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Showing posts with label create images with a wideangle view and an ultra-shallow depth of feld. Show all posts
Showing posts with label create images with a wideangle view and an ultra-shallow depth of feld. Show all posts


The Brenizer method

how to craf wideangle images with an ultra-shallow depth of feld that are impossible to achieve any other way on a DSLR

The Brenizer method is a really clever technique that allows you to create images with a wideangle view and an ultra-shallow depth of feld. The result is a lovely aesthetic that makes your subject really stand out in a wide viewing angle that is similar to a large-format image.

The technique takes its name from American wedding photographer Ryan Brenizer (, who is credited with developing the process – which is now also known as bokehrama and panoramic stitching – in 2008. It’s ‘panoramic stitching’ that reveals most about how this look is achieved: a sequence of frames is taken of the subject and the surrounding environment with a fast lens of 50mm or longer. The shots are then merged together using software to create the fnal image, in which the subject has a much greater sense of ‘place’ compared to a single shot taken with a telephoto lens. This kind of image is impossible to achieve with a single shot, even with the fastest and most expensive prime wideangle lenses.


To make life much easier when it comes to merging the images in Photoshop, set as many variables to manual as possible to avoid variations in exposure between each of your shots. Once you’ve focused on your subject, lock the focus and set the camera to manual-exposure mode. To create the ultra-shallow depth of feld effect shown in our fnal composite, set the lens to its widest aperture and balance the exposure with the desired shutter speed and ISO combination.
At this stage, it is worth taking a few test shots of your subject to make sure you’re happy with the exposure and the white balance. Again, this needs to be locked, so use a preset white balance rather than auto, as this may vary as you pan around the scene. It’s a good idea to previsualise your fnal image and the edges of the frame, so that when you start shooting you have a good idea of what you need to cover with your sequence of images. Then start shooting, working from side-to-side, and top-to-bottom, ensuring you overlap your images not only to give a reference point for Photoshop to stitch them together later, but also to avoid returning home with holes in your sequence. Whether you shoot handheld or with a tripod is up to you, but the key thing to remember when shooting a sequence like this is to remain in the same position.


With your sequence captured, it’s time to look at stitching the frames together to produce one fnal wideangle, shallow-depth-of-feld shot. In the same way as we might create a panoramic image, we’ll stitch the frames together using Photoshop’s Photomerge tool (also available in Elements). Now turn over for our complete step-by-step guide.