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So I found an app that lets you take stereo photos…

July 16, 2014, 10:24 PM

Last night, I found an app called 3D Camera for my Android phone.  The idea behind the app is that you take two photos a few inches apart from each other, you line them up, and then the app makes a stereo image for you to look at.  Depending on how you shoot them, they can come out as either crossview or parallel.  I tested it out late last night on a Wheelock 7002T, and came up with this:

Wheelock 7002T, taken on top of my computer
(By the way, I strongly recommend clicking each of the images on this entry to view them at full size in the lightbox)

Now to view this image, what you do is you have to unfocus your eyes, so that you’re looking past it.  If you remember how to look at those Magic Eye pictures from the 1990s, it’s basically the same technique, except without all of the effort in hiding what you’re seeing until you look at it.  You know that this is what it is.  There’s no hidden picture.  You’re just getting the depth perception.  Take a moment and give this page about how to view stereograms a read if you haven’t been able to see it yet, because you will need to master this skill to get the most out of this Journal entry.  In short, you should see three images.  The middle image is where the depth will be, because it’s the two images overlaid on each other.  You may need to back away from the screen (or move the phone away from your face) in order to get the proper alignment.  The quality of the 3D is going to be similar to the way that the old View-Master slides looked.

The reason I did this was because, after spending too much time on Reddit looking at the CrossView subreddit, I decided to find a way to do it myself.  The app is somewhat quick and dirty, but it does the job.  So today, I took it for a spin while I was out running errands, and as a result, had a far more entertaining time out than I ever would have imagined.

So first, I approached the car:

Looking at the Soul... in 3D!

Then I put my reusable bags in the back of the car, and looked forward:

Looking through my car, from back to front

After that, I headed to the bank:

Educational Systems Federal Credit Union on Georgia Avenue in Aspen Hill

On the way to Aardvark, I sat at a few lights, including this one at Veirs Mill Road and Twinbrook Parkway:

Intersection of Veirs Mill Road and Twinbrook Parkwy, viewed from northbound Veirs Mill Road

Parked at Wintergreen Plaza, and about to go into Aardvark:

Parked at Wintergreen Plaza.  I never used to do tail-in parking until I got this car.  Now I park tail-in a lot, because this car is so easy to maneuver.
Parked tail-in, because this car is so easy to maneuver.  I never used to park tail-in on purpose like this with the Previa or the Sable, but with this car, I love it.

Welcome to Aardvark:

Entrance to Aardvark's Rockville location

Looking at the rows of goggles:

Goggles!
I got Tyr Nest Pro, by the way, because that style fits my big head the best.

Then I showed the staff how the 3D app worked, demonstrating on a rack of ladies’ swimwear:

A rack full of Dolfin swimsuits.  It sort of reminds me of the suit that my friend Suzie wears, but she wears Nike.

Just before checking out, I also needed to buy a set of bungee cords to go with my new goggles:

It's a good thing that the staff at Aardvark knows me well.  I commented while taking this one, "Now to decide what color bungee cord to get.  Might as well decide... in 3D!"

Bought a new “Suck It Up, Cupcake” swim cap as well, as my old one had gotten a bit stretched out:

SUCK IT UP CUPCAKE

Then I went over to Bed Bath & Beyond, where I saw this convertible:

Convertible!

And these shopping carts:

Shopping carts for hhgregg and Bed Bath & Beyond

A shopping cart for Staples, which is up the hill in another building

At Bed Bath & Beyond, I was looking to price foaming soap pumps.  While I was looking for the soap pumps, I found these:

I love this one, because those pillow covers really "pop", don't they?

And then I found the bath area, and was disappointed to find that the only foaming soap pumps that they had were sensor-operated:

I would like to know what sort of masochist voluntarily puts a sensor-operated soap dispenser in their home.
By the way, I would like to know what sort of masochist voluntarily puts a sensor-operated soap dispenser in their home.  I can’t stand those things in public restrooms, and I know darn well that I would never have one in my house.

Spotted an exit sign hanging from the ceiling:

I love the way this exit sign pops out at you!

And then I got some pictures of the fire alarm pair by the entrance on the way out:

Simplex horn/strobe!

Wait a sec... that's not a Simplex pull station!

And yes, this is a mismatch, which is unusual for a Simplex system.  That pull station may be a t-bar, but it’s not a Simplex.

Leaving Bed Bath & Beyond, I headed down Rockville Pike towards the Montrose Crossing shopping center:

Red light!

And got a pic in the rear view mirror while at a red light:

Waiting to make a left turn...

Arriving at Montrose Crossing, I got a photo of Sports Authority:

Sports Authority!

And then from the other way:

And Sports Authority from the other direction, as well as the residential property nearby.

Arriving at Target, I did my best to get a 3D version of the “hero shot” in the parking garage:

My "hero shot"

Then, coming in, I got a nice, long view of the main aisle on the lower level:

The main aisle at Target

Okay, this one just looks cool:

"Summer A Go Go"

Getting to the bath supplies, I found out that Target does not sell refillable foaming soap pumps of any kind.  Just these:

The non-foaming soap pumps at Target
They do, however, sell the disposable kind, which I don’t want.

The cosmetics aisle:

The cosmetics aisle
No reason for taking this, except for gratuitous stereoscopic imagery.  Yeah, I was having a lot of fun with this.

After leaving Target, I headed over to the Northgate shopping center in Aspen Hill.  There, I saw a school bus taking up a few parking spaces:

School bus 13514 parked across four spaces

School bus 13514 parked across four spaces

That’s some parking job right there.  I certainly wouldn’t park a bus in the middle of a parking lot like that, that’s for sure.

At Northgate, I headed over to the Michaels.  I went here for no reason except to take a few 3D pictures.  So where did I go?  Straight to the back, to photograph this pair:

A naked Wheelock 7002T

Fire-Lite BG-10

Yes, one of my favorite fire alarm pairs: a Wheelock 7002T with a Fire-Lite BG-10.  In 3D.  And for the record, this 7002T looks incomplete without the trim plate.  There’s a reason why I keep trim plates on my 7002Ts.  They just plain don’t look right without them, and there’s no getting around that.

Then I got another photo of the BG-10 from below:

Fire-Lite BG-10

Then I found where the posable wooden armatures lived, and posed them.  First, the hand:

"I want you.  Yes, you."

Then the full-body one:

I don't know what sort of pose this was supposed to be, but you try getting your left arm in that position, with palm up.  I, for one, can't do it.

After that, I walked over to the Kohl’s that’s in the same shopping center, and looked for foaming soap pumps.  They didn’t have them (what a surprise), and so at this point, I’m just going to buy them on Amazon.  So much for supporting brick-and-mortar merchants if they don’t have what I need.  However, since I was there, hey, I might as well shoot some 3D pictures, right?  I had intended to do some 3D photos in the shoe department at Target, but got sidetracked and forgot to do that.  But Kohl’s had a shoe department, so I helped myself.  I wanted to get some pix of some of those strappy sandals that women wear.  They look like they would be torture devices to wear, but they worked for my purposes, as I wanted to capture the tunnel effect that those straps would provide.

So I found a pair of strappy sandals, and got a couple of pictures:

Strappy sandals, by Candie's.  The tunnel effect is especially noticeable here.

Strappy sandals, by Candie's.

See the tunnel effect?  Kind of interesting, no?

And then before I left, I headed over through the housewares department, where I saw these ceramic cows:

The Moo Cow Choir

Based on the arrangement and the angle that I took the photo, I call it “The Moo Cow Choir”.  These things are actually creamer pitchers.  Here’s a slightly better look at them, in this non-stereo photo:

A slightly better look at this cream pitcher

The way these work is that you pour the milk or cream in that hole on the cow’s back.  You then pick the cow up by the tail, and the milk or cream comes out the cow’s mouth.  My parents have one of these, in white.  When I was a child, my mother used to put the milk for my cereal in one of these in the morning.  Then when I came down, all I had to do was pour the milk out of the cow, and I had cereal that was crunchy in milk.  That was always a nice touch.

So as you can tell, I had far more fun than I should have, playing with the new 3D camera app that I got for my phone.  I can’t envision using this new functionality for anything serious, but it certainly is fun.  However, the next time I do this, I need to pace myself.  From all of the crossing and uncrossing of my eyes that I did all day, coupled with the very deliberate focusing efforts that I did in evaluating my work, mostly on my phone, I’ve managed to give myself a nice little case of eyestrain.  Yay me.

But I had fun, so it’s okay.