Aligning Skewed Prints

Last updated 20 January 1997

Most pairs of stereo photographs are fairly well aligned if you took your pictures with a 3D camera. But sometimes, if the processing lab is not careful, you can get one photo printed higher than the other. Or, if you take your stereo pairs with a slider bar or the "Cha-Cha" Method (I love it when he says that), your prints can be misaligned; up and down, left and right, or rotated clockwise/counterclockwise. To view these prints comfortably, you have to correct the misalignment. Here is an example of two pictures that are severely misaligned:

Misaligned photos

To fix these two, pick something in the photos for a horizontal reference. In this case I chose the horizon. Line up the horizon in the left picture with a tee-square if you have one and tape it to your work surface. Line up the horizon in the right photo so it matches the horizon of the left photo and tape it down too. In the example below, I have moved the tee-square down just a little so you can see the horizon in both prints.

Photos with horizons lined up

Now move the tee-square so the bottom edge is even with the highest point on the bottom edges of the prints and trim off the excess with an exacto knife. If you don't have these tools, you could use a ruler to line up your prints, carefully move it down to where the highest point on the bottom is, keeping it parallel with the horizon. Draw a line on your prints, then trim them with scissors. Obviously, the more exact job you do, the better the final results.

Making the alignment trim

Your first trim should look like this:

Photos trimmed for alignment

You could trim the top and sides but it really isn't necessary. Line up the photos as mentioned in the trimming section of the Holmes Stereocard Mounting page. This is how it could look if you had the closest objects lined up and the plexiglass template over the top.

Lining up the trimmed prints

Mount the prints as normal and your card should look like this:

The finished card

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