In the past, Cars In Depth hasn’t featured very much close-up photography because our main 3D rig for still shots has too wide an intra-lens distance (aka “stereo base”) to shoot details like badges and hood ornaments. The most important rule in stereo photography is to make sure you’re far enough from your target to avoid extreme parallax. I call that avoiding the “finger in front of your nose” effect. Normally you shouldn’t get any closer than 30 times the distance between the lens centers.
The JVC GS-TD1 camcorder we use to shoot video, though, has just a 32mm stereo base, and it has a still photo mode (though the resolution isn’t a high as with our still rig). That means the closest we can get is only about a meter, just right for shooting hood ornaments. The RM Sotheby’s Motor City auction this year was a great opportunity to test it out. They had a number of prewar classics, including Packards, Pierce Arrows, Cadillacs and a Duesenberg that date to the era when drivers called them “mascots”, not hood ornaments. One has to take care about the background behind the target, since when you’re doing close up work, there can be extreme parallax between the target and items behind it, but so far for the most part I’m happy with the results.