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How I shot a winter landscape in 3D!

Dear Friends,
I live in Vancouver, Canada. That is the beautiful and warm place. Last week we had a snowfall. That ia a very rare natural phenomenon here and, of course, I did not want to miss this opportunity to take 3D pictures. I took my camera, steady tripod, Tripod Add-on for multishooting, ball head and run quickly to the park.

There are some characteristics on my 3D photo equipment:

  1. Camera Sony F-828, 8 megapixel sensor, 1 GB Compact Flash memory and remote wired shutter release Sony RM-DR1.
  2. Strong, steady tripod Manfrotto 055CLB. It must be strong enough for not bending when the camera will move along the Tripod Add-on. Otherwise you will have to fix the slopes of each frames in photo editor software, like Ulead PhotoImpact, for example.
  3. Tripod Add-on for multishooting. I do not know any other more useful device for 3D shooting. All my 3D pictures I made with it.
  4. Ball head Manfrotto 486RC2 for attaching the camera to Tripod Add-on.

In park I have seen a nice frozen creek that is nice for 3D shooting. This scene had a good depth. The foreground (a creek) was at 4 meters of distance from camera. The medium plan (a fir tree) was at about 12-15 meters and the background (the fir trees) was at about 50 meters of distance (picture 1).

Picture 1

It is better to choose landscapes with the several different planes and/or a long object that crosses planes for making 3D pictures. This landscape has different planes and the creek as a long object. Therefore this landscape is an ideal for 3D shooting.

I stood the tripod, fastened the tripod add-on to tripod, regulated horizontal level of tripod add-on, fastened the ball head to tripod add-on. As, in most cases, I take the 3D pictures and I need the Tripod Add-on for that, I attached the quick release of ball head to my camera and almost never take it away.

In most cases I use the "Parallel stereoshooting with the tripod add-on" method that I described in detail in my book "How to make high quality lenticular 3D photos and Flip pictures for home and business". It is fast, easy to repeat method and gives very good results. The main principles you will be able to understand from picture 2.

Picture 2

For printing I use Epson Stylus Photo 2200 Inkjet Printer. That is a perfect printer with long lasting inks up to 100 years and printing size up to 13"x44" (33x112 cm). The physical resolution of it is 720 DPI (dot per inch). As in most cases I use 60 LPI (lens per inch) lenticular lenses, I need
720 : 60 = 12 frames.

My Tripod Add-on for multishooting was developed in such a way that could be used for different printers. It has several different hole's scales with steps from 4 and up to 30 millimeters with 11 steps. Hence I can shoot 10 frames for printers with 600 DPI physical resolution (HP, Canon), or 12 frames for printers with 720 DPI physical resolution (Epson) or I can take the hole's scales away and make as many steps and frames as I need using an easy attached drawing scale.

In this case I have chosen the stereobase of 33 centimeters and made 12 frames with steps of 3 centimeters. Choosing stereobase (distance between first and last shot) is the most important thing for getting high quality 3D picture. In my opinion it is more art then mathematical calculation. When you will get some experience in shooting of 3D pictures the process of stereobase choosing will be easier, but now you can use the approximate formula:

B = K x D

B is the stereobase (distance, on which is moved the camera between first and last shot).
D is the distance between the camera and the most important central object of the scene.
K is the coefficient that could be chosen from 0.02 up to 0.2.

Fortunately we will be able to offer you the nice software for stereobase calculation soon. It is almost ready to release. I am going to give you all information about this software soon.

As "PhotoProjector" software uses the left shot as first frame. So, I would recommend you to start the frames shooting from the left side. In this case your first frame will be the very left shot.

Okay, let's come back to landscape shooting! :-)
I attached the camera and chose the scale with 3 cm steps on the Tripod Add-on. It is good idea to switch the camera to the Manual mode because your frames have to be very similar in light and focus. Usually I use the ISO sensitivity low. On my camera it is 64 ISO. That is because the low sensitivity provides a low noise. The depth of my landscape was big. That is the reason why I have chosen the aperture F8 for making the depth of field wider. But the day was overcast. Hence, my shutter speed was just 1/13 second. I attached the remote wired shutter release to avoid the camera shaking. Then I set the Focus switch to Manual and set the Focus to 4 meters.

I moved the camera to the very left side and shot the first frame, then moved the camera on one 3 cm step and shot the second frame. In the same way I shot all 12 frames. I got 12 pictures that looks like picture 3.

Picture 3

Now we have to edit all 12 frames in photo editing software. As usual I use for that "Ulead PhotoImpact".

At first it is better to change the Level/Histogram of the pictures (picture 4).

Picture 4

I decided to use Equalize button (picture 5).

Picture 5

That made the picture more dramatic, like in the evening (picture 6).

Picture 6

Then I add Contrast and Brightness a little bit

We have to repeat the same steps with other frames and save all frames in one folder. I called that 3D picture as "Creek in Winter". If you want to see the small version GIF-animation (320x257 pixels) of this file you can download it. It is 1.66 Mb.

Now these frame set is ready to interlace using "PhotoProjector" software as I described in my book "How to make high quality lenticular 3D photos and Flip pictures for home and business". I have made a beautiful lenticular 3D landscape with size 8"x10" (20x25 cm), framed it and hanged it on a wall. It looks great!

If somebody wants to receive that 3D lenticular picture, I've made several small versions of this 3D picture with size of 4"x5" (10x12 cm). And I am ready to send 10 of these 3D pictures to 10 first subscribers to "Lenticular Technology and Business" newsletter for FREE. Just send me your inquiry and address.

As you can see the process of 3D multishooting is not difficult if you have the Tripod Add-on. Actually when I am shooting 3D photos I am making several frame sets at once. The biggest problem of 3D multishooting is not technical. The biggest problem is how to find the object that deserves to be photographed, to find interesting light and composition. That is the usual problem that concerns an art of photography.
I want to wish you more unforgettable 3D Pictures!

Sincerely yours,
Igor Kurchavov