Two of our own members, Neil Crick and John Greenbank gave us plenty to think about in their presentation of 3-D photography. There seemed to be an awful lot of electrical equipment as well as a ‘special’ screen (which doesn’t reflect light as a normal screen would do) costing £5 but which took a tank of petrol to collect! Its pedigree was of high standing, coming from the Stereoscopic Society!
Neil introduced us to an overview of the subject with various 3-D viewers dating back to 1864, pre photography proper, as well as coming right up to date with the virtual reality viewer. Also his camera set ups; a specific Fuji with two sensors and able to take the synchronised images necessary to produce the 3-D effect; or the two identical cameras bolted together to do the same. We also learned we could use one camera with the Cha Cha method, i.e. take one picture and move a step to left or right for the second! Later Ivor showed us a special plate which could be fixed to a tripod and the camera could then be slid along to get the second image while remaining in the same plane.
John began by explaining the difference between our perceptions of 3-D and ‘real 3-D’ , together with much of the science behind how our eyes work in tandem and how much our brain and memory play a part in the appreciation of this type of imagery. He also gave us the history of how his interest in the subject burgeoned as he walked to school with his physics teacher as a young boy. His career path and passion for loudspeakers also played a part in his current enthusiasm for the subject. I am not sure I understood all the science, but some of the pictures he then showed began to make sense when viewed through the special glasses we were given. There needed to be a spider warning as a few of the creatures leapt out from the screen in our direction!
During the break more 3-D images could be viewed on normal screens. For one you needed glasses but the other not, both to giving effective views for 3-D.
Neil took over the second half showing us a variety of images to demonstrate the 3-D effect, some of which seemed to work better than others. Trying to work out which sort of images gave the best 3-D effect depended on composition as well as aperture and focussing point. Three AVs followed. Swans and Cygnets in abundance; Dorset County Show from all angles; and last but not least Notting Hill Carnival. All honed our appreciation of 3-D images, the last one especially, with the dancers, in their skimpy costumes, almost leaping off the screen!
It is certainly a different genre of photography and we thank Neil and John for all their hard work in putting a comprehensive 3-D evening together.