Using Mirrors to Achieve a 360-degree View of Your Tree

fredtruck

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When I first began doing bonsai about 25 years ago, there was an argument advanced against using photography. Photographs flattened the tree, the argument ran, so a photo couldn’t be trusted, particularly in the case of back branches.

One way around this problem is to rotate the tree. Sergio Cuan and Barrosinc did this over a whole year and an interesting animation resulted.

I used 4 mirrors to give a 360-degree view. I recently used my Chojubai White as a subject. Here is the panorama:

Image-4.jpg


http://pnr.ma/boaVZw

For this image, my iPhone7, and a small piece of hardware and software made by the DerManDar company. The hardware, a rotator, holds the iPhone in a clamp. The rotator is connected to the iPhone by Bluetooth. To give the complete 720-degree pano, DerManDar also makes a 160-degree fisheye lens that can be clipped on the iPhone. The software pauses the rotation at appropriate times, and fires the shutter of the camera for excellent panoramas.

From the panorama, you can see all sides of my tree.

Another interesting factoid about the panorama is that if you are using a desktop computer and click on the link above, you will get a very large image, rotating slowly. If you are using a smartphone, you will get a single image, which then divides into a stereo pair, a kind of 3D image which requires a Virtual Reality headset to work well. When you look at the stereo pair through the headset, your brain fuses the 2 images into one with 3D.
 

GrimLore

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Way cool, thank you for sharing! At present I am experimenting with a tiny HD camera. Different method and needs a LOT of refinement. It may become a "dog days of Summer" project :p

Grimmy
 

fredtruck

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The confusion is part of the game. There is so much going on that, if you're using a VR headset, you really need to take the goggles off and look at the still picture to try to locate things. At least, I did. The difficulty with the lazy suzan idea is that it doesn't show all the sides at the same time. But, having said that, I understand and accept where some people are coming from. Preferences play a big part in any image study.
 

fredtruck

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img2018-04-06T08-49-17.1.stereo.jpg
Our vision is stereoscopic. That is, we use two eyes to achieve perception of depth. Though I’ve worked with anaglyph imagery for about 9 years, I’ve found that doing photographs in the stereo pair format gives the best depth perception in images bar none. Some people can defocus their eyes long enough to achieve a fusion of the two images for good depth. I am not one of them. For me, using a virtual reality headset is the best way and it saves my eyes.You can pay as much as you want to for a headset, but Google has a very affordable headset made of cardboard. I’ve seen prices from $7.00 to $25.00. If you decide to try stereo pairs, begin with the Google Cardboard, and you can’t go wrong.

You put this stereo pair of the Utamaro (or some other object or bonsai) on your smartphone, pop the phone into Cardboard, and view.
 
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