(NOTE: New water droplet refraction workshop dates listed! Check them out here to learn exactly how to make a shot like this, in 2D or 3D!): http://www.donkom.ca/product/macro-photography-workshops/ - 3 spots left for the March 25th date, and new dates opened up through April!
This 3D image might mess with your head a little, but I encourage you to give it a shot! It’s loaded up as a cross-view image for you to cross your eyes to see. Viewed on a smartphone or tablet is best from a comfortable distance, or get farther away from a computer screen viewing large – it can’t take up too much of your field of view or you have to cross your eyes too much!
Cross just enough until you see three images, where the middle one is an overlap of the left and right. Voila – 3D! If you have a stereo viewer designed for standard “side-by-side” viewing, you can load up this image here: http://donkom.ca/stereo/DKP_8430.jpg - Funny enough, I find that these images look great when displayed on a smartphone and then placed into an antique stereoscope. I have one here that’s 150 years old, and it performs better than the optics in cheap VR headsets!
This is a portion of a seed head from some unknown flower growing in my neighbour’s front yard. I asked if I could take some of them in the fall, and they have been a great source of photographic intrigue over the winter months! In the summer, I need to figure out exactly what they species of flower is. The background is a chunk of colourful mineral called chalcopyrite. Normally I use flowers but I didn’t have any handy and through I’d try something different, giving a splash of colour to the background and showing up as an abstract blob of colour inside the droplets through refraction.
This was shot with my most extreme magnification 3D lens, which is a little more than 2:1 magnification. It was cropped square for the traditional stereoview feel, and most of my stereoscopic images will be in this format. The lens has a fixed aperture of F/80, which makes it very difficult to see through the viewfinder so this is one of the rare instances where I will shoot handheld but with LiveView activated. Usually having your face smushed up against the back of the camera is a great way to keep the camera stable, but unless I’m in bright sunlight it’s impossible to compose and focus the image. The small aperture does soften the image slightly due to diffraction, but the overlapping effect of viewing in 3D adds far more depth and detail than is taken away by this.
When shooting in 3D, you need to consider “depth” as a very important variable. You need to compose with layers of detail and these kinds of compositions work best when one layer leads into another. We’ve got some of that happening here, maybe a little too much as the layers of seeds fall off out of focus completely and as the fine “hairs” overlap and interact just out of focus, it can be a bit confusing. I think the image survives that, and personally this image serves as a spark for at least a dozen ideas that will build on this image.
For more of these musings on photography, perception, and creating outside-the-box imagery, you should absolutely consider attending the CanAm Photo Expo held from March 31 through April 2 in Buffalo NY! I’m one of the presenters with a full line-up of talks from extreme macro and “mad scientist” photography, through down-to-earth techniques for making great compositions and feeling like you’re a part of your images. It would be great to shake your hand in person if you can make it, and I promise you won’t be disappointed! Check it out here: http://canamphotoexpo.com/ - I’ll be around after the presentations for a glass of beer and some geeky photo conversations too!