Photos in 3D

3D Photo photoPerhaps the whole premise of the movie Titanic was a little off. Objects of interest from the Titanic can be worth millions of dollars. They didn’t have to go after the Heart of the Ocean. A few worthless artifacts would have been just as priceless. An Irish court gathered recently to try to make a decision on what kind of people had the right to salvage objects of interest from the wreck of the Titanic. They had to make a decision because there were people trying to retrieve Captain Smith’s bathtub. The court sat and looked at a 3D photo of the deep ghostly interior of the Titanic – of the bathtub sitting there for nearly a century at bottom of the ocean.

The 3D photo today isn’t just the province of people with access to deep pockets. If you would just like spectacular 3D photos of your children at the beach or other such heartwarming moments, Lumix makes 3-D camera for about $1,750. But what if you are just the official photographer for your own mud-pie making children and you can think of at least a dozen other places $1750 would be better spent? What if you just want to take wicked 3-D pictures of those mud pies without spending almost any cash at all?

There are all kinds of magical things possible on a little money these days. The new Lytro camera, for instance, for little money, allows you did take pictures that you can set the focus on afterwards in software. Now Kodak has a new system – that they just showed off at the Consumer Electronics Show. It allows you to take regular pictures with any regular camera and then turn them into it 3-D in the software they give you. All you need to do to gain this ability is to spend $100 on their new ESP C310 3-D photo printer.

3D Photo photoWhat is it that the regular 3-D cameras do? They come with two separate lenses; every time you take a picture, you’re actually taking two pictures at different points of view. Each picture is meant for a different eye. Each eye gets to look only at the picture that’s intended for it when you look at the picture through 3-D glasses. The genius of the new Kodak system is, that you don’t have to have a camera that has two lenses set apart at a set distance. You just have to shoot any picture twice moving the camera a couple of inches for the second one.

You feed both images into the Windows-only software you get, and it turns both images into a single 3D photo that you can view with the supplied paper glasses. The question is though, does it work well when you can get your subjects to hold a pose until you click two pictures?

The 3-D photo that results tends to be viewable and clearly three-dimensional, if not with the kind of spectacular depth and clarity you get on real 3-D cameras. In some ways, this could be a novelty product.

Photo by Sean MacEntee

Photo by jorgempf

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