Workshop peek: Making it Good

111022 162812 85mm f1 4 34 images pano

You may remember Maly and Craig from their fantastic wedding at the Metopolitain Building. They are still as great as ever, the sort of couple that act like they’re in the middle of an engagement shoot even when the cameras aren’t on them.

We started the shooting section with a workshop with a thorough demonstration of the Brenizer Method because, to paraphrase David Spade, I figured not doing that would be like going to a Big Country concert and they don’t play “Big Country.” One of the things that has surprised me as this has become more and more popular is that even though lots of people are trying it and quite a few are getting the basic technique down, there are relatively few people out there using it to make good photos. All the method does is give you a way to take photos with impossibly shallow depth-of-field; the depth of feeling in the photo is up to you.

So we spent time talking about when to apply it, and some tips on making them good. I’d deliberately placed Craig and Maly here so that the tree wouldn’t just be blurry in the background, but would poke into and play with the focal plane, given a sense of 3D.

I think the problem I spent most of my time trying to overcome in photography is that photos are two-dimensional, and the world isn’t. If I can bring some of that depth back through focus or lighting or composition and expression, I’m on it.

(Except when flat is cool.)

Camera: Nikon D3s
Lens: 24-image “Brenizer method” panorama with the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 (equivalent of 28mm f/0.45 according to Brett’s calculator)

  • Alan

    I’ve had limited success with some of my Brenizer method attempts. Often, I believe it is a result of too much ‘blank’ sky in the image. CS4 has trouble putting that together I think. It seems many of your shots have more ‘structure’ throughout the shot – which probably adds impact.