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
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. 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
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.
Now practice on the following images !! I suggest you start with Thelymitra matthewsii
If you enjoy these images the NZNOG publishes new images regularly in thier Journal, and the
Orchid Digest has also started including suitable images in its magazine.
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