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Lauralee P
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Magic Mist
This was a fun experiment that resulted in a nifty 3D image (cross-view, so cross your eyes to see it) Taken with the Lumix GX9. If you’re curious what’s going on here, read further!

The main image is a cross-view 3D photo, so you’ll need to cross your eyes to see it (following these instructions: https://www.kula3d.com/how-to-use-the-cross-eyed-method.html

If you have a VR headset, stereoscope or other 3D viewer, here’s a “side-by-side” or straight version: http://donkom.ca/stereo/_1000375-parallel.jpg

Have those funky red/blue anaglyph glasses? Put ‘em on and enjoy the image this way: http://donkom.ca/stereo/_1000375-anaglyph.jpg

Or if you have a 3DTV, put this file on a memory card or USB stick and view it on your TV: http://donkom.ca/stereo/_1000375-3DTV.mpo

This image was made with a lens that Panasonic might regret creating: The Lumix G 12.5 F/12 3D lens. It’s an interesting concept, but in its unmodified original design it didn’t create enough of an impact. The “lens” is actually two lenses with a fixed aperture and fixed focus, designed to take stereoscopic 3D images with any m4/3 camera. The problem is that the lenses are so close together for a decent stereo effect to be generated for larger subjects like people, and with the other barriers that 3D technology has faced, I doubt it sold well. That said, you can modify the lens very easily to shift its focusing distance into the macro range, and that’s where this lens becomes VERY interesting.

While the spacing between the lenses (the pupil distance) is too small for larger subjects, it works very well when shooting small things, like this Gerbera Daisy. The modification is simple: just remove the three screws in the mount of the lens and add some 0.5mm washers over the screw holes, and re-attach everything. This functions like a mini extension tube of sorts, and the pupil distance can create some interesting depth for macro subjects.

It’s not perfect, however. This modification pushes the image circles of the lenses a little farther out beyond the edges of the sensor, and in 3D this hurts you more than you would think. If you lose part of the left image, you also lose part of the usable area on the left side of the right image, since there wouldn’t be any corresponding image for a 3D effect. The result is roughly 2.5MP square image per eye from a 20MP sensor when you place a single 0.5mm washer in for extension, and less to work with the more extension you add. Still, this is much more than enough for good stereo image quality. The best part? You can grab a copy of the lens for under USD$120 on eBay and a kit containing washers and instructions for modification for $10 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Modify-Panasonic-Lumix-12-5mm-F12-3D-Lens-H-FT012-for-Macro-3D-photos-Washers/371632716763 )

Images can be processed through the free software Stereo Photo Maker ( http://stereo.jpn.org/eng/stphmkr/ ) to correct any alignment issues and to set the stereo window. The software lets you save out the image in many different formats – it’s how I create MPO files and anaglyph versions of the images.

Oh, and this image? It’s a Gerbera Daisy with a droplet of invisible ink in the middle (and a few spilled drops off to the side), lit with my UV flashes to make it glow. I know that 3D image is all about depth, so this was my first experiment with a fog machine to add depth to the air itself. I think it worked! That said, this is more of a “proof of concept” image to show me how certain puzzle pieces fit together. I’ve got a bunch of ideas floating around and I look forward to finding some extra time in studio to push these experiments farther.

One fun thought would be to use this lens for 3D video, but the camera doesn’t normally allow for that. The solution would be to tape over the electrical contacts on the lens so that the camera can’t see it as a 3D lens, but the GX9 I’m testing shoots with a slight crop when recording 4K video, narrowing down the usable 3D window too far. I think the GH5S would be ideal for this, since it records using its entire sensor AND the sensor is a little larger which would help create a bigger usable image than I currently have available when shooting stills. Down the rabbit hole I go.

By the way,* I run private workshops in my studio if you want to explore the magical world of ultraviolet fluorescence photography*, or anything else that I have experience with (water droplets, 3D, infrared, etc.). If you’re interested, just send me an e-mail – don@komarechka.com
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Dueling Bands in the Night
Image Credit & License: Ruslan Merzlyakov (RMS Photography)
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180227.html

What are these two bands in the sky? The more commonly seen band is the one on the right and is the central band of our Milky Way galaxy. Our Sun orbits in the disk of this spiral galaxy, so that from inside, this disk appears as a band of comparable brightness all the way around the sky. The Milky Way band can also be seen all year -- if out away from city lights. The less commonly seem band, on the left, is zodiacal light -- sunlight reflected from dust orbiting the Sun in our Solar System. Zodiacal light is brightest near the Sun and so is best seen just before sunrise or just after sunset. On some evenings in the north, particularly during the months of March and April, this ribbon of zodiacal light can appear quite prominent after sunset. It has recently been determined that zodiacal dust was mostly expelled by comets that have passed near Jupiter. Only on certain times of the year will the two bands be seen side by side, in parts of the sky, like this. Here the two streaks of light appear like the continuation of the banks of the Liver River into the sky. The featured panorama of consecutive exposures was recorded about three weeks ago in North Jutland, Denmark.
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Raspberry Cream Cheese Pastry Braid

With a sweet cream cheese and raspberry filling, this pastry braid is a WINNER! It only takes 5 minutes to throw together, 20 (ish) minutes to bake, and you have a pretty looking and delicious tasting pastry to cut and share.

Get the recipe: http://www.kyleecooks.com/raspberry-cream-cheese-pastry-braid
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