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Author Topic: New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision  (Read 4139 times)

Kevin Raber

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New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision
« on: October 15, 2018, 05:48:20 PM »

I just published an article on Photography and Stereo Vision.  An interesting look at the use of steroids view in photography over the years.  You can find the article HERE.
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JeanMichel

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Re: New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2018, 07:15:01 PM »

I just published an article on Photography and Stereo Vision.  An interesting look at the use of steroids view in photography over the years.  You can find the article HERE.

But, isnít the use of photography enhancement steroids a banned practice? :-)
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Helodrvr

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Re: New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2018, 08:41:15 PM »

I really enjoyed your article.  Working through the history of perspective in art, then into photography was the kind of progression that makes me recall Galen Rowell's articles in Outdoor Photographer, especially "Seeing Photos - Where Art and Biology Meet"  [Outdoor Photographer, March 1996] as well as his earlier article on color perception. 

Why aren't we all talking about it? I think for many of us, the discussions get too scientific, too far afield from the sense of being an intuitive or artistic creative.  For others, it is simply too much and too abstract to consider.  But for the few that relish more information on how we perceive and how we create, it is fascinating.

In my day job, flying an EMS helicopter, stereoscopic vision is critical for depth perception.  But even there, we are woefully under educated in the specifics of how and why.  I think volumes could be written there too on how to best use the tools we have, especially when you compound moving through time and space but put yourself in the night with night vision goggles which limit your forward view to roughly 45 degrees either side of center. 

Thank you also for your references to Ted Forbes tribute to Fan Ho.  That line alone led me to a couple of hours spent watching Ted's videos on Fan Ho and Harold Feinstein.  I was not aware of Fan Ho's work (another gift) but did recognize Harold Feinstein's images.  The older I get, the less I know but there is so much available now!

Mel Hughes

Sparta, TN
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Two23

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Re: New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2018, 09:15:19 PM »

Over the past few years I've come to think that awareness of distance and the ability to judge it is becoming more uncommon in the younger population.  Maybe younger people have grown up spending most of their time with 2D screens rather than interacting with the physical world and that's a factor?  OTOH, I have been a hunter all my life and the ability to quickly judge distance is critical in hitting a target.  I think those that often play sports would be similar.  I find I often have to look at the world in terms of 3D; many of my cameras are scale focus! 

As for stereo photography, I think it would take off if there was a practical way to do it over the internet.  Perhaps hologram technology will eventually achieve this?    Over the past decade I've been collecting early stereo views (cards), with my oldest ones dating to the mid 1850s.  All of my early photographer heroes (F.J. Haynes, Stanley Morrow, W.H. Jackson, E. Anthony et al.) made and sold stereoviews as a lucrative part of their business.  In the mid 1850s into the mid 1870s they were much in demand throughout most of the industrialized world!  Then, by the 1920s they had run their course as people turned to movies & newsreels for their entertainment and way to see the world.  Top quality stereoviews sell for big money (>$1,000 each) and the quality of the images from the masters inspires awe!

In the mean time, I beg to differ with your assertion, "Notice that they (stereo cameras) arenít expensive. If enthusiasts cared, theyíd be expensive."  I've been looking for a nice 5x8 stereo field camera from the 1860s-1880s to buy and use to make my own stereoviews using dry plates.  They are running $1,500 to $2,500 depending on the maker and the lenses.  (The English ones were the best finished and highest quality.)  They are most certainly highly sought after and sell quickly.  Some day I'll snag one and begin looking for supplies to make my own stereoviews.  It's on my "to do" list. :)


Kent in SD
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Rob C

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Re: New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2018, 04:33:39 AM »

Yep, young enough to remember and try View Master devices; first heard of petrified forests there, as well as of geysers. Quite an educational little toy. (I have no idea if they also sold "adult" images from under the counter of the corner shop. In those times, it would have been the best-selling line of pirate merchandise for the device.)

As to the appeal of stereo photography to me, personally, none whatsoever. The fewer the things between the eye, mind and enjoyment the better: a pair of cardboard-rimmed specs didn't offer creature comfort at the movies, and did little to make my companion look better (I didn't know about the Venice Carnivale exotica thing then) - which must have been felt the other way around, too, though she never mentioned it - but the House of Wax did pull off some cool moments, and let's face it, it did lead to the success of the various Deathwish movies because it gave a certain muscular actor (Chas. Bronson) his big break.

Photography appeals, again a subjective view, because of it's 2D reality and interpretation of another reality we also understand.

The first time I became aware of the challenges of 2D vision was when I realised that I knew two people who drove big cars and had but a single working eye. I never did understand how in hell they could do that, and park on a dime, too. Now and then I'd close an eye whilst driving and scare the hell out of myself.

The next time I became aware of the almost tactile pleasure in 3D was when I bought my first longish lens: the act of focussing across the tops of various distances of foreground vegetation (for example) between camera and model was delicious: it made manual focussing so much better an emotion than using a fast af system did later on, where all that visual kick of changing the focussed planes is lost to the senses thanks to a quick machine. Yes, still a mono-eyed vison, but the sense of depth is nonetheless there, exactly as in the monkey image in the article.

In conclusion, interesting curio and teaching possibilities, but as an art form, not for me. Over-thinking photography can murder it, and lead to GAS as replacement.

Rob
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 11:23:57 AM by Rob C »
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trutherfo

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Re: New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2018, 09:23:49 AM »

Bruce Percy, a well-known photographer from UK, has a couple of e-books that include discussions and examples of how to visualize your photographs when in the field with your stereoscopic eyes. I recommend you take a look at them because they are so helpful on so many subjects.

Simplifying Visualisation
Simplifying Composition 2nd Edition
www.brucepercy.co.uk/books
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alford.michaelr

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Re: New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2018, 12:57:49 PM »

My interest in this subject isn't at all to try to reproduce stereo perception as such -- publishing stereo pairs or whatever. It's really a preoccupation with the disconnect between the two ways of viewing. So many times I'm struck by the immediacy of a scene and frustrated by my inability to capture that. I still wonder why we don't (or at least very seldom) talk about the issue because it isn't the science that is the subject, but the direct experience. When writing the article, I was struggling with the so-what aspect of it for my own photography.

Which is why I was taken by Ted Forbes' Fan Ho gallery, where so many of the pictures manage to convey depth so successfully. Interestingly, Forbes's appreciation of Fan (Ho?) doesn't mention his ability to capture depth.

The other thing I encountered when reading up on this is that people appear to differ in their ability to see stereo. I was with a friend at a museum here in Washington looking at an intensely 3 dimensional exhibit -- a May Pole consisting of cut-out black silhouette figures dancing around a circle on a white background, about 20 feet across. The 3D effect to me was fascinating, but she said she couldn't see any difference if she closed one eye. So go figure.

Thanks for the additional references in the comments here. I'm going to look them up. I'm also trying to get in touch with Pixar to see if I can connect with anyone who actually directs the 3D versions of their films.
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Telecaster

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Re: New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2018, 04:29:44 PM »

Interestingly, Forbes's appreciation of Fan (Ho?) doesn't mention his ability to capture depth.

"This is my friend Fan. You may call him Mr. Ho."  ;)

(In Mandarin or Cantonese he'd be Ho Fan.)

-Dave-
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 04:35:23 PM by Telecaster »
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fred.carter

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Re: New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2018, 09:34:28 PM »

Thanks -- interesting article.

W/r/t 3D movies vs. Pixar 3D movies, I suspect that the basic reason is as follows:  For "regular" 3D movies, they post-process things, and, from my observations, usually put stuff into foreground, middle, and back.  In effect, 3 planes on which most things fit.

Pixar 3D animations, on the other hand, actually have all the 3D information embedded, to some extent, in the raw sources from which they render the movie.  So, since they have the depth information exactly (well, exactly for something that's made up), they can use that to produce the much more realistic (again, more realistic of something entirely fictional) or, perhaps, convincing or pleasing, 3D effect.

Just an opinion. But I've noticed the same thing.

/fred
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Telecaster

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Re: New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2018, 03:59:41 PM »

Pixar 3D animations, on the other hand, actually have all the 3D information embedded, to some extent, in the raw sources from which they render the movie.  So, since they have the depth information exactly (well, exactly for something that's made up), they can use that to produce the much more realistic (again, more realistic of something entirely fictional) or, perhaps, convincing or pleasing, 3D effect.

The reason why it took Pixar so long to release a Blu-ray version of Finding Nemo had a lot to do with wanting to create a 3D version at the same time. But they'd misplaced or lost the original animation data, which meant 3D was a no-go. Fortunately for them someone on the Nemo team had made a backup of all the data and taken it home (and forgottten about it). Also fortunately the backup was still readable.

-Dave-
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bcooter

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Re: New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2018, 08:02:26 PM »


Photography appeals, again a subjective view, because of it's 2D reality and interpretation of another reality we also understand.

Rob

Very well explained Rob.

I just glanced at the article so I may not be exactly on point in my reply.

One thing Iíve always believed in 2d photography and films is the goal is to give an impression of 3d in 2d form, using lighting, composition and focus selection/depth.

It takes a lot of experience to get it right and most non image makers really canít see in 2d.   My partner and producer has always been able to see like this and she never needs to look at the monitor when working.   She can always catch a bad tangent or a awkward pose.     Some people get it some donít.

Personally Iím not wild about 3d films as they bother me more than astonish me, to the point I think 3d takes away from the story.

Iíve posted this link before about dp John Seale and director George Miller about the making of Mad Max Fury Road.      

The link says it can't be played on this site, but click the blue button and the video will play.

Itís a long 2 hour video, fascinating and the testing and pre production of the movie started out with custom configured huge dalsa chipped digital cameras and rigging, which were much to large and limiting to be effective and since pre production went to almost 6 years (maybe more) by the time they shot they used digital Arriís, voxes of 5d2s, some BM and for still background plates Nikon 800 series still cameras.   

Actually it finally came down to George Miller telling the studio if they want a 3d version, do it in post effects which they finally did as Iím told the biggest movie hits in China are nearly all 3d.

IMO

BC

Alan Klein

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Re: New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2018, 10:15:11 AM »

When I bought my last TV, I wanted a 3D UHDTV 4K.  We had always bought Samsung, but they dropped 3D.  So I bought a Sony who were still making 3D sets.  That was about a year or two ago.  Don't know if any manufacturers are still making 3d in 4K.  I've seen a few 3D movies but not recently.  YouTube has 3D stuff that people have downloaded.  I took a 3D trip on a raft down the Colorado in Grand Canyon that was interesting and there are carnival rides like roller coasters that display in 3D.  (Sony requires the active 3D glasses).  I find that it does take away from the story line.  But for outdoor things like rafting, 3D is kinda nice and keep you dry. 

Dale Villeponteaux

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Re: New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2018, 04:18:44 PM »

In addition to Fan Ho, Don Hong-Oai was a photographer who mastered
depth and perspective.

Regards,
Dale
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Peter McLennan

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Re: New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2018, 05:33:32 PM »

Thanks for the link to the Mad Max behind-the-scenes, bcooter.  Excellent info.

I'm still a fan of 3D, but only if I'm unaware of it unless I remove my 3D glasses.  Nowadays, you can hardly tell, and that's a good thing. My understanding is that all 3D is created in post nowadays.  The days of shooting with those cumbersome rigs are long gone.

3D on TV will always disappoint, IMHO.  The screen's simply far too small.  It's like looking into a little box.
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alford.michaelr

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Re: New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2018, 06:48:18 PM »

I will follow up on the references you all provided, but I would like to ask again a central question -- whether you, as photographers, are ever consciously aware of stereo vision as you compose in the field, such as the near field scenes with lots of mixed distances but without much perspective, and the far field scenes where you can still perceive stereo depth hundreds of feet away. This is when I feel that photography often misses the essence of the scene.

I guess the consensus is that we don't want to reproduce 3D in our images (I don't) -- that the translation to 2D is the essence of what we do. But still, the immediacy of 3D in person is another way of seeing. It's worth being consciously aware of, since 99% of the time it's below the threshold of awareness.
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Rob C

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Re: New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2018, 05:06:28 AM »

I will follow up on the references you all provided, but I would like to ask again a central question -- whether you, as photographers, are ever consciously aware of stereo vision as you compose in the field, such as the near field scenes with lots of mixed distances but without much perspective, and the far field scenes where you can still perceive stereo depth hundreds of feet away. This is when I feel that photography often misses the essence of the scene.

I guess the consensus is that we don't want to reproduce 3D in our images (I don't) -- that the translation to 2D is the essence of what we do. But still, the immediacy of 3D in person is another way of seeing. It's worth being consciously aware of, since 99% of the time it's below the threshold of awareness.

And that 1% time when I need 3D most is when I have to go alongside a parked car, reverse into the space behind it, and avoid the front of the car forming the end of that available slot. In the old days, I could rest my arm on the passenger seat, lever my body and turn around to look over my shoulder and see the space between my car and the next; today, where the headrests allow, all I can see is its windscreen. No friggin' idea what the safe distance is anymore, or where my own quarters. My wing mirrors are consumate liars.

People say oh, you need parking bleepers! No, designers need to stop making cars like jelly moulds, and return to designs that let you see the four corners as you could in sensible cars until the end of the 70s. During the onset of my first male menopause I sat in a Triumph TR7 in an attempt to get out of saloon life and stretch my imagination. I didn't even test drive it: I couldn't see any part of the car beyond the edge of the windscreen. Today, that's the bleedin' norm!

;-)

Alan Klein

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Re: New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2018, 11:57:35 AM »

And that 1% time when I need 3D most is when I have to go alongside a parked car, reverse into the space behind it, and avoid the front of the car forming the end of that available slot. In the old days, I could rest my arm on the passenger seat, lever my body and turn around to look over my shoulder and see the space between my car and the next; today, where the headrests allow, all I can see is its windscreen. No friggin' idea what the safe distance is anymore, or where my own quarters. My wing mirrors are consumate liars.

People say oh, you need parking bleepers! No, designers need to stop making cars like jelly moulds, and return to designs that let you see the four corners as you could in sensible cars until the end of the 70s. During the onset of my first male menopause I sat in a Triumph TR7 in an attempt to get out of saloon life and stretch my imagination. I didn't even test drive it: I couldn't see any part of the car beyond the edge of the windscreen. Today, that's the bleedin' norm!

;-)

That's what bumpers are for.  :)

amolitor

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Re: New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2018, 12:22:44 PM »

I think the article misses out on a crucial point regarding the history of Art, in favor of promoting the standard modernist ideas of progress in Art. The idea that Perspective was some sort of Breakthrough that allowed Art to Suddenly Start Becoming Good is baked into that story, and is quite wrong.

Much of (most? virtually all?)  early painting didn't care about perspective, because it was not relevant to what they were about. These people were painting stories, not realistic depictions of single scenes seen from a single point of view. The idea that you ought to represent the scene literally would have baffled these people "why on earth would I not show the thing that's behind the other thing? It's an important thing!"

The modern perspective drawing, as well as the photograph, privileges a very specific way of seeing (pace John Berger, from  whom I learned most of this stuff), which is fairly far removed from how we actually see, except in the most technical and trivial ways.

When we're in the world, we're moving, we're turning out head, many of the objects we're looking at are moving. Our eyes are terrible instruments anyways, most of what we "see" is a construct of our brain, building a sort of 3D model of the world, editing as necessary, and presenting it to out higher functions as a sort of a movie. The camera "sees" in a completely different way. A stereogram is only slightly less "flat" than a normal photograph. We cannot exactly walk around the corner of the building in  a stereogram, turning our head does quite the wrong thing, and so on.

Paintings made before the Camera Obscura, and after about 1900, often depict the world in a way that more closely resembles the way we actually see. Cubism is as much about revealing the backside of objects as it is about anything else.

Note that all this makes photographs rather more interesting, not less. Because they do not in fact really capture the way we actually relate to the visual world, the raise interesting questions about what exactly the do capture, how they capture it, and what we can do with that. It's a lot more than "well, it's 2D innit?"

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Rob C

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Re: New Article - Photography and Stereo Vision
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2018, 03:12:02 PM »

That's what bumpers are for.  :)


That's what bumpers were supposed to help you to achieve (and protect at the same time) without harming the coachwork. Today's plastic fantastic just mean you crack and scar bodywork, and before you know it, you're looking at 300 euros for a little rear section made of decidedly dodgy materials. If you own an expensive car, be prepared to pay the equivalent of a cheap one to replace your rear light cluster.

The plastics idea was twofold: stop you from bending a pedestrian getting in your way at walking speed; allow cheaper and more easily formed materials be used in car construction. I leave it to you to guess which part worked.
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