Making the Spirit of Life come alive

Do you remember last Monday’s post, when I went to Congress Park in Saratoga Springs for some photography?  Yeah, I only took one roll of film (dumb me), and spent the next hour afterward watching the ducks and contemplating life.  Not necessarily in that order, mind you…

My goal at the time was to take my four-lensed Nimslo camera and capture some shots on film, then turn those shots into three-dimensional cinemagraphs or stereo cards or something along those lines.  Plus, it’ll be a great way to test if I can show off cinemagraphs in this new blog.

I first photographed one of the mineral springs that flow through Congress Park.  It was the mineral waters throughout Saratoga Springs – and their purported healing powers – that initially spawned this city and its growth.

Okay, Nimslo camera … do your thing.

Congress Park Spring. Nimslo camera, Fuji 400 print film. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Holy stroboscopics, Batman … the cinemagraphs work in the new blog, and I don’t need to export them to Imgur or some other portal and then re-link them, like I did with the old locale.  Aces.

Okay, now let’s take a few good shots of the restored Spirit of Life monument – you know, that gold-covered lady with the laurel wreaths and the torch, the one that looks like she spent the weekend posing for Columbia Pictures and wanted to party afterwards…

Spirit of Life, single exposure. Nimslo camera, Fuji 400 print film. (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

If you’re wondering, the Nimslo camera takes four simultaneous photographs with one shutter press.  The pictures come out like this – the red dot above the far right image was an indicator to the processor that this was the first image in the series.  Which was great when this camera was first manufactured in 1990 and you sent the negatives away for custom-printed three-dimensional prints… but this ain’t 1990 any more.

I initially tried to create a cinemagraph with this exposure … it came out looking like this.

The Spirit of Life. Nimslo camera, Fuji 400 print film. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

The three-dimensionality is there … yeah … sorta … but I think I was too far away from my subject to get that sweet stereoscopic separation that a Nimslo can provide.


I have an idea.  Yeah, this is called thinking on your feet.

I took the extreme left image and the extreme right image, and combined them into a 19th century “stereo card,” suitable for viewing in your personal Holmes Stereo Viewer … or, if you’re so inclined, you can simply relax your gaze and let the two images combine into one three-dimensional shot.

SC Spirit of Life Monument

Yeah, this will work.  Plus, I can take the two images and include them in a Stereo Viewing Master Disc if I feel like it.

And you figure if I can do all this with one roll of film… then photographing the ducks afterward was an extra-special treat.

Yeah … this feels good.