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How We See Depth 

By Dennis Brown from the Original Viewmagic Viewer Manual

We perceive depth mainly by binocular vision. W W e get absolute and relative distance information in two different ways. 

For close distances the eyes rotate inward until the object is in the center of vision for both eyes. The more they rotate, the closer the object. By experience from childhood we learn exactly how far we must reach to touch an object. 

We sense the relative distances between objects within our binocular field of view by how much difference in position there is between the objects as seen by the two eyes.' If there is too much difference between the two views, instead of giving us a sense of depth, all we get are double images. 

This double image factor is important to consider in taking stereo photographs. A stereograph is more enjoyable to look at if we can view the picture without any double images. Then we can perceive all the depth from foreground to background. 

With stereography you can increase the perception of depth for distant scenes by using a wide camera separation. This will bring out the depth in a picture that would be impossible to see in any other way. 

An interesting aspect of binocular vision: when we look at a scene, we perceive our vision coming from an imaginary eye halfway between our real eyes. 

Binocular vision is the sense that gives us a direct sensation of space. It is absent from flat photography. No wonder so many people have to excuse their vacation pictures with, "You just have to go there to get the feel of the place." Now we can all have much more of the "feel" of the place through stereography. 

' The sensitivity of this sense varies between people, but may be improved with the regular use of a stereoscope.

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