Master the Brenizer Method
Kirk Schwarz shows you how to shoot and merge multiple images into a stunning portrait panorama.
Shoot and merge multiple images to create beautiful portrait panoramas.
ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO, American wedding photographer Ryan Brenizer popularised a fresh take on the humble panorama – known as the ‘bokeh panorama’. Now coined the Brenizer Method, it’s a great way to use Photoshop’s ability to merge images and create an ultra-shallow depth-of-field, just like you’d get from using a large-format film camera.
If you’ve ever shot with a 50mm f/1.8, you’ll know all too well how easy it is to turn the background into a pleasing blur, due to the super wide f/1.8 maximum aperture. Well, this technique, which requires you to shoot a series of images and stitch them together, can give you a super shallow depth-of-field, similar to using a hypothetical aperture value of f/1!
Find a good location
As is usually the case, a good location is key to shooting a successful Brenizer image. Since you’re creating an ultrashallow depth-offield, you’ll want to choose a location that showcases this. Ideally, you’ll have elements in the back and foreground to emphasise the transitioning focus. This could be as simple as a forest, or a bridge, using the rails as lead-in lines, or even a reflection in a pool of water.
The shooting and editing have to be done in a particular way so on the following pages we’ll show you precisely how to do it from start to finish. Then when you’re done, you can use depth-offield calculators to work out your effective aperture. There’s a great one from Brett Maxwell at bit.ly/2AXuKgM
So without further ado, dig out your camera, ask a friend or model to pose for you and have a go at making your own portrait panoramas.
25 SHOTS MERGED