Careful – that branch might poke your eye out!

The branch at upper left really sticks out at you!

This is a single camera 3D image taken using a Canon SX 1 IS, shooting separate left and right images and then combining them with Stereo Photo Maker.

This image was intended to feature the branch poking out at you! Go ahead – click on the image for full size! Red/Cyan glasses needed to see this stereoscopic anaglyph photo in 3D.

See below for info on how to take a photo like this.

Taking 3D Photos With One Camera

I like taking 3D photos with one camera – any stationary subject will work in 3D shots.

To take a picture like this, I always shoot the left image first, move the camera a little to the right, and then take the right image photo.

To keep the camera lined up, I prop the camera on my left hand. Hold your left hand in front you and point your index finger to your right and point your thumb straight up. (I know, I need a photo of this!)

I take the shot and then, using my right hand, slide the camera along my hand/index finger over to the right. Using my left hand as a support works as a camera guide, helping to keep the camera level and moved in a line to the right.

How far to move to the right? That depends on how far the subject is to your camera! In 3D, the interaxial distance (also known as interocular distance) is critical to your 3D images. One rule-of-thumb is that the subject should be at least 30 times the distance of the left and right lens, away from your camera. For a lens spacing of one inch, the subject should be at least 30 inches away using that rule (rules are also meant to be broken).

For close subjects, I may move the camera 1/4 to 1/2″, as in the photo above. For subjects further away from the camera, I may move over 3 inches, take a photo, and then perhaps move over another 3 inches and take another photo. Later, I can see which spacing works best – 3 inches or 6 inches. Sometimes I take several photos like this – moving to the right after each shot.

If your camera has a “macro” wide angle feature, you can shoot 3D photos of very small objects – literally taking the camera down to within inches of the subject – and moving the camera the tiniest amount to the right. Once you master “macro” 3D, a whole new world of subjects open up to you – and provide unique picture taking opportunities.

While our own eyes are about 2 1/2″ apart, we can see depth closer than that implies (think 3″ x 30 or 90″!) That’s because our eyes can point inwards towards each other to converge on the close subject. But eventually, as we get down really close, not even that will help and we cannot really see 3D. But your camera can! And that’s why macro 3D photography creates opportunities for many fascinating subjects that your eyes cannot see.

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