Floating Lilies

Taken in a flagstone pool with a dark bottom in upstate New York. The water is so transparent that the lilies seem to float in space, popping through the "stereo window."

An important concept in stereo photography, stereo window refers to an imaginary plane where the "frame" of the picture appears to be set. Depending on how the two images were taken and how they are presented to the left and right eyes, sometimes objects can seem to poke through this plane, as if protruding through a window.

When this occurs at the edge of the actual frame, part of the object will look cut off while the rest floats in space. This creates a disturbing effect (a "window violation"), since in the real world if an object is inside a window it should of course be entirely visible. Here the stereo window is set near the water's surface, and the flowers are not near the edge. The closest flowers appear to come through the window (an effect stronger in the actual card than in the "wiggle" version here.)

The inside text comes from "The Golden Journey to Samarkand," a dramatic 1913 epic by English poet James Elroy Flecker, who seems to be remembered today chiefly for this one line.

Cover text: none
Inside text:

Beauty lives,
though lilies die.
--James Elroy Flecker

Photo caption:
Lilies Floating in Marian's Pool,
Somers N.Y.
photos Jim Gasperini