Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tribute to Polar Bears

I have had the great honour of working as a eco-tour leader introducing people polar bears in the wild. They are utterly dependent on ice as their hunting platform. Global warming is reducing arctic ice cover at an alarming rate. Who knows how much longer they have to exist on this earth? I have put together this show of my images to celebrate them.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bringing Depth to Your Images

Chinstrap Penguin Colony, Deception Island, Antarctica
We see a world with depth because our two, forward-looking eyes each perceive a slightly different picture. Our brains merge them together to form a three-dimensional interpretation. It is the amount of overlapping information that each eye perceives that is the secret to our depth perception. It would not work nearly as well if our eyes were placed more on the sides of our head, say, like a horse, which has traded strong depth perception for a much broader, wide-angle view. However, an animal with forward-looking eyes, like an owl, has excellent depth perception.

Close one eye and your depth perception is almost non-existent. Try it. Hold a pencil out in front of you in your left hand with the tip pointing towards your right. Now try to touch the tip of the pencil with the outstretched finger of your right hand. Yes you can do it, but you might miss the first time or two.

What’s the photographic connection? Most cameras only have one eye. (Stereoscopic cameras have two.) They cannot perceive depth. When we look out over an inspiring landscape with our eyes, the sense of distance and perspective is self-evident. When we make an image of it with our cameras, something very important is missing: the sense of depth. That’s why you need to help the camera simulate a sense the depth by using one or more simple techniques.