How can you take and view your own 3-dimensional photographs

You can take stereoscopic photos with an ordinary still camera on a slide film. To view the images you need two ordinary 'loops', with which you can watch the slides against a light. These are very inexpensive.

The photographing

Equipment needed

* An ordinary still camera
* A slide film

The target

Any target, which stays immobile between taking the two photos. If you want to photograph for example trees, there must be no wind, because otherwise the leaves will be different in the second image.

The photographing method

1. Pick up the target.
2. Composite the image in the way you like. The image can be
   in horizontal as well as in vertical position.
3. Move your weight on your left foot in order to take the photo
   for the left eye.
4. Before taking it, memorize a detail in the upper or lower left
   corner of the view.
5. Take the photo, and move your weight on your right foot.
6. Composite the next image so that it is vertically positioned
   exactly like the first one. Horizontally you should include
   a little more of the view in the left.
7. Take the photo for the right eye.

Viewing the images

Place the images in the loops. Lift them on your eyes so that they touch each other in the middle. Adjust them in the vertical direction until the images overlap in your eyes correctly. You will notice, if the images are in the wrong order. In this case switch the position of the loops. It is sensible to make 'L' and 'R' marks on the frames to know which image belongs to the left and which to the right.

Actually you could glue the loops together to form a Viewmaster-style aparatus, but then you would have no possibility to adjust the loops separately. It is likely that when taking the photos you cannot position the images vertically so precisely that they would always match. And even if you could (for example by using a tripod), they would propably get slightly dispositioned when framing.
A stereoscopic photo

Why must you direct the right image more to the left

This is recommended in order to place the final 3-dimensional image BEHIND the frame (as though it was viewed through a window). Only the nearest objects can be deliberately positioned slightly in front of the frame. The following images clarify this (you can view them using parallel viewing technique).

Factors affecting the depth

The more you move the camera horizontally between taking the two photos, the more apparent will be the depth of the final image. By moving your weight from the left foot to the right, the distance will propably be a little greater than the actual distance between your eyes; you must however notice that when you view the 3D-image you see it smaller than originally. After taking your first stereo photos, you can decide whether you want more or less depth in the pictures.


In the case you want to exxagerate the depth, moving the weight from one foot to the other is no longer sufficient. You must then take a step to the side between taking the photos. The further the target is from you, the smaller is the stereoscopic depth impact. If you want a strong three-dimensionality even for photographs taken from a great distance, you must exxagerate the 'distance between the eyes' very much. If you for instance take a photo of the horizon (without including parts nearer to you), it's quite adequate to move even by a meter (or more) to the right. If the view includes some clouds you should take the pictures as rapidly as possible so that the clouds don't have time to move too much (this depends naturally on the strength of the wind).