Tag Archives: 3-d photography

bloom day–in 3d!

Get out your 3D glasses! Part of this Garden Bloggers Bloom Day posting comes to you in glorious 3D, inspired by the news that 3D television was the big news at the recent Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, and by past, current and future 3D movies (Avatar, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Alice in Wonderland).

This is one of my clones of Arctotis acaulis, which is just coming into bloom.

To view the 3D effect you’ll need a pair of glasses or a viewer that has a red lens over the left eye and a cyan (green works too) lens over the right. This image, what’s called an anaglyph, is pretty low-tech, more Black Lagoon than Avatar, but it works. I won’t detail all the steps for making it, but there are lots of explanations out on the web for how to do it in Photoshop. [ Here’s one. ] You can also use a good photo editor like Photoshop Elements that will let you adjust the individual color channels of the image.

You don’t need a proper 3D camera to photograph slow-moving subjects like flowers, but you’ll need two separate images, one for the left eye, and another for the right. Just take two images of the same subject, moving slightly left-to-right before you click the second image. If you have a camera with manual controls, you’ll get the best results if you focus and set the exposure manually.

This is the image pair I started with for the anaglyph above. You might even be able to view this raw pair in 3D. Some people are able to practice what’s called “free-viewing,” where the left eye focuses on the left image and the right eye on the right-hand one. You’ll eventually see three images, and the central one will suddenly pop into 3D.

This last pair shows the next-to-last step big step, before you layer the cyan image over the red one to create the final 3D image.

The rest of this post returns to stodgy old 2D. Sorry.

Winter is the big bloom season for many of the native plants, as well as for many plants adapted to Southern California’s mediterranean climate. Here are many of the plants flowering right now.

Here’s the agave I featured prominently in last month’s posting. It’s nearing its half-way point on the spike.

First blooms of the season on Verbena lilacina.

First blooms of the season on Nuttall’s milkvetch, Astragalus nuttallii.

The very first, brave bloom on another Arctotis acaulis clone, ‘Big Magenta.’

First flowering on another plant, likely Crassula multicava. The bed where this plant is will soon be covered with a dense mist of flowers for several months.

Another flowering crassula, Crassula ovata, your basic jade plant.

Black sage, Salvia mellifera, coming into bloom.

Santa Cruz Island buckwheat, Eriogonum arborescens, still blooming–the Energizer Bunny of buckwheats.

…some weird bromeliad. I have a likely name somewhere, but not stored in my brain’s RAM right now…

I was taking some pictures of this desert mallow, Sphaeralcea ambigua, but was more captivated by the interesting damage patterns created by a leaf-mining insect.

And last but not least: What I’m certain will be the last paperwhite narcissus of the season. I keep thinking that, but another clump pushes up through the earth and starts to flower. I’m not complaining.

As usual, my thanks Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! Check out what’s in bloom in other gardens around the world [ here ].

If you haven’t had enough of the 3D photos, check out a much earlier 3D garden blog post [ here ].

Now enough of this 2D indoors nonsense. Open the door, and go outside and enjoy your garden in the grand glorious 3D it comes in naturally.

garden cat and abu ghraib in 3-d!


I’ve written about our cat Scooter. A while back I’d bought myself a Sputnik camera, and old Russian roll-film camera that takes two pictures simultaneously, each of them of the same thing, but with separate lenses spaced about the same distance as a pair of eyes. With a special stereo viewer or by making what’s called an anaglyph you can reconstruct the scene giving you a 3-d effect. When I took the camera outside on the first day I had it Scooter followed me out.

Above and below are a couple anaglyphs made from images shot during that session. If you have a pair of red/cyan 3-d glasses you can see the image in stereo. (A red/greed pair will work as well, though not as well. Clear glasses that use polarized light won’t work for teasing apart the separate images in the anaglyph.) I constructed the anaglyphs in a way that would still make sense to viewers without the 3-d glasses, in a way that features the star of each picture…


As much fun as I had outside with the cat I hadn’t bought the camera to take more wonderful cat pictures. George Bush’s Iraq War was chugging along full steam and the notorious pictures from Abu Ghraib had recently surfaced. The world was pissed after seeing them and so was I. Politics seeps into my art in various ways, most of them subtle, but I started a small serious of pieces addressing the Iraq war. Below is one of those works, a 3-d photomontage combining staged elements along with one of the most infamous war images of recent times. It’s a complex response, combining what might look like humor with a seething rage I still harbor towards a war launched by a man who’s now been responsible for more American deaths than the number of those who died in the September 11 attacks in New York. And that’s only a fraction of those who’ve been killed.

James SOE NYUN: Le Can-Can Abu Ghraib.

Technical Details: The original Abu Ghraib image was gently dissected and reassembled into two slightly different images that were then composited to give a subtle 3-d image. The foreground and stage were mockups that I staged and photographed twice with conventional cameras, moving the tripod to the side about four inches between exposures. The “dancing” figures were photographed using the stereo Sputnik camera. Two separate composite images were completed using Photoshop, one reflecting what the left eye might see, the other what the right eye would see. The left image was then pasted into the red channels of the final image and the right image pasted into the green and blue channels. The final work is printed fairly large, at a scale approaching narrative history paintings.

Google “photoshop” and “anaglyph” for a pile of resources on how to make your own anaglyphs.