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How To 3D

John and Queena... through the looking glass.
John and Queena... through the looking glass.

As part of the 3-D extravaganza, John Rabe shows you how to make your own 3-D photos.

Taking Stereo Photos
A Handy Guide by John Rabe, host of Off-Ramp
89.3 KPCC, Southern California Public Radio


All you need is a standard digital camera with an infinity focus, somewhat steady hands, and an eye for good stereo subjects.

A viewer is also helpful. Inexpensive viewers are available through www.3dstereo.com. The Squeeze-Vu model works well for home viewing 3" x 5" images. The site also has kits for traditional 3.5" x 7" viewers.

For more on stereo photos, visit our Web site at http://www.scpr.org/programs/offramp/

John Rabe taking photo John Rabe, Wildlife Photographer


1) Look for a good stereo photo subject, with something in the foreground that accentuates the stereo effect. An object that goes from the foreground to the back of the picture, like the railing in the picture of John and Queena below, is also effective. Note how Queena's tilted left foot also adds to the effect.
Queena and John in stereo
2) Using the infinity focus feature, take one photo, then move the camera about 2.5 inches (the distance between your eyes) and take another photo. Be careful to keep the camera in the same plane between shots.

If you are using the Squeeze-Vu photo viewer, shoot the photos in portrait (vertical) format.
If you are using an old fashioned stereopticon, shoot them in landscape (horizontal) format.
3) Print the photos. If you are printing the photos directly, use these size guidelines:
For Squeeze-Vu viewer: 2.5" wide by 3.25" high. For old-fashioned viewer: 3.25" wide by 2.5" high.
If you're using the Windows Printing Wizard, pick the "wallet size" prints.
4) Cut out the photos. Keep track of which photo was taken on the left, and which was taken on the right.

5) Attach the photos to a 3"x5" card, directly adjacent to each other (no space in between them).
6) Place the card with the photos in the viewer.
7) If the images don't blend properly, you can adjust them up-down/side-to-side until they do.
8) Take lots of stereo photos and bug your friends with them until they get stereo photo fever themselves.