Bokeh Panorama Tutorial

Bokeh Panorama Brenizer Method

   Oh yes, the illustrious Bokeh Panorama. It's a very cool technique that took the world by storm in the not-too-distant past. In case you don't know what it is, I've created a video tutorial explaining how you would go about creating this cool effect, which you can find at the end of this post. It's fairly simple to do once you figure it out the first time. First though, let me give you a bit of backstory. The bokeh panorama became famous a couple of years ago when a wedding photographer by the name of Ryan Brenizer created this technique which is now called the Brenizer Method. The idea is to create a wide field of view like what you would see from an ultra wide angle lens, like say a 14mm, and combine that with the shallow depth of field of a fast telephoto lens, like a 85mm f1.2 for example. So in essence, you'll need a fast telephoto that you'll use to take a series of shots which you'll stitch together later in a editing program like photoshop (or similar) much like a standard panorama.

Bokeh Panorama Brenizer Method Pattern

   First things first, make sure you lock in your focus on your subject and switch your lens to manual focus, unless of course it's a manual focusing lens, then you're set. Next, if you're not already, switch your mode dial to manual. You can use aperture priority if you aren't comfortable with manual yet. Set your aperture to something wider. The smaller the number, the wider the aperture becomes and the more shallow your depth of field gets. I'd suggest going with a f2.8 or wider to maximize that delicious bokeh in the background. If you're photographing a subject that has the potential to move slightly, like a person or animal, then I'd also suggest setting your shutter speed to something fast enough to freeze any possible motion since you'll be taking a series of photos in succession. I'd otherwise at least recommend a tripod (although handheld is much faster) just to minimize camera shake from handholding your camera with a slow shutter.

Bokeh Panorama Brenizer Method Overlap

   So when you actually start shooting the photos, you're going to want to begin with the subject since they are more likely to stay still closer to the beginning before getting restless. Then you'll want to go outwards from there in a pattern, for this photo I did above, it's a square composition, so you would go around in a square pattern. Pretty straightforward. How you approach the pattern doesn't matter as long as you have some kind of pattern to keep track of what the last frame before you shot was, it just makes it less of a headache later on knowing you didn't miss a shot. If you'd like to know more, including how to stitch the panorama together, I have a photoshop tutorial in the second half of the video below. Be sure to check it out. If you've got any tips or tricks anyone can use that I might not have mentioned, feel free to leave them in the comments below. I'm always curious about learning more from others too ^_^.

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