Stereoscopic 3D GIFs had their heyday on Tumblr a few years ago. Most used a technique that simulated the distance between our eyes by photographing objects from two (or a few) slightly different angles. Ultimately, they were a little hard to take seriously, in part because many of them, with only two or three frames, looked a little twitchy, having been taken with traditional 2D cameras. Fortunately, a certain vintage piece of innovative photography equipment – a Nimslo, one of the first 3D cameras to hit the market in the 80s – fell into the lap of photographer Josh Ethan Johnson, leading him to embark upon photographic people-finding journeys around NYC. Though it’s hard to find facilities that will print photos in this unusual format, there are a growing number that will render them as GIFs, and thus Johnson’s online portfolio was born, giving the viewer a taste of what it’s like to be present with everyone from Fashion Week models to those ladies who collect cans and bottles from the garbage.
Then New York indie-dance band Estate found Johnson, and aside from using him for several of their album covers, this amazing video, a collaboration with Tokyo band Liquid Pegasus, was born. “Tendency” is a dreamy, hazy dance track, and the fact that the Nimslo captures multiple frames at once – just from slightly different angles – makes the people, a compilation of Johnson’s street and Fashion Week work, throb out of the screen at just the right tempo. The slight variations in exposure between the frames create a shimmering effect. View this impressive combination of sound and visuals below.
Photo: Josh Ethan Johnson