Brenizer method: How to capture a panoramic portrait with a shallow depth of field and wide angle of view


posted Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 6:30 PM EDT


When shooting with a wide-angle lens, what you gain in field of view, you often lose in background blur. However, photographer Ryan Brenizer popularized a panoramic stitching technique which allowed you to produce a final image with a wide field of view and a shallow depth of field, a very distinct look. You can read more about the technique, its history and usage by clicking here.

Tony Northrup from Tony & Chelsea Northrup recently headed out into the field to produce a wide-angle portrait image utilizing the Brenizer method. Armed with a Nikon 105mm f/1.4E lens, Northrup turned his camera to portrait orientation and completely filled the frame with the subject. The next step is to shoot the surrounding area, ensuring you have some of the area overlapped with each successive frame, Northrup recommends overlapping by 30 to 50 percent. Once you have captured shots of the area around your subject, you switch to manual focus and then start photographing the area I front of the subject on the ground and above them. You switch to manual focus to ensure that the focus stays the same as it was when you were photographing the subject and surrounding area. If you utilize back button focus, you won’t need to switch to manual focus. Finally, have your subject move out of the frame and capture an image of where they were standing, allowing you to stitch a full panorama and then drop in your favorite portrait shot after the fact. To see the final result, check out the video below.

(Via Tony & Chelsea Northrup