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3D Photos of a Camel Safari and Elephant Butchery

© D J Trotter, October 2019

The 3D photos on this page were taken on a camel safari in northern Kenya, in 2001. The guides were Samburu tribesmen and we visited a manyatta, as the homesteads or small villages of the Samburu and Maasai are called. It did feel as though we had experienced a time slip and were seeing the East Africa of a past era.

3D photo of camel safari.

Although some domesticated animals do not disturb wild animals as much as people on foot, we did not get as close to wildlife as often happens in motorised vehicles, which disguise both the outline and scent of their human occupants. This may have been because our Samburu guides were on foot. However, it was a wonderful experience.

The time slip feeling was hugely increased when we encountered the fresh carcass of an elephant. The Samburu do not eat the flesh of wild animals, so they invited their neighbours the Turkana to collect the elephant meat. It was a scene that must have been all too common in the days of the old ivory hunters. Nowadays, poachers are unlikely to have the time to butcher elephants as well as take their tusks.

3D photo of dead elephant being butchered.

I was not able to establish how the elephant died. It may have died of natural causes. Our guide said that it may just have tripped and injured itself. The Turkana who were butchering the elephant looked nervous when we arrived, possibly because they thought that we might misinterpret the scene.

The three dimensional effect of the photographs was achieved by taping the bases of two (rather cheap) conventional cameras together, and clicking the shutters simultaneously. The 3D effect is more pronounced when some subjects are closer to the camera than others. If you hold up one of your fingers and focus on it, then focus on something a little further away, the image of your finger will split into two images. Viewing 3D photographs without special apparatus is the reverse process. If you focus your eyes a little beyond the twin photos, the images blend together and reveal a three dimensional scene. If it is difficult at first, it may help if you increase the distance from which you look at the 3D image.


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