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Live Photos Ain’t Anything New

Here’s an Analog Equivalent That Secures the Same Results

In recent days, Internet buzz about the Live Photos feature of the new iPhone 6S and 6S+ has been constant (here, here and here). Pardon me, but I’m not that impressed. In my defense, I’m not a tech geek, Apple acolyte, or parent of a young child.

A couple years ago, I discovered something much cooler. Old cheap and junky 3D cameras — originally intended to create blue-red prints that you had to view with red-blue 3D glasses — deployed to make 3D GIFs.

Here’s the scan of the film used to create the GIF.

The cameras that produce these 3D GIFs take 4 images at one time through 4 separate lenses, each image from a slightly different angle. When these 4 images are overlaid and animated in rapid sequence, they give a 3D effect.

As with most things analog, they take more work and time and, arguably, money to make (less initial outlay, but more incremental costs).

GIFs made from 3D film cameras require a more deliberate approach than Live Photos, something you think about ahead of time rather than catch on the fly. Some people will see that as a bug, and others will see it as an attribute.

Of course, these are not strictly analog. They’re analog-digital hybrids and as with my photography workflow — analog capture and digital post-processing and presentation — they embody what I consider the best of both worlds.

Want more? Tumblr is home to many curated 3D GIF collections, including my own here.

If you get bored with that new iPhone6 and its Live Photos where only the button is 3D, here are some instructions on making your own analog 3D GIFs!




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Peter Schafer

Peter Schafer

writer @ Vantage / photographer @

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