Tuesday, 23 November 2010

do we see in 3D or 2D

Welcome to 21st edition.

 This weeks tutorial is on caring for your camera's sensor. Simple maintenance will save you time and money.

3D or 2D that is the question?

Surely we see in 3D. Your computer screen has a front middle and back which you can see clearly so the answer must be we see in 3D. We have a sense of space and depth otherwise driving would not be a universal means of transport. Some of you will be screaming "no you idiot we only have two eyes so therefore the answer is 2D" and you would of course be correct. So how can we judge space and depth? The brain tricks us into believing that we are seeing in 3D.

Hold your finger a few inches away from your eye. Close one eye and then switch to the other. The same finger in the same location appears to move although we know it has not. Our angle of view changes. The eyes see two slightly different views of the world but our perception is that we have a continuous view. The brain takes this information and interprets it and our sense of depth is created. If you move your finger further away from your eye the effect of movement is reduced. Have you seen 'Avatar'  by James Cameron. You may remember there were a lot of images where the viewer is looking through things that help to create this illusion. Can you remember the scenes in the forest in Avatar?

This effect of movement is called 'Binocular Disparity.'  Charles Wheastone was the first person to describe the experience and in 1840 was awarded the Royal Medal from the Royal Society for his work.

Man of the moment,  Eadweard Muybridge used  this knowledge to show his landscape images via a stereoscope. Two photographs were taken at slightly different angles just like our eyes see.  Looked at through a viewer  it creates the impression of depth. Queen Victoria started a craze for them when she used one in London during the Great Exhibition of 1851. Queen guitarist Brian May is fanatical about this aspect of photography. May became an international figure during his time in the band however; prior to this he was studying for his phd. While his contribution to good music is a matter of taste, his work for the stereoscope is significant. Please click on the links to find out more about this curious subject.

This Tuesday there is a talk by Albert Watson at the Victoria & Albert museum in London. Going with a friend so it will be interesting at the very least. I will share with you the pearls of wisdom from Mr Watson next time. They still have tickets aviliable if you can get there.

As 'The American' is released soon about a photographer played by George Clooney it got me thinking about films with photography in them.

Blow Up, Momento and Rear Window are three of my top contemporary films. I would like to hear anyone elses choice. What would you include?

Thanks for reading.
"When I have a camera in my hand I know no fear." Alfred Eisenstaedt.

How to care for your cameras sensor -

No comments:

Post a Comment