Annoying or Interesting? “Special” Photos From the Iwato Ochiba Shrine
desktop background image of a fall-foliage scene at the Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社), Kyoto Japan  --  Next To The Iwato Ochiba Jinja 岩戸落葉神社の隣から  --  Ochiba Jinja (落葉神社)  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl,  --  This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14mm — 1/100 sec, f/10, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Next To The Iwato Ochiba Jinja
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Warning: this post may induce epileptic seizures and/or other random brain dysfunction.

I mentioned in my previous post that I'm not generally a fan of the wide-angle lens, so I find the photo above somewhat annoying, but also somewhat attractive. I can't decide.

The next two items likely fall into the same category for many folks.... two-frame animated GIFs that give a “3D viewer” feeling, like those old image-pair glasses we had as kids...

Two-Frame Animated GIF
Press the ESC button to stop animation. Reload the page to restart animation.

I've long noticed that when flipping among images in Lightroom, sometimes I get a momentary 3D stereo feeling when adjacent images are almost identical except for a slight horizontal displacement (like our two eyes' horizontal displacement), and while at the shrine yesterday, decided to finally take some shots with this processing in mind.

So, I swayed gently from side to side while keeping one point in the center of the frame, and once I had a nice smooth pattern, snapped a shot on either end of the sway. Then at home I loaded the two images into Photoshop, did some web searches on “how to make an animated GIF in Photoshop”, and minutes later was done.

I learn now that Wikipedia refers to this technique as “wiggle stereoscopy”, which seems a perfectly appropriate name.

Here's one more:

Two-Frame Animated GIF
Press the ESC button to stop animation. Reload the page to restart animation.

I don't like that the animation can't be easily control by the reader on an image-by-image basis (for example, I don't like that the animation is on by default... it's jarring to the reader not expecting it, so I'd prefer to have it start only when requested), so if I ever do this again, I'll likely dispense with the animated GIFs and build a JavaScript/Sprite approach (which means that I'll probably build a Lightroom plugin to make them). We'll see.

So, what do you think?

Continued with the next step in the evolution, here...

All 10 comments so far, oldest first...

My, is that ever disconcerting! I’m not sure I’m dizzy now, or nauseous. But it was fascinating, at least for a few minutes. What was that expression that Ray used to use: “When you know you shouldn’t look, but you have to.”? I do feel that there’s a real potential for this type of thing, again as you said, if it could be controlled by the reader. Possibly just by making the switches slower? Really quite neat.

— comment by Grandma Friedl, Ohio, USA on November 15th, 2012 at 12:53pm JST (11 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

These are interesting but I don’t get the hate for wide angle lenses. I have seen this done with paired hasselblads locally and there are lots of sliding rigs to do it with a single camera.

Love these subjects. Maybe my Bronica and I should take a look.

No one said anything about “hate”… I simply don’t care to use them much with the kind of shooting I do. When it’s appropriate, I appreciate that I have it. To each their own. —Jeffrey

— comment by Paul on November 15th, 2012 at 12:54pm JST (11 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Very cool!

— comment by Nicolas on November 15th, 2012 at 2:12pm JST (11 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

I’ve done a couple of these, but they never turned out quite as I planned. Your “focal” points… the first is the branch hanging down over the right side of the gate, second is a tree in the far left background. Did you try the auto-align function in PS? It’s hit and miss though, the first *I* would want the gate to be essentially stationary, the second the platform. However, auto-align will do what it wants.

Where I have seen this decently effective is focus stacking software (I think Zerene Stacker was the program) where the multiple slices of focus are usually stacked straight on but it has a function to shift the images during alignment and when animating the frames, gives you a slight “matrix” rotating effect.

I don’t know about “auto align”, so I’ll check that out, thanks. I really should have used two cameras mounted on a plate (now that I think about it, I did something like that in high school 30 years ago, projecting the parallel slides through polarizing filters and giving the class 3D glasses). It’s just something to play with… if it shows promise, I might invest a buck or two in a mounting board. —Jeffrey

— comment by JasonP on November 15th, 2012 at 4:41pm JST (11 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Interesting way to do 3D. I sometimes switch quickly between my pictures when I sort/select them, and the same effect can appear. I found that it works better with a smaller camera displacement though 😉

— comment by Damien on November 15th, 2012 at 9:59pm JST (11 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

I rather like the wide shot at the beginning, perhaps I would have stopped it down a bit more to get the focus throughout, at least into the foreground more, but that is a personal preference I’d say.

For the 3D effect, the size of the parallax shift is kind of large for me. I’ve noticed that the 3D effect is maintained even when the shift is tiny. I think it wouldn’t be quite so jarring either.

Technical note: in Chrome on OS X pressing esc doesn’t stop the jittering.

— comment by Justin on November 15th, 2012 at 10:15pm JST (11 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Someone ( I think it was the writer Tom Robbins) once wrote that there are three possible responses to anything in life: Yum, Yuck or Yikes. I’m not sure which one describes my response to these (or any) wiggle-gifs, but it’s not “yum”.

Sorry, but I normally enjoy your well-crafted images.

— comment by John King on November 15th, 2012 at 11:58pm JST (11 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

I think they are pretty cool. Not something to be done for every image, but a single one could certainly spice up a travel essay full of normal issues.

It would be interesting to see this powered via Javascript to get more that 256 colors and a user adjustable frame rate. You should also play around with using more than just two images. Here’s an example:


— comment by Bill on November 16th, 2012 at 2:46am JST (11 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

I think what’s bothersome about these is that there’s only two frames, rather than a smooth transition from one endpoint to the other. I’m wondering whether if you set up that rocking motion and then fired off a burst at 11 fps, then played it back at 11 fps, whether it would look more natural and less jumpy.

— comment by Mark Sirota (Philadelphia, USA) on November 16th, 2012 at 3:25am JST (11 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

As said above, you have to align the stereo pairs before generating the GIF image, for a more pleasing effect. On Windows, you can use the free tool StereoMaker, with auto-aling:


— comment by Luc on November 16th, 2012 at 12:09pm JST (11 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink
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