Aerial Stereoscopy Photography

Geek Culture

Once you and your kids have mastered aerial photography shot from your RC plane, you can move onto aerial stereoscopy, where-in you produce 3D images of the earth from the sky.



That’s the left image above and right below.

Someone who has done a lot of this is John Ballou. I first met John Ballou at an electric fly-in in Half Moon Bay, California. John had built his own plane using an aluminum gutter, foam wings, and home-rigged camera. The large wingspan of his rig lent stability to the images.


I believe the way his stereoscopy worked was this: the camera was mounted “sideways” so the the forward motion of the plane between two rapid exposures would produce a seemingly horizontal distance between the two images. When these pairs of images were viewed in a stereoscope you saw the aerial scene in magnificent 3D.


John built a really cool stereoscope using a pair of drug-store reading glasses. I wish my snapshot showed it better, but as you can see it simply holds the glasses and the stereo-print. It really worked. John has a good number of photos on his website, but unfortunately he has nothing about his set-up, gear, or process. Geekdads would be a good place to present this information if you have your own approach.


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