Introduction (Updated 19th. of May, 2011)

Welcome to my world of 3D photography .....

Already in 1998 I saw the first real 3D underwater images for the first time. They were taken with a partially home-built camera, designed for analog film. As the avid underwater photographer I was already, I lost my lower jaw completely to 3D photography, when I saw how shipwrecks, fish and corals came tumbling out of the screen ..... It was almost like being there myself!

Unfortunately the camera due to its optical conditions wasn't suitable for use in none-tropical waters and the analog technique also limited the number of usable images significantly. Like any digital camera, the analog kamera doesn't offered the possibility to see what was actually captured on the film.

Since my first dive I have felt a strong attractedion to the Scandinavian waters, which allows much less light going through the surface than the tropical waters so I could just forget about my "3D dreams." so far. For more than a decade I continued underwater photography in the traditional way but the dream of making the same images in 3D continued spinning arround in my head like a ghost. Some day, in 2008 I was the happy owner of two Nikon D200 camera bodies. In the first place, the second camera body was only purchased as a backup and to be able to make a quick switch between underwater and topside photography to make the story complete. Suddently, the "3D ghost" raising from my mind and the digital development provided new opportunities and with little technical skill and manual dexterity, I put the two Nikon camera bodies together into a stereoscopic setup.

 

My two Nikon D200's in a stereoscopic dSLR-setup.
The back of the stereoscopic dSLR-camera.

I now had a fairly reliable dSLR camera that made me able to take 3D images abowe the surface, but the dream of doing the same underwater was now almost an obsession to me.
Despite well-intentioned warnings from several people that told me it would never work, the following months continued with various tests and trials, both above and below water, and purchasing and manufacturing of various parts for the project. In the beginning of February, 2009, I probably held the first 3D dSLR underwater camera that the world had seen, in my hands.

My 3D underwater dSLR setup for wideangle underwaterphotography. A dream become true after more than 10 years.
 
The back of the 3D underwater dSLR wideangle setup.

I would describe it as one of my life's most exciting moments when I, on a cold day in February 2009, left the surface at Oddesund to test my new camera setup. Visibility underwater was fairly good and I shooted like a mad until I had the pictures I wanted for the test. Back home a couple of hours later, I was so excited that I almost couldn't get the images out of the two cameras quickly enough to put them together on my computer to see if I succeeded or not. It was an incredible feeling of joy and relief when I saw the final results emerge in cross-eye view on the sceen. I was just SO happy.

 

My 3D-macro dSLR-rig. Notice the mirror in the black box
Another view of my 3D-macro dSLR-rig.


My initial setup with 2x10, 5mm fisheye lenses was dedicated to wide-angle photo. A couple of months later i build a macro-setup from a black box and a socalled stereoscopic mirror that made me able to put small marinecreatures of just a couble of cm. into 3D.

Ready for testing at Oddesund. __________Photo by Poul Pedersen

 

With my "3D-dream" of a camera at the wreck of the dock at Sønderborg. ____________________________Photo by Søren Hertz

Everything from large shipwrecks to marine wildlife in a size of just a few cm I am now able to capture in 3D..... A 10 year old dream has finally come true.

Later I also built a 3D-monitor out of yet another stereoscopic mirror and two LCD monitors. With dual DVI output connected to the 3D-monitor I can view polarized 3D-images directly on my computer .... almost as easy like viewing any other ordinary picture in 2D.