Two dimensional landscape photography and the three dimensional landscape

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [University of Cambridge]On: 01 November 2014, At: 05:59Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: MortimerHouse, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK</p><p>Landscape ResearchPublication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:</p><p>Two dimensional landscape photography and thethree dimensional landscapeR N Young aa University of Cambridge ,Published online: 24 Feb 2007.</p><p>To cite this article: R N Young (1992) Two dimensional landscape photography and the three dimensional landscape,Landscape Research, 17:1, 38-46, DOI: 10.1080/01426399208706357</p><p>To link to this article:</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the Content) containedin the publications on our platform. However, Taylor &amp; Francis, our agents, and our licensors make norepresentations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose ofthe Content. Any opinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors,and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of the Content should not be reliedupon and should be independently verified with primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shallnot be liable for any losses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and otherliabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to orarising out of the use of the Content.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematicreproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in anyform to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &amp; Conditions of access and use can be found at</p><p></p></li><li><p>AbstractThe paper relies on lengthy</p><p>observation by the author of</p><p>his own and others' reaction</p><p>to three-dimensionality in</p><p>landscape. It compares how we</p><p>see depth in airphotos and on</p><p>the ground and points out the</p><p>heightened excitement and</p><p>response in 3D photos. The</p><p>paper advances the idea that</p><p>the spatial arrangement of a</p><p>landscape is the overriding</p><p>determinant in our reaction to</p><p>real landscapes, yet is lost in</p><p>photographs. Motion paraEax</p><p>and its relationship to our</p><p>experience of diverse landscape</p><p>types is discussed.</p><p>AuthorR N Young is visiting tutor in</p><p>airphoto interpretation at the</p><p>University of Cambridge and</p><p>editor of LandscapeResearch Extra throughwhich he can be contacted. He</p><p>specialises in airphoto</p><p>interpretation and the</p><p>preparation of airphoto</p><p>teaching materials, but has</p><p>also worked extensively in</p><p>resource surveys overseas,</p><p>prospecting, mining and</p><p>settlement studies.</p><p>Two Dimensional Landscape Photographyand the Three Dimensional LandscapeR N Young</p><p>Seeing is done stereoscopically, in depth, but our convention is to convey our views oflandscape in flat, two-dimensional photographs. In landscape photos we use muchingenuity to portray the third dimension, emptying the depth clues used in painting suchas interposition, perspective, familiar size, textural gradients and colour attenuation by theatmosphere. We may go further and create foreground blurring and selective focus zonesto simulate how we focus on specific parts of the view.</p><p>From that photograph, with its depth clues but no truly three-dimensional space, wemay judge, in the aesthetic world, whether it is artistic. In the geographical and evaluativeworld we interpret it, examine its content and try to appreciate its structure - the positioningof its parts and how they relate. We ask what it really shows; is it possible to do this orthat there? Would the new road fit in? Does it please us? Does it excite us? In our personalworlds, as in the world of planning, we put a value on it as "landscape".</p><p>Our geographical assessment of the scene and our judgement of its aesthetic quality willdepend a great deal on how well we see it, whether we can understand how its parts arearranged, which parts are close and which far off, how wide is that dull foreground space,whether there is a way through the trees, and what distance separates the first rock outcropfrom the next. It will, of course, depend also'on attributes which have been widely discussedin papers on landscape preference (in both the photographic and the real world).</p><p>Looking at airphotos is differentA professional airphoto interpreter's essential equipment is a stereoscope, and a fine tuneddepth perception. If asked to comment on a single vertical airphoto, the overlappingadjacent photo will always be requested, to allow three dimensions to be viewed. Thecombination of full depth perception provided under the stereoscope by these two differentviews of the same scene plus the fusion of two subtly different images offers more landscapeinformation than the single photograph. It also confers an enhanced ability to analyse theimage data - what does it look like from this angle? It is this high so it couldn't possiblybe what you suggest. In this way three dimensional information has the flexibility of vectorbased data compared with the two dimensional data from single photos which might belikened to data in raster format.</p><p>With a three-dimensional vertical view can be understood that which can be onlyguessed from a flat photograph. A vertical airphoto has no foreground and no middleground, except a stray cloud, consisting entirely of background often 5000 feet away fromthe camera. By contrast, an oblique airphoto has three "grounds" and one that is wellcomposed resembles a normal perspective landscape. The single vertical airphoto is like aview from the air by a one-eyed person in a static balloon, with no three-dimensionality.When we see the three-dimensionality of mountains from an airliner, we do so bymovement parallax unaided by our inadequately narrow eyebase which contributesnothing to depth perception at high altitudes.</p><p>Schoolchildren's response to airphotosPrimary schoolchildren now have to look at airphotos. Obliques have always beenconsidered understandable (they are like landscape photos) but verticals - all backgroundwith no depth clues.comprising unrecognisable patterns of common landscape and landuse viewed vertically and thus enigmatic, seem to need some teaching.There is a dullnessin childrens' response that can make teaching an uphill battle, unless the photo is of theirown locality. Adults exhibit the same dullness.</p><p>However, when children see vertical photos through a stereoscope their interest isimmediately enlivened; they enthuse; they explore the picture subject matter and they scanand look around for things they can now begin to recognise. They can see the depth of</p><p>38 Landscape Research 17(1) 1992 36-46</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f C</p><p>ambr</p><p>idge</p><p>] at</p><p> 05:</p><p>59 0</p><p>1 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>The Giant</p><p>the cliff, the slope of the hill and the height of the trees. They seek relationships.The different response may be explained by the fact that they are now seing</p><p>a landscape which has depth and has been structured by the stereoscope intohigh things (foreground), low ones (background) and middling things (middleground). They are seeing the landscape in depth, much as they see theirnormal world; they find this depth exciting and spend longer exploringit. At the end they will say it was an exciting landscape; they feel theywere there and they were able to explore. A complex photographicpattern has become an experience of landscape.</p><p>The basis of stereo viewing in airphotosThree-dimensionality in airphotos depends on viewing theland below from two widely separated aircraft positionsoften referred to as the Giant Eyebase, which despitea typical photo separation of about 1000 metres fora plane at 5000 feet (for 1:10,000 scale) and of about 300m for a plane at 1500 feet(1:3000 scale) maintain sixty per cent overlap, one photo onto the next. The value of takingairphotos in 3D is to simulate and actually exaggerate the three-dimensionality we seenaturally with two eyes in our daily static context of standing on the pavement, or sittingin the garden.</p><p>In vertical airphotos, high objects, i.e. those nearer the camera, are affected by a parallaxshift between successive photos, and it is this shift, as detected by the brain through thestereoscope, which gives the illusion of depth or 'creates the stereo model'. The degree ofparallax shift depends on the height of the object and can be precisely measured with aparallax bar or more sophisticated optical micrometer down to hundredths of a millimeter.It then forms the basis of height mapping for contour work and computer terrainsimulations.</p><p>Parallax shift in airphotos, and other photos taken specifically for viewing with astereoscope was conceived as a direct analogue for retinal disparity in human vision.Retinal disparity relies on each eye taking a different view of an object as seen against itsbackground, and offering these to the brain to compare, classify and evaluate the difference.Details of this process can be obtained in text books about perception e.g. Rock (1984).</p><p>"Why does binocular disparity (parallax shift) lead to depth perception? Horace Harlow,</p><p>Colin Blakemore and John Pettigrew recently discovered neurons in the brain that seem to</p><p>have the function of "detecting" disparity. These neurons discharge rapidly when a contour</p><p>stimulates a certain magnitude of disparity between corresponding retinal regions?</p><p>(Rock, 1984, p.63)</p><p>The link between retinal disparity and its stereo analogue in overlapping airphotos iseasily demonstrated by using a few child's building bricks to make a low tower and otherbuildings of more modest height, and to view these as if from the vantage point of a giant,looking down. The views from one eye and the other seen alternately, differ, and occupydifferent positions against their background, the floor, but combine when both eyes areopen, to make a 3D model.</p><p>A Landscape</p><p>A giant looking at the</p><p>landscape sees hills and</p><p>valleys in 3D from two</p><p>widely different eye</p><p>positions: a similar effect is</p><p>produced by overlapping</p><p>vertical airphotos (shown</p><p>here as PI and P2) which</p><p>create a 3D model in the</p><p>brain - this model being</p><p>seen by the eyes at the area</p><p>of overlap.</p><p>Random dot stereogram</p><p>produced by Bela Julesz</p><p>(view with a lens</p><p>stereoscope). A triangle of</p><p>dots in the right hand</p><p>pattern have been shifted a</p><p>little to the left in relation to</p><p>the dots in the left hand</p><p>part. Perceived by the retina</p><p>this tiny image shift or</p><p>disparity is sufficient to</p><p>cause the brain to classify</p><p>the triangle as closer to the</p><p>observer than the rest of the</p><p>dot pattern.</p><p>Landscape Research 17(1) 1992 36-46 39</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f C</p><p>ambr</p><p>idge</p><p>] at</p><p> 05:</p><p>59 0</p><p>1 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>This is an airphoto</p><p>stereogram of Alderton Hill</p><p>near Winchcombe in</p><p>Gloucestershire. Children</p><p>(and adults) find the strong</p><p>relief modelling of the hill</p><p>exciting: the fields below the</p><p>road are at first less</p><p>interesting and then dull as</p><p>one moves away from the</p><p>Hill. This is because the fields</p><p>display little and even less</p><p>relief respectively and it</p><p>would be so even if they had</p><p>good content. The relative</p><p>levels of excitement generated</p><p>can be explained by the</p><p>different amounts of parallax</p><p>shift associated with steep,</p><p>rolling and flat land.</p><p>Different airphoto scenes yield different levels of excitementChildren, and others, are quick to react to the differing amount of three-dimensionality inairphotos. A hilly terrain of middling parallax with scattered deep slopes, or a sharplyincised valley is noted as attractive, or exciting if the landscape is more dramatic. In thebuilt environment, a mixture of high and low buildings, church towers, open spaces andtall trees indicated by low and middling parallax shift gives more stimulus than extensiveareas of low, terraced housing, or a uniformity of flat fields or woods, and the latter willbe considered dull. Very high hills that 'come too close' to the camera as the plane fliesover them prove confusing to the interpreter. They produce an optical unease as theycontain an impossible parallax shift. The camera has recorded two such different aspectsof the mountain that the eye cannot fuse them. The same is true, in low altitude flying(for scales of 1:2500 to 1:5000), of tall steeples and the taller tower blocks and chimneys.</p><p>40 Landscape Research 17(1) 1992 36-46</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f C</p><p>ambr</p><p>idge</p><p>] at</p><p> 05:</p><p>59 0</p><p>1 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>Landscapes produced for sale, or for use in education, need to stimulate not bore thebrain, and to create a visual excitement but no alarm.</p><p>Ground photographyOn the ground the same principle operates: as we stand motionless, things nearer to usare involved in greater parallax shifts against their backgrounds than things further away.The difference is that these near things are not summits but just what we are standingclosest to - objects of any height.</p><p>Parallax shift for a motionless viewer on the ground is best demonstrated by holdingup one finger a comfortable distance from the face, arid the same finger of the other handin line but well to the rear. When you alternate the view from the right to the left eye, thefront finger seems to shift markedly across the rear one in a relationship which depends</p><p>This is an airphoto</p><p>stereogram of Toddington</p><p>Manor and its Park near</p><p>Winchcombe,</p><p>Gloucestershire. It is a scene</p><p>with many 'exciting' historic</p><p>and cultural features but the</p><p>land shown here is mainly</p><p>level with some gentle</p><p>slopes. Children would judge</p><p>this scene less exciting than</p><p>the one showing Adderton</p><p>Hill and the paper argues</p><p>that this is because it</p><p>contains less parallax shift</p><p>between the two parts of the</p><p>stereogram. The greatest</p><p>amount of shift is displayed</p><p>by the towers on the manor</p><p>and the parkland trees. This</p><p>makes the stereogram more</p><p>exciting (in parallax terms).</p><p>You can check the shift by</p><p>viewing (with a stereoscope)</p><p>first with one eye and then</p><p>with the other.</p><p>Landscape Research 17(1) 1992 36-46 41</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f C</p><p>ambr</p><p>idge</p><p>] at</p><p> 05:</p><p>59 0</p><p>1 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>Fines and palms in atree shaded square inCiutadella, Menorca.A landscape of the kind</p><p>often featured in landscape</p><p>architects descriptions of</p><p>designed sites - perhaps</p><p>because it is one which</p><p>offers easy clues to the</p><p>spatial arrangements of its</p><p>elements - it is a picture</p><p>editor's photo! and space is</p><p>neatly defined by reference</p><p>to the trees. The 3D image</p><p>reinforces this depth but also</p><p>creates a sense of enclosure</p><p>that is absent in the flat</p><p>photograph. In addition it</p><p>enco...</p></li></ul>


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