Red/Cyan 3D glasses are needed to view the photos in this post.

Well, it’s April 1st, isn’t it? To celebrate this day, I’m doing… something different. Look; I hate the ‘Here’s a completely true fact for you, with no hint I’m lying unless you happen to look at the date’ posts during April Fools Day- If I do something, it will be either saying that I’m doing it for the day, or so obviously false that no one will be fooled. If anyone IS fooled, I’d be amazed that they were able to read far enough into the post to be fooled. Spoiler: this is just about some of my messed-up 3D photos. I guess I’m the fool? I am writing ‘fool’ a lot, so… yes?

Look; my brain is at half-strength right now. My job is currently in some quantum fluctuation between’ back to normal in a week’ and ‘nonexistent’; due to social distancing, I haven’t been able to observe it and resolve it into a discrete state. For some reason, the government doesn’t accept quantum indeterminacy as the status of my job, so I’m spending a lot of time on the phone arranging things with my bank.

I’ve learned this about myself- I don’t mind being put on hold for all eternity( I’m exaggerating here; it has been .3 of an eternity at most), except that the music is interrupted every 20 seconds by a computer. The computer states that my call is important, which makes me feel appreciated, but that I need to continue to hold, which makes me feel markedly less appreciated. The computer voice doesn’t have much respect for my memory, as it repeats the exact same message every 20 seconds. There is a faint hope in the instant before it start speaking, a moment of absolute silence, in which I imagine that I have been declared important enough to speak to a human; then the computer reaffirms that yes, I’m important, but not THAT important yet. So I wait. I think I’m developing Stockholm Syndrome.

If it was just the music playing, I could just ignore it and watch or read something; as it is, I keep getting distracted by the interruption. Occupying my time with anything ‘language-based’ is out, as I find it hard to focus on reading/writing/listening while at the same time as I listen for a specific voice. Instead, I’ve been catching up on creating 3D photos. As I keep getting interrupted, I do still make mistakes, but I can fix them quickly.

And I do make mistakes; one in particular. I don’t have a camera designed specifically for 3D photography. That in itself isn’t a problem; the problem is trying to remember which of my photos is for the right eye, and which is for the left.

Do it right and you have a good 3D photo:

2009 01 05 lantern

But do it wrong, and things get weird:

2009 01 05 lantern inversion

Essentially, the way a 3D photo works is that the right and left photos are taken in slightly different positions. You might have worked that out by the fact the I refer to them as ‘left and right photos’. When I convert them to red/cyan 3D, the two images are overlaid, but in a very specific way. The cyan filter over the one eye blocks one of the two photos, while the red filter blocks the other image. Each eye gets one slightly different image. The brain is already used to seeing this way, as your eyes are in different positions(WARNING: if your both of your eyes are in the same position, seek medical help immediately. Also seek scientific help, as you may be violating several physical laws).

However, your brain is used to seeing the left image out of the left eye, and the right image out of the right eye, and doesn’t know how to compensate if the images are reversed. Well, it does try to compensate, but it does it in the stupidest way possible. It assumes that both eyes are working as normal. Therefore, the it is the distances that must be inverted. The further away an object is from the camera in real life, the closer it is to the camera according to the brain. This isn’t just wrong, this is as wrong as it is possible to be.

This gets especially weird with landscapes(all of the following photos are shown with the correct orientation first, then right and left swapped). In some cases,  the photos might not look too wrong, but maybe more 2D than they should.

2009 02 18 Vancouver
Welcome to Vancouver. Only one thing to remember during your visit:
2009 02 18 Vancouver inversion
… do not enter Revuocnav. For the love of god, STAY AWAY FROM REVUOCNAV!

Other times, the photo is just… broken.

2011 05 21 Delicate Arch
Utah’s Delicate Arch.
2011 05 21 Delicate Arch inversion
Utah’s lesser known Tough Arch, known to cause migraines among the unprepared

In the above photo, the brain gives up entirely, telling you there is no way the arch and the hill in the background should match. Instead, it will just tell you the photo is broken, and make it hard to focus on the edges of the arch.

However, on certain occasions, the photo swap results in something magic. Beautiful, terrifying, brain-cracking magic.

Stonehenge seen with a Zomei 760 nm infrared filter. The infrared doesn’t affect the 3d in any way. I just like infrared.
stonehenge inverted
Was Stonehenge built by aliens? No, but they did conduct some reality-warping experiments there. there.there.ther.ttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt


…yeah.. that is… a photo? Or is it? Is the further column in front of the closer column? Is the sky in front of everything? …wait…


…I think I’m finished with this blog post; once I punch a hole in spacetime and photograph it, anything else is anticlimactic. Besides, I’m feeling depressed. That means that it’s time to phone my computer friend and let him tell me that I’m important again.