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Puget Sound Stereo Camera Club - 2013

Yearly Archives: 2013


PSSCC November Meeting Notes

Once again, here’s a quick summary of our November meeting for members and friends who couldn’t make it to the meeting.

Club Business

Club Treasurer, Brian Hogan, reported that we’re in good shape financially, with nearly all the annual dues paid for active members, and roughly $500 in the bank.

The PSA Journal’s recent issue included their selections for the 2012-13 images of the year, featuring one from our very own Bob Venezia!

Bob mentioned the possibility of hosting an exhibition of photos locally for public consumption. More information to come soon!

Club Competition

We judged our November photo club contest, which was centered on the theme “Harvest”. Check out the Competition Winners page for details.

Exploring 3D

Don Munsil took us on another short journey through his eclectic collection of 3D treasures, including his newest acquisition, Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell by Brian May (Amazon.com $42.56). He showed some new iterations of the classic Viewmaster viewers, and attempted to sell, then give away, some “Color Code” viewers, but there were no takers… at any price. He had a little better luck when he auctioned off some CD’s of “Golden Age” stereographs.

Some club members shared their recent work with the group. Bob Venezia showed the movie he’s working on showing time lapse images of carnival rides and David Brown showed some images he’d made using his cell phone.

Don shared some movie excerpts from Monsters University, and a delightful 3D short called “Blue Umbrella,” both from Disney. We also watched an informative and slightly unsettling 3D film made for Imax theaters called “Space Junk 3D” as well as series of Underwood and Underwood still photos of Ireland c.1905.


By |November 21st, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on PSSCC November Meeting Notes

PSSCC September Meeting Notes

After our summer break, the PSSCC had a great start to the season at our monthly meeting in Federal Way. For those not able to attend, here’s a (very) brief summary of the discussions and events.

Club Business

Don Munsil, club president and host-extraordinaire, started the meeting with show-and-tell. He brought several items from his extensive collection of 3D stuff, including:

  • The Wonders of the Stereoscope, by John Jones (view on Amazon)
  • 3D Grand Trumps Tarot Deck, by Davide Corsi (view on Amazon)
  • An Album of Stereographs, by  William Culp Darrah and Richard Russack (view on Amazon)
  • A cool, high-resolution (1080+) phone by Oppo

Don also re-booted the clubs tradition of distributing prizes for the photo contest winners. (Thanks Don!) Included in the vast treasure-trove are:


We spent a good amount of time discussing our tradition of providing lunch during the meetings, and the logistics, costs and equitable distribution of responsibility. Various ways of encouraging volunteer participation for bringing food were kicked around, and in the end, it was decided that we’d try to move forward with the new online food sign-up list on the website. Even before the conversation was finished, members of the club were seen signing up for next month via their cellphones.


From food, we moved on to money. Our new Treasurer gave a brief summary of our financial situation, which is actually pretty good. In brief, we have money in the bank and most of our members have paid their dues for this year. We discussed the pros and cons of paying for the room through June of this year, and the possibility that the club might move it’s meeting venue to somewhere closer the bulk our members, in the Seattle or Eastside areas. Moving would require the formation of a committee to investigate and evaluate alternate locations. The idea was tabled for the time-being. In the end, it seemed everyone agreed that reserving the room through June was a good idea, since moving would take a while to sort out.

The idea of a contingency fund to cover wear and tear on the slideshow equipment was also discussed. Most people were surprised to find out that each of the bulbs in our projectors cost about $300, and replacing them would be a significant challenge for our small bank account. That lead to some brainstorming about how to capitalize on the value of the club’s library of 3D artifacts and magazines that have been received as part of our participation in various photography clubs. Don volunteered to begin sorting through the boxes, one by one, and bringing them into the club to sell to help raise funds for our contingency fund.

Photo Competition

After lunch, we sat down to view our “What I Did Last Summer” photo competition. Our winners were:

  1. Bob Venezia’s fireworks image “Majestic Burst”.
  2. David Brown’s “Spider”.
  3. Shannon Milner’s “Boat”

The winning photos and artist statements have been posted on the competition winners page.

Exploring 3D

After our competition, Don shared some 3D demo reels from LG and Samsung created to showcase their 3D TVs. We also examined how photos from a rotating product display can be assembled into stereo images by pairing sequential images as left/right pairs. We also looked at many images taken over the summer by club members, and had an informative mini-workshop about how to reduce ghosting in high-contrast photos by adjusting the horizontal positioning of the pairs.

Looking Ahead

Next month our club competition theme is “Patterns”.

In addition, next month you can bring your entries for the ISC Competition.

By |September 15th, 2013|Club Business|Comments Off on PSSCC September Meeting Notes

The Hostas, by Bob Venezia

We asked Bob Venezia to share some details of how he created the hosta photos he showed at the June 2013 meeting.

As many of you know, my W3 is normally attached to my Cyclopital macro adapter. The adapter with the camera is a really fine combination and opens the door to new possibilities. Besides reducing the interocular spacing the adapter provides a hot shoe, opening the door to off-camera flash. And I love the off-camera flash!

I have a number of slave-able flashes and I was playing in the garden to see what effects I might get from backlighting leaves. The results from the hosta took me totally by surprise (the lesson here is that it’s important to play). The backlighting of the leaves was cool but what amazed me was the depth and texture that was revealed by the close-up 3D.

One of our hostas
One of our hostas as is.

When I shoot close up 3D in the garden I often bring a tripod, a couple of light stands, and a bagful of flashes. I stick a long dowel through the umbrella holder of one light stand and use this to drape some black velvet so I can limit my background. But for the hostas I dispensed with the velvet and filled my frame with layered leaves.

Camera on tripod
The camera on a tripod aimed low at the hosta.

An adapter on the hot shoe is used to connect a flash on a cord.
close up of hot shoe
Hot shoe with adapter and cord

using a leaf as a flash diffuser
Improvised light modifier!

The picture I showed at the meeting looked pretty good right out of the camera. Here it is trimmed for the stereo window.

stereo of hosta in color

To do the Black and White conversion I played with the Photoshop function Image→Calculations.


(In this case I’m working on a flattened layer with both left and right images on the same layer.)

The Calculations dialog is set like this for the current image:


I chose the Green channel for a couple of reasons. This being a predominantly Green image the Green Channel was the brightest. And the Green channel Often has the best quality information in it.

I set the Result to be a New Document. Note that it will be created in the Multichannel format.

To get it back to RGB, choose ImageModeGrayscale, and then ImageModeRGB.

Now to go a little more crazy, I might duplicate the layer several times and experiment with filters, blend modes, and opacity.

And if you have the Topaz filters, you could use them to create an effect like this:

stereo of the hostas, with Topaz filters applied

And it’s just that easy!

By |August 10th, 2013|3D Education|Comments Off on The Hostas, by Bob Venezia

Museum Macros with a Cellphone

On my last visit to the Seattle Art Museum I decided to try to make some macro cha-cha photos with my cellphone. It was fun to put them together and it was  a good learning experience. I’ll explain what I did here, and what didn’t work very well.

The cha-cha technique, briefly, is to take two successive photos with the same camera from different positions, then later assemble the images side-by-side into a proper stereo pair.

For this experiment, I set my cellphone camera to it’s macro setting, held the camera up flat to the museum exhibit glass (when no one was looking), took a photo, then slid the camera slightly to the right to take another photo. The closer the subject, the less I moved the camera. In most cases I slid the camera horizontally only about 1-2 inches. Some subjects were a little further away so I slid the camera slightly more. It wasn’t very scientific, but that was part of the fun. One or two have a slightly hyper-stereo look to them and I sort of like the result.

These images are in cross-eye mode.

I tried another technique that didn’t work well. That was to set the camera to the “multi-shot” setting so that it would take 5 shots in quick succession (within about one second) and while it was shooting, I slid the camera to the right. In theory, I’d be able to pair the first image with each of the subsequent images to get stronger and stronger stereo effects, and I would pick the best pair. In fact what happened was that I got one clear image (the first one) and four blurry ones. Shooting separate images gave much crisper results. Next time, I may just shoot 5 separate images with the camera held still each time, THEN try to assemble the best pair.

Another thing that didn’t work too well was shooting at some distance, particularly without the support of the glass case to keep the camera still. That’s when the noisy CCD in my camera and my unstable hand-held shots become particularly noticeable, as with the Pacific Northwest mask. The museum environment is kept intentionally dark, so it really helps to get close and be still.

And, by the way, shooting photos of art in the Seattle Art Museum is expressly allowed for most of the art objects in the museum.

By |July 28th, 2013|3D Education|Comments Off on Museum Macros with a Cellphone

Poppy turns your iPhone into a 3D camera

Poppy, a sleek and somewhat retro black and orange gizmo, transforms an iPhone into a camera capable of capturing, viewing and sharing photos and video in 3D. Put your phone in the device (which supports iPhone 4, 4S, 5 and iPod Touch) and give the box a twist to begin recording.

So how does it work? Poppy uses mirrors to capture two stereographic images using the iPhone’s single camera. When seen through the viewfinder, Poppy’s lenses combine the two video streams into a single, crisp, 3D video.

“As kids, we loved those old toy Viewmasters, and how they gave you the feeling of stepping into another world. We wanted to let anyone create and share their own immersive 3D scenes too. That’s why we made Poppy,” says Joe Heitzeberg, one of Poppy’s creators.

Another great thing about Poppy is that it works with 3D content that’s already online. Most people aren’t aware, but YouTube supports 3D and has amassed a huge library of 3D movie trailers, music videos, sports clips and user-generated content — and all of it looks beautiful on Poppy. The viewing experience is immersive and natural — much higher fidelity than using red/blue 3D glasses.

Poppy is launching on Kickstarter at under $50 — putting Poppy in the sweet spot for gifts and casual gadget purchases. It also sets Poppy apart from other 3D cameras that have come on the market in recent years, which are more expensive and don’t typically include 3D viewing or sharing functionality.

“iPhone is the world’s most popular camera, and Poppy is the first product that lets the iPhone capture, view and share the world as it is actually experienced — in 3D. We can’t wait to get it in people’s hands and see what they do with it,” says Poppy co-creator, Ethan Lowry.

Please check out Poppy on Kickstarter today.

By |July 4th, 2013|Products, Technology|Comments Off on Poppy turns your iPhone into a 3D camera

Phereo 3D Plugin for WordPress

The 3D image sharing site, Phereo.com, created a plugin module for WordPress that allows the user to select the preferred viewing method by clicking the buttons beneath the image.
(Note: parallel + swap = crossview).
[3dpix id=”512aca565ec346855f000012″]

By |June 16th, 2013|Technology|Comments Off on Phereo 3D Plugin for WordPress

Dues Are Due!

PSSCC Membership Dues

With the beginning of the 2013-2014 season, it’s time to remind everyone to pay up. Annual membership to PSSCC is only $20 (what a bargain!)


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Last Year 🙁

In the 2012-2013 season, we came up short on membership dues. Only about half our active members remembered to contribute. If you failed to contribute last year, and you want to catch up, you can slip a Twenty to our new Treasurer, Brian Hogan at our next meeting.

By |June 16th, 2013|Club Business|Comments Off on Dues Are Due!