It seems that the future is now. The technological advances that have taken place over the last ten years have been astounding with video calling and even space tourism a reality rather than a feature in an 80's sci-fi. The latest interest, or rather re-interest, given that it had an ill-received outing back in the 90's, is 3D imaging. 3D's really captured people's imagination over the last couple of years, becoming an ever more popular and mainstream cinematic medium which is also used in installations. Last year we even saw holograms used at music festivals like Coachella, USA. The latest exciting use of 3D comes from forward thinking and creative photographer Matjaž Tančič who has embraced this medium to create photographs that are experimental, brave and mesmerising.
3D photography has been around since the 1840s (the first 3D-or ‘stereoscopic’ cameras and viewers - were developed by St Andrews professors in the 1840s), albeit together with the extremely specific technical processes that must be used to render this medium successfully. This makes Tančič's fearless ambition to visually integrate man with both nature and urban landscapes through the exciting medium of 3D photography, all the more impressive. Tančič took photographs in 8 locations in China, United Kingdom and Slovenia. He has focused on the models’ poses, which alongside the sleek styling, enable the photographs to communicate with regards to the relationship between the models and their environment. By creating a direct correlation between the styling and posing of each model and their environment, Tančič cleverly accentuates the stark contrast between these two opposite settings.
Concurrently, the models are also at ease in their surroundings dressed in fabrics and accessories that mimic the foliage, water and rocks cohabiting the space. The urban models are much more aggressive in their stance, posture and positioning accentuating how each garment is very tailored and polished. They appear to have more control of their surroundings exuding an intense power that stems from the confidence and strength needed to survive living in a busy city. And this makes the photographs feel thoroughly modern.
What is also striking about Tančič's images is that they most definitely do not rely on the 3D dimension to supply the magic. The styling, locations, poses and set-ups are bold, contrasting and storytelling, really using the medium to maximum effect rather than being dominated by its novelty. The clever duplicity of the presentation allows the viewer to visually jump from city to country, almost physically even, through the medium of 3D. These images create a sense of reality that does not convey any sense of replica but rather the presentation of Tančič's vision.
In Slovenia, Matjaž Tančič recently finished shooting the first ever fashion magazine completed entirely in 3D. Combined with this groundbreaking series, he is taking large strides towards pioneering the incorporation of 3D imagery into contemporary photography. 3D photography and Tančič's work will undoubtedly be a great thing to uncover at the start of 2013really wetting the palette for all the technical and design advances we'll discover this year. Bring it on!