During my 6-month stint in North Carolina I learned about the Brenizer Method and since then I’ve been dying to try my hand at it. My husband is a darling and wonderfully reluctant model so I seized the opportunity during a levitation shoot with my sister to snag a few shots.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Brenizer Method, put simply, it’s a way to make a picture with greater depth of field (more blurry background) than your affordable lenses could afford you. I say “make” because it involves taking 6+ images and stitching them together in Photoshop panorama-style.
Here’s what I mean:
This picture has awesome bokeh (blurry background). I want that, but I want to see more of it! Show me the mountains and the power plant and the dirt beneath her shoes! I could step back, but if I do that, I lose some of the blurriness. I could drop a few thousand dollars on fancier equipment… or I could take a Brenizer! Here’s one exact shot I used to put together this Brenizer portrait. For the rest of the images you just stand in the exact same spot with the exact same focus (manual focus!) and shoot the background and foreground around your subject. After shooting and editing your image pieces to your liking, you open them up in Photoshop and use Edit>Automate and Photoshop will start stitching them together for you. Here’s kinda what that process looks like. You can see where each of the images meet and what I had to work with. (Make sure to let photoshop blend your layers together so you don’t have these sharp lines between your images!) And after some tweaking, clone-stamping, and creative cropping… Here’s what we got! (Click to see larger) And here’s another example with some dead sunflowers. This first image is one that I grabbed for background info.And here’s the finished image. (click to see larger)Next time I’d like to try a more dramatic look by getting EVEN CLOSER to my subject and attempting less of a “straight-on” approach.
So, uh.. How’d I do?? 😀