The Journal of the New Zealand Native Orchid Group has published a number of spectacular 3D images taken by one member, Eric Scanlen. You are invited to view these, and perhaps you may like to know more about the NZ native orchids through the NZ Native Orchid Group.

3D or stereoscopic images utilise 2 slightly different images which, when combined, produce a three dimensional view. In the past special stereo viewers were required, but now a technique called '
freeviewing' enables the three dimensional images to be viewed with only a little practice.

The NZNOG notes "when the left and right eyes focus on the left and right pictures, now 3D picture springs out. A viewer with two magnifying glasses makes it easy, but with a little practice free viewing becomes second nature"

Recently the excellent American publication
The Orchid Digest has also published similar pictures. Their use of 2 white dots to assist focussing the eyes makes the process easier. Adapting their instruction to view on a computer monitor -

"Freeviewing' " is a technique for seeing a 3-D image from a pair of pictures without the aid of special glasses of other apparatus. View the pair of pictures about one foot (300 mm) in front of your eyes, with the image parallel to your face. You may find that it is easier to go closer or fuirther away from the image. Experiment. You may find some images need to be seen at a different distance than others for comfort. Try to avoid reflections etc. on the monitor. Relax your eyes until the two images overlap and merge into the one, a third image, in the center. You should now see three images, the original two on the outside and a new one between them. Without straining, let the image in the centre come into focus. You should now be seeing that image in three dimensions. With practice this becomes very easy to do, but take your time. Give your eyes time to adjust their focus as this is often not achieved immadiately.

Example of 3-D image with viewing dots

An alternative technique is to look at the two white dots above the two images. Relax your eyes until the two dots in the centre merge. Now, keeping your eyes in the same orientation, lower your gaze to where the two photo images have merged to form a third picture between the displayed images. Look at this third central image and allow it to come into focus. You should now be seeing a 3-D image. I have found this technique utilizing the dots excellent to start. After some practice you do not need to use them, as you can usually focus on the images direct, but it is an excellent way to learn the techneque.

The pages have been designed with a screen resolution of 1024 x 760. Use of this resolution is recommended.

I have recently added a number of my images to this series, using the two dot viewing method.

Practice, and I am sure you will really enjoy the images once you master the techneque.

You may need to move closer to or further away from the screen for comfortable viewing - each person is different and computers vary in their settings.

Enjoy the images, they give an entirely differnent appreaication of the subjects !!


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