the described 3-D concepts work with still black and white or color photography, ...then the same techniques will function with motion pictures, video tape, and computer animation.
  • The drawings of a Architectural CAD systems and be used to replicate topographic maps as line drawings that have the illusion of a three dimensional surface.
  • These "stereo pairs" can be photocopied, and/or scanned (converted to a digital image) and the 3D effect is maintained!
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    Historical Background  

    Sir Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875) is the English physicist that described the stereoscope in 1832. (Britannica 12:618). Since the early beginnings of photography there has followed the ability to view images using a variety of techniques. Wheatstone's invention was later made practical by Sir David Brewster in 1851, and stereo photography has followed the development of traditional photography for nearly 150 years. The popularity of Stereographic photography has gained and lost favor first, during the turn of the century, then the 1920's, the 1950's, and then in the 1970's. It seems that the popularity of each stereographic revival eventually faded when the novelty of the dimensional illusion of depth became common to the spectators.  

    We have all had some limited contact with stereoscopic viewing, the popularized vernacular name is termed 3-D. As children, we have used the product called ViewMaster, and we have all seen the photographs of audiences in theaters wearing those funny glasses watching a (so called) 3-D movie. There are a few popular movies that offer the 3-D format, including the popular I-MAX theaters. It is the photogrammetric evaluation of stereo photographs that is seemingly the only continuous, practical use. In fact, cartographers involved with photogrammetry use stereographic images (from cameras in airplanes or satellites in space) to create very accurate surface maps of this planet (and others). There are a few educators that have modified existing projection equipment and use 35mm color slides to bring the science of terrain analysis to higher education.  

    Until now..., most of us could only view the images that were created by others.  

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    Example of 3-D Stereo Images 

    1956 Ford on Leon River Bridge 

    Stereoscopic pictures are always produced in pairs, where each of the two (left and right) picture pairs represent the same scene or object from slightly different viewing angles that exactly correspond to the angles of vision of the two eyes of the person looking at the object itself.  

    Remember... Two of the same photographic images will not function properly, ...no matter what your mind initially tells you! 
    Read how to create your own 3-D photographs.

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