My brother Eric told me about some interesting “twitchy stereoscopic photographs” that had been collected by Mental Floss blogger David K. Israel. (By the way, if you liked my Twitter-based “TWIPS” comics, you’ll enjoy Israel’s crowdsourced Web comic, “Twaggies”, which he launched in 2009.)

The so-called “twitchy” photos are based on stereoscopic images, which capture a single scene from two separate vantage points, just inches apart — in the same manner that our eyes and brain combine two slightly different perspectives to produce a 3D effect.

As Israel explains, it is possible to produce a simple animation by alternating between the left and right images of a stereoscopic image, “twitching ever so slightly from the minuscule difference in perspective. The resulting effect creates images that have a sense of depth and three dimensional quality to them, without the need for those annoying glasses.” Israel’s Mental Floss blog post presents a small collection of animated 3D images, including this one from Portland-based art director Matt Moore:

A few years back, I discovered a way to produce a true stereoscopic version of one of the most iconic photographs from World War II. The resulting image — which I wrote about for The Tampa Tribune and TBO.com — is the only historically authentic 3-D photo of the Iwo Jima flag-raising on Feb. 23, 1945.

After four days of staggering losses on the Japanese-held island of Iwo Jima, U.S. troops were in desperate need of a morale boost. Marine cinematographer Sgt. Bill Genaust and Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal stood side-by-side at the summit of Iwo Jima’s Mount Suribachi as five Marines and a Navy corpsman hoisted a wind-whipped American flag. A single frame from Genaust’s film freezes the action at precisely the same moment as Rosenthal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph. By juxtaposing those two images, it is possible to produce a three-dimensional version of the Iwo Jima flag-raising.

A simple “animation” of those two images (below) clearly shows the different camera angles of the two photographers. Genaust stood to the right of Rosenthal, and shot the scene from a slightly higher elevation.

(In the famous Rosenthal photograph, Private First Class Rene Gagnon is barely visible on the far side of the flag pole; In the frame from Genaust’s film, Gagnon comes more fully into view. Also, because Rosenthal had taken a position that was somewhat lower than Genaust’s, the background of his famous image shows less of the island below Suribachi’s peak.)

If you have access to some traditional 3D glasses — the type with red and blue lenses — you can view the flag-raising photo as a stereoscopic image:

More information HERE.


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