Our 2016-2017 meeting schedule begins on Saturday, September 10. Our first photo contest theme will be “Summer Share” as we normally do for our first meeting after the summer break. We’ll discuss contest themes for the rest of the year at our first meeting.
In the last few months of meetings and announcements some websites and tools have been mentioned. Here’s a quick post to provide references for anyone who’s interested.
Digital Photography School
Before we start, here’s a new one that I’d like to share. This blog/newsletter offers pretty inspiring tips for the aspiring photographer. He’s eager to sell his classes and books, but what he gives away for free is pretty good. Link: http://digital-photography-school.com/tips
Google has a set of photo filters that they just made available for free called Nik. They used to cost about $150, but they just decided to give them away. Be warned, it’s a big download (~500MB). I’ve been using them in Photoshop, but there may be other ways to work with them. Check it out here: https://www.google.com/
Google Cardboard (VR)
Back in February Don showed us some of his VR (virtual reality) viewers. One of the software applications that Don mentioned was Jaunt VR (website: http://www.jauntvr.
That’s all for now.
Before we get to the January wrap-up, remember that our February club meeting is on Feb 13, the day before Valentine’s day.
In our January meeting, we had some technical difficulties (Stuart wasn’t there) so we couldn’t get our voting software working. As a result, for our next club photo competition in February, we’ll have a combined contest theme of Food / Nature.
We also had a frank conversation about the food situation. Marilyn and Joyce have been managing the significant effort for providing, organizing and cleaning up our monthly buffet. There are a few things that they’d like to request.
- We need more volunteers to bring food. It generally falls to the same people, month after month.
- Please don’t call Marilyn or Joyce to check on the food status. Please check the website to see what’s needed. Note that you can now sign-up AND cancel on the sign-up list. The sign up list automatically notifies our food coordinators whenever there’s a change on the list, and will automatically send you an email reminder the day before the event. You can also sign up months in advance. Nevertheless, if you sign-up and later can’t provide food for some reason, please make an effort to find someone to take your place. We all agreed that if there are gaps on the sign-up sheet, there will be gaps on the lunch table. No one should be expected to fill the gaps at the last minute.
- Joyce requested occasional assistance with driving food to the meeting during bad weather. She’s in the North Seattle area. Please write Joyce directly if you’re willing to help in this respect.
- It was also requested that our newsletter/meeting reminder/email be sent two weeks ahead of the meeting requesting food volunteers, and that a second reminder be sent one week ahead of the meeting to point out any gaps in the menu.
Food Reminder: Please sign up to bring food. 😀 Here’s the link to the sign up page.
We also addressed our meeting location. It was suggested that a more convenient location would help existing members come more often, and might even bring in new members. Don said he’d check out a church venue in Kirkland, but any change wouldn’t happen until our next club season (2016-2017) because we’ve committed to the Federal Way Senior Center. I have also sent email inquiries to two Seattle-area churches that rent space to other photo clubs, but have yet to get a response from either.
Don showed us some of his VR (virtual reality) viewers. One of the software applications that Don mentioned was Jaunt VR which allows you to use your phone to view VR. You’ll need a VR headset viewer such as Google Cardboard or similar units. Look online for inexpensive units.
Spring will be in the air next month, and we’ll all start to get that itch to be outdoors more often. But for now, it’s still cold and wet, which is perfect weather to work on your photo submissions for “Food / Nature” for February 13.
See you then.
PSSCC Members and Friends,
Our season opener was eventful. Here’s a brief summary of what happened.
Don Munsil treated us to a quick review of his summer trip to Scotland. He told us about an exhibit at the National Museum of Scotland in Edenborough called Photography: A Victorian Sensation that featured a great deal of stereoscopic photography. In addition, he told us about the Swiss precision drum team at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo called the Top Secret Drum Corps.
Don’s book reviews included a German paperback about the Kaiser Panorama, and 3D Berlin (sorry, no link). His new disk acquisitions include The Young and Prodigious T. S. Spivet (Amazon disk and filmmaker interview) from the same guy that gave us Delicatessen and Amalie. He also pointed out the wide variety of 3D BluRay disks with David Attenborough available through Amazon.co.uk. Phyllis Maslin introduced us to a special disk called 3D Rarities that was featured at this year’s NSA convention in Salt Lake City.
We started collecting club dues for PSSCC ($30/year). If you missed the September meeting, you can catch up at next month’s meeting.
Joan Story told us that she’s preparing to move into a new house, and decided to sell her husband’s collection of cameras. Her husband Joe, who passed a few years ago, was an avid photographer and collected cameras for many years. Joan and Joe have been long-time members and supporters of PSSCC, and she felt Joe would have liked to see the proceeds of the sale come to PSSCC. Joan graciously presented the club with a check for $4,000 to help support the club and to improve our 3D experience. Thank you Joan (and Joe) for this very generous gift! In future meetings we’ll discuss ways we can use the donation most effectively.
Last year, our humble Puget Sound Stereo Camera Club won first place in the Photographic Society of America’s International Stereo Club Competition. This month, we got a chance to see the certificate in glorious 4D right in front of our own eyes! For those of you who missed it, here’s a 3D representation >>
We saw clips from some of the disks that Don and Phyllis discussed, including a 1940’s 3D promotional featurette about the Pennsylvania Keystone Railroad, a clip from the BBC’s National History Museum Alive about archaeopteryx, and a great selection of 3D images from the Best of Stereoscopy group on Flickr. Next year’s NSA 3D-Con convention is in Tulsa, and we saw a promotional film put out by the event organizers that highlighted the photogenic side of Tulsa, including a surprising amount of Art Deco architecture.
Stuart Turley gave a live demonstration of how to use StereoPhotoMaker to remove the distortion we often see in photos of tall, vertical structures. Stuart agreed to write up the process to include in the “How To” section of our website.
It was a great meeting and a great start to our 2015-2016 season.
See you in October, when our monthly contest theme will be Orange.
- September – Summer share out
- October – Anything in the color orange
- November – Jack-o’-lanterns
- December – Sparkles
- January – Food
- February – Nature
- March – Industrial
- April – Contrast
- May – Transportation (no cars)
- June – Open
It’s March Madness in April. This is our equivalent of the NCAA final four!The final International Stereo Club Competition (ISCC) of the season will be held in May. We will need to pick our entries at the April meeting. Currently we are in First Place! Should we have a good showing in May, we have a very good shot at the top spot.Why are we doing so well? We hosted the ISCC in November. If this were bowling, that would be like bowling a strike. Strikes are good, but to really capitalize on them you need to do well in both of the next 2 frames. We did great in the first frame after the strike. Now there’s one more to go, and it is our time to shine.Bring your favorite 3D images to the meeting. The rules are:
- Must have originated as a photograph taken by you.
- Must not have previously won an award in the ISCC (but if your image has been chosen previously to represent the club, and it did not win a ribbon, your image may be re-entered).
The specifications are that the image should be a parallel pair, side by side with dimensions of 2800×1050 pixels (1400×1050 for each side). If your photo does not meet that spec, Bob will reformat it for you before sending it into the competition.
This month, our photo contest is “Love” which, for the record, excludes selfies with your photo equipment! Bring your loveliest pics to share and show off. We’d all love to see them.
Elliott Swanson has posted images on Flickr of his trip to Harry Potter World. See them here: https://www.flickr.com/
See ya’ll in March.
Long-time club member Elliott Swanson sent us some images of Mont Saint-Michel for our club to view in January. Elliott couldn’t be there with us then due to his hectic, globe-trotting schedule. However he did forward me a link to the photos on Flickr to share with everyone.
Long-time club member Elliott Swanson sent us some images of Mont Saint-Michel for our club to view in January. Elliott couldn’t be there with us then due to his hectic, globe-trotting schedule. However he did forward me a link to the photos on Flickr to share with everyone.
I wanted to remind everyone who was there, and inform anyone who missed the meeting, that we discussed in broad terms what our club policy should be regarding posting our 3D contest winners on the Internet. Presumably this policy would apply to any other photos that are given to me with the intention of publishing on the website. I’ve drafted an official sounding policy that I’d like to get comments on before we post it as truly official on our official website 🙂
- Photos submitted to PSSCC photo contests may be published on our club website, psscc.org, unless the artist specifically requests that they not be published.
- Artist’s publishing preferences may be submitted on an individual photo basis or as a blanket policy covering all photos submitted by the artist. It is the artist’s responsibility to ensure his/her intentions are understood by PSSCC club members and volunteers responsible for publication.
- Photos will not be published on any other public forum (including, but not limited to social media and photo sharing sites) without the express permission of the artist on a photo-by-photo basis.
- PSSCC club members and volunteers will make a best efforts attempt to comply with all artists’ wishes, and artists agree to indemnify PSSCC club members and volunteers for any perceived or monetary damages in case of any failure to comply with any stated or unstated publishing preferences.
- Submitting images for PSSCC photo contests implies understanding and consent to the club’s publishing policy.
- PSSCC’s publishing policy takes effect January 1, 2015.
January Meeting Reminders
Date: Our January meeting is next Saturday, on January 10.
Contests: We’ll have TWO contests next month:
- Our PSSCC monthly contest theme is: Decorations.
- Our ISCC contest is also this month, and Bob Venezia asked me to pass along the following info:
February will be the next edition of the International Stereo Club Competition and so this month we will need to pick our entries. Bring your best photos that have not previously gotten awards in the competition.
The photos should be parallel format (two images joined together into one file with the left image on the left and the right image on the right). Each of the left and right component images should be 1400×1050 pixels, with the resulting file being 2800×1050. File weight should not exceed 2.5 MB per image. JPEGs and PNGs are acceptable.
For more granular specifics, please refer to:http://psscc.org/iscc-
and good luck!!!
Food: Do you miss the food-craziness of the holidays? Me too! Let’s bring some yummy stuff to our club meeting! The sign-up sheet is ready and waiting for you.
Next Saturday our club photo contest theme is “Fairy Tales” and I’m sure you all have great photos of Fairies and of Tales, and of the Tails on Fairies, and such… so bring ’em, show ’em and win big, BIG prizes!
I’m going to bring a Google Cardboard Virtual Reality viewer that i got in the mail this week. Sadly, it’s not compatible with my phone, but if anyone with an Android phone wants to give it a try, you can download the Google Cardboard app from the Play store and try my viewer on Saturday.
At the meeting I’d like to take a minute to talk about our publishing policy regarding photos submitted for competition at our club contests. It’s never been stated explicitly that photos submitted for our private viewing are authorized to be published on the web. We should talk about it as a group, and determine an acceptable policy.
You may have noticed that the PSSCC.org website is pretty out of date. I had some trouble with WordPress, but that’s fixed now! Now, if I could just keep up with the content!
And finally, no meeting reminder would be complete without an exhortation to BRING FOOD! Get your tummy in shape for holiday excess by bringing a big bunch of something delicious to share. See the sign-up page to stake your claim on a food category.
See ya soon!
We had our January Meeting on one of the stormiest days we’ve seen for a while. Once we all dried out, we covered quite a bit of territory, as usual. Here’s a quick summary for those of you who couldn’t be there.
The Senior Center where we meet has informed us that they would like to raise our rental rate from $10/hour to $15/hour. For the four hour rental period we reserved each month, that means a bump from $40 to $60 per meeting. This is actually a significant discount from the $25/hour they normally charge, but since our dues have only just been covering our expenses, we’ll be most likely be forced to raise our dues next season to (probably) $30/year. Our Treasurer, Brian Hogan, reported that we have (with the addition of one more club member’s dues that came in during the meeting) a total of $531 in our bank account. We won’t run out of money any time soon, but we’d also like to keep at least a $400 balance in the account, and the higher rental rate will send us down below that threshold unless we increase our dues.
There was also some discussion of finding another location to hold our meetings. A few places were suggested that might (or might not) cost less than we’re paying now. There also might be possible meeting places that would be further north, which would be closer to where most of us live. The process of finding a new place is going to take some time, and we don’t really have to make the move in a hurry, but a plea was made to the members to spend a little time looking around for options.
Show and Tell
Don Munsil brought a few things to show us this month. First he showed a Harry Potter 3D viewer and slide card set which was made by Viewmaster for Disney. The clever design of this viewer and the clever Viewmaster-like slides weren’t enough, so Stuart Turley (who formerly owned the set but traded it to Don for another even more obscure viewer) customized a second Harry Potter 3D view with achromatic lenses. These were shared with everyone during the break so we could make a side-by-side comparison of the identical viewers with different quality lenses.
Don also shared a set of German books with anaglyphic and traditional stereographic card images from Germany pre-WWII.
Our PSSCC stereo photo contest theme this month was “Action” and our winners were as follows (see the photos on our PSSCC Contests page):
- 1st – Shannon Milner’s black and white photo of a steam locomotive near Mt. Rainier.
- 2nd – Shannon Milner’s photo of Mexican dancers in a parade.
- 3rd – Walter Hughson’s photo of a falcon diorama at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Our competition to select images for the ISCC resulted in six images, with two images each from Shannon Milner, Bob Venezia and Stuart Turley. They’ll be submitted to the ISCC and we’ll announce their success as soon as we know.
Bob Venezia shared some spectacular photos he took on the island of Kauai, and Jim Johnston showed a series of images of amanita mushrooms growing on the wooded grounds of his church. Don shared a few short videos, as usual. We started the round with another incomprehensible sci-fi demo reel from our favorite producers of Russian sci-fi demo reels, Animatrix. We followed that with a fireworks show from Japan by filmed by Takashi Sekitani, (more at http://stereoeye.jp/index_e.
Don showed a series of 100 late 19th century images of Russia and Finland captured from stereoscopic cards. Our final video “dessert” was a short film by 3D master John Hart called “The Fast Life” that mixed time-lapse photography, still photography and even some abstract-ish photos into a memorable art film.
It was a great meeting as usual and we look forward to our next meeting on February 8th.
Our December meeting was well attended and full of great photos and interesting info. For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s a quick summary of what we covered.
Colleen Woolpert gave a presentation on a 3D viewer she’s developing. She wrote up some details which were posted earlier, including a photo of the viewer.
Sadly, the 2012-2013 ISC photo competition didn’t result in any ribbons for PSSCC. We came in 8th overall, which is respectable, but we’ve done better in the past. We’ll need to up our game this year.
Our recreational viewing included some stunning photos of the Western Maryland Railroad by club member Stuart Turley, a set of 100 vintage stereoscopic cards of India circa 1902, and a couple of short films from the legendary John Hart. The first Hart film was extremely slow motion images of projectiles passing through lightbulbs, fruit and other small objects. The second was a psychedelic voyage through a variety of computer-generated fractal objects. We also enjoyed a film from the European Space Agency on the International Space Station. We also watched a segment of the IMAX film “Hubble 3D” showing computer generated views of what it would be like to fly through space.
Our contest winners for December’s theme of “Celebrations/Costumes” can be seen on the contest winners page. They were:
1st – Stuart Turley’s “Bubbly”
2nd (tie) – Shannon Milner’s “Native” and Shannon Milner’s “Mice”
The TwinScope is a unique stereoscope for viewing stereographs or other side-by-side 3D prints (with combined maximum width of 8 inches). In designing the product, the aim was to replicate the viewing experience of the classic Holmes stereoscope, but in a museum-worthy hanging stereoscope for viewing stereographs that are not only hand-held, but also matted and framed, in exhibition cases, or otherwise displayed. Like the Holmes stereoscope, the TwinScope has a lens hood–in this case rubber, and large enough for eyeglass wearers–as well as prismatic lenses to give a clear, magnified view. A hanger incorporated into the wooden lens boards allows the TwinScope to hang on the wall or mount onto a pedestal. Focus is achieved by looking through the TwinScope and adjusting ones distance to the stereograph from 6-8 inches away. Additionally, when the TwinScope is turned upside-down, the hanger becomes a handle for hand-held viewing of loose stereographs (the handle will be lengthened thanks to feedback from a PSSCC member), offering a robust alternative to using fragile historic viewers.
TwinScopes were first used in an exhibition produced on the history of the stereograph for the Onondaga Historical Association earlier this year (http://colleenwoolpert.com/Sight-Unseen) and have been purchased locally by the University of Washington Special Collections, the Henry Art Gallery, the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum…and by one PSSCC member at the December club meeting! For more information, or to purchase a TwinScope ($150 at this writing), contact Colleen Woolpert directly at @ or (315) 412-5890.
Once again, here’s a quick summary of our November meeting for members and friends who couldn’t make it to the meeting.
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!
We judged our November photo club contest, which was centered on the theme “Harvest”. Check out the Competition Winners page for details.
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.
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.
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:
- Pixi 3D Viewers and Lite 3D Viewers from Loreo
- Lens cleaners of various types, from key-chain style to pen style.
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.
After lunch, we sat down to view our “What I Did Last Summer” photo competition. Our winners were:
- Bob Venezia’s fireworks image “Majestic Burst”.
- David Brown’s “Spider”.
- Shannon Milner’s “Boat”
The winning photos and artist statements have been posted on the competition winners page.
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.
Next month our club competition theme is “Patterns”.
In addition, next month you can bring your entries for the ISC Competition.
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.
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.
The picture I showed at the meeting looked pretty good right out of the camera. Here it is trimmed for the stereo window.
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 Image→Mode→Grayscale, and then Image→Mode→RGB.
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:
And it’s just that easy!
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.