Macintosh SE 3D Launch


First Mac SE in Canada hangs from a wire.

This image was shot on film with a Nikon F3 and 18mm lens, lit with studio strobes.

This is a great example of FAST shooting even though it took all day to create. This is exactly what the studio set up looked like and what was captured in camera. There was no Photoshop composting done to this image.

  • Focus attention with wide-angle lens to create intimacy and deep depth of focus through out the image
  • Aperture set small to achieve an even deeper focus effect
  • Shutter speed set to long exposure to allow the monitor glow to appear on film (Studio strobes lit the set)
  • Think about how to suspend everything safely and build the shot to client specifications. How to create the 3D effect and how to light and frame so the “rigging” would not have to be retouched out…

Further complications to the set: The image was to appear 3D

To create the 3D effect multiple images were taken to create a stereo pair. This required “racking” the camera position on a horizontal rail. When the image pair (left and right eye) were projected to an audience wearing polarized glasses, the keyboard jumped into their laps! This was in the mid 1980s when the Mac SE was launched and nearly 30 years before the hit 3D movie Avatar.

Take note!

This image is exactly what the camera saw.

The Mac was suspended in front of the painting. The mouse and apples were all propped on wires pushed through the canvas which was in turn hung on a light stand in the shadows. It took most of the day to prepare to take a shot that lasted 1/4 second (the strobes fire at about 1/100th second and the lights were off and the studio was dark but for the monitor).

As this was one of the only Macintosh SE in Canada at the time there were a lot of nervous eyes on set. Everything was suspended in mid air. When the image was revealed at the Canadian Annual Shareholder meeting the room broke into an astonished cheer as the keyboard jumped into their lap and the background painting and colors receded into the distance.

When this shoot was over I was so impressed with the Mac that I requested delivery of one as soon as it was available.

That very expensive first computer would change my career direction within a month. And this blog brings us full circle.

DSLR Tip:  Wide angle lenses have a very deep field of focus, often as wide as 3 feet to infinity is possible.

Smartphone Tip:  Some smartphones like the iPhone have wide angle accessories that can be screwed on the the camera lens

Compact Digital TIP:  The zoom feature is not just to fit things in. You can take advantage of the zoomed out settings and walk up to your subject to get the wide angle lens intimacy and increased depth of field.

  Shoot FAST
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