Category Archives: brenizer method

The Brenizer Method Video has a new home!

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The Brenizer Method Ultimate Tutorial is back up at brenizermethod.vhx.tv!

Doing a nearly three-hour-long tutorial about every aspect of the panorama technique that has come to be known as “The Brenizer method” was a daunting task, but I didn’t realize the most daunting part would be after the video was completed. Sadly, the site that originally hosted our content was quietly going out of business the entire time, which made for a bit of a bumpy ride. But happily one of my former clients helps run the world-class movie-hosting site VHX, and he has helped us get it up and running again!

We have good news, better news, and best news. The good news is that this new site should be very responsive to sellers and to my requests. The better news is that this version of the video has been upgraded thanks to lots of viewer feedback, including subtitles in one section where the sounds of the city made it hard for some people, particularly non-native English speakers, to hear. The best news, though, is that we are working with VHX to give free access to everyone who purchased the video from the previous host.

Yes, we are working hard behind the scenes to make sure that I earn as little extra money as possible. Keep that in mind during my business lecture in a few weeks at Mystic Conferences.

Camera: Nikon D3s
Lens: 25-image “Brenizer method” panorama with the Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro (equivalent of 40mm f/0.8 according to Brett’s calculator)


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A Taste of Things to Come

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I’m working on a little somethin’ somethin’, and The Markows are one of many who have helped with it. More details soon.

Most of you are looking at this and thinking how fabulous Stephen and Julianne are. But those who have taken a lot of Me Method photos are thinking “All those parallel lines and no stitching errors? What strange magic is this?” Well, sometimes a new dog can learn old tricks. More soon.

Camera: Nikon D4
Lens: 71-image “Brenizer method” panorama with the Nikon 105mm f/2 D DC (equivalent of 30mm f/0.58 according to Brett’s calculator)


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Sneak Peek: Jenny and Jerry (with VSCO 4)

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This is always the time of year when I’m so busy documenting incredible stories that it’s hard to find time to share them, but my giant mug of coffee and I will work to show Jenny and Jerry’s gorgeous wedding. I processed this with VSCO 4, which was released today. Don’t worry, I don’t have nearly enough hipster in me to make any money off your VSCO purchases. But they’ve been doing some fantastic stuff over there with a killer iPhone app, and I’ve always like slide film, so I thought I’d give it a try. This was Astia 100F (one of my favorite films), modified with only the stuff from their toolkit.

And thankfully I didn’t have to shoot and scan 53 slides of Astia to make this.

Camera: Nikon D4
Lens: 53-image “Brenizer method” panorama with the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G (equivalent of 28mm f/0.45 according to Brett’s calculator)


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Worth the wait

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This image was a composite AND a panorama, but that wasn’t what made it so hard. No, it was the Universal Law of Shooting in NYC: When you have scouted a location, and the whole time you scouted there were no people there, and you really need no people to be there, right as you’re ready to shoot a hundred schoolchildren will flood the scene.

Camera: Nikon D4
Lens: 8-image “Brenizer method” panorama with the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G (equivalent of 42mm f/0.68 according to Brett’s calculator)


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Rebecca and Varun (D600 Review Coming Soon!)

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I’ve had the findings I need to review the Nikon D600 for a month, but I’ve been (not so) patiently awaiting the software I like to use to update to support files from the camera. Alas, this hasn’t happened yet, but I will listen to those of you who have clamored to hear more about it.

One big plus for it — it didn’t freeze up at all while shooting this 47-image panorama, while the D800 would have locked up several times from all that data coming in too fast.

Camera: Nikon D600
Lens: Lens: 47-image “Brenizer method” panorama with the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G (equivalent of 28mm f/0.45 according to Brett’s calculator)


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Diva.

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One more of Kelsie before things start to get really geeky around here … I’ve got some exciting stuff coming in, and that means I finally need to get around to reviewing my new secret weapon first.

Camera: Nikon D3s
Lens: 7-image “Brenizer method” panorama with the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G (equivalent of 50mm f/0.8 according to Brett’s calculator)


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She’s Got Kelsie Fields Eyes…

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Some of you may remember Kelsie from my adventures in Boise. Well, she’s been visiting the city and is off to Italy soon, so I knew we had to shoot even though my schedule is crazy. I’ve been inspired by the Brenizer method contest, so I wanted to get a bit ambitious with it. Thanks to perspective and parallax error (among other things), it isn’t easy to use this technique from close-up. But of course the closer you are, the more dramatic the effect. Here I really wanted to show the sort of depth-of-field effect that you can only get in one shot with a large format camera and some really exotic lenses, all calling attention to those darned eyes.

Kelsie, by the way, is an insanely talented singer. You’ll be hearing more from her. And more photos to come.

Camera: Nikon D3s
Lens: 12-image “Brenizer method” panorama with the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G (equivalent of 39mm f/0.56 according to Brett’s calculator)


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Brenizer Method Contest Results: THE WINNERS!

Drum roll please…

(Honorable mentions are here and here)

It’s been a long road putting together the first contest on this blog. First, securing the generous support of B&H Photo and Video, and then putting together a team of judges and procedures that would make the contest as fair as possible and the final set as artistically excellent as possible. I put together two judges — myself and Sam Hurd — who were very experienced in creating Brenizer method photos, and paired us with two judging teams — Nordica Photography and Feather and Stone photography — who do not regularly do these, but create fantastic portraiture and documentary work in their own genres. With very different styles and aesthetic circles, it made for a lot of healthy debate in the judging process. Interestingly, not one photo of the hundreds received an initial “YES” vote from all four judges … well, sort of.

You see, as a publisher I know that it is important not just to avoid impropriety, but also the appearance of impropriety. Since the only major place this contest was announced was on this blog and associated pages, it’s no surprise that I knew a large percentage of the people who entered, either from attending my workshops, commenting on my blog, or other work connections. To avoid bias, I fed all the e-mails into a program that scraped the photos without associating them to the sender, and have only connected them as I prepared these blog posts. But still, there were some where I felt too closely connected to the photos, and where I knew who had taken them anyway, and I recused myself from the voting. This actually penalized the photos, since the first round of judging was based only on how many judges had voted for them.

Why am I saying all this? Because two of these photos were so fantastic they won anyway. It was a weird situation where I felt I had to argue against photos I loved and the other judges said “Are you crazy? These are the winners.” And so here they are…

Third place

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By: Adam Baruh
Info: 62 images with a Nikon D3s and 85mm f/1.4

Comments: Since the Brenizer method is technically challenging to pull off, we got a lot of photos with great depth-of-field but bad poses. The poses and expressions are great here, and the framing is perfect. It is not easy at all to create an interesting compositional framing when you have to completely pre-visualize the photo, and the use of the foreground plants is just perfect. Great job Adam.

Second place

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By: Nessa K
Info: 17 photos with a Canon 5D Mark III and 85mm f/1.2

Comments: This both shows off the depth-of-field power of the method but maintains a sense of subtlety. The colors, processing, depth-of-field transitions, and sense of mystery are just perfect. This would have been a unanimous YES if I had allowed myself to vote on it. Worse still for the ego, this was Nessa’s first attempt.

First place

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By: Sara K Byrne
Info: 29-image pano with a Canon 5D Mark III and 85mm f/1.2

Comments: In the end, what I wanted from this contest — why I chose two judges who barely had ever tried the Brenizer method — is that in the end it’s not about depth-of-field, but doing whatever it takes to make great photos. All I’m saying is “here’s a way to have a 35mm f/0.4 lens, now what will you do with it?” And Sara has done great work here. Masculine, feminine, soft and hard. The depth-of-field contributes one part of a great photo. Also, on the technical side, long thin trees are difficult to shoot without stitching errors, and this looks great.

Congratulations again to everyone who entered! I hope this gives all my readers new ideas and inspiration about how to use the method in your own work — I know it’s inspired me.


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Brenizer Method Contest Results: Honorable Mentions, Part 2

Here we go! Part 2 (of 2) of the Brenizer method contest honorable mentions — drum roll for the winners tomorrow! (Part 1 here)

Thank you so much to the entrants! There were a number here where I didn’t see a Web site link in the e-mail; please drop me a note so I can add them!

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Photo by: Kelcey Olson
Info: 56-image pano with a Canon 5D and 50mm/1.4

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Photo by: Dennis Baburov
Info: 19-image pano with a Canon 5DII and 50mm/1.4

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Photo by: Owen Cherry
Info: 38-image pano with a Nikon D3s and 85mm f/1.4D

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Photo by: Annie Hall
Info: Nine-image pano with a Nikon D700 and 50mm f/1.4G

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By: Joshua Ayres
Info: 69-image pano with a Canon 5DII and a 70-200 f/2.8L

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Photo by: Ahmed Behiry
Info: 29-image pano with a Nikon D7000 and 85mm f/1.4

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Photo by: Andrew Ramsey
Info: 9-image pano with a Canon 40D and 50mm/1.4

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Photo by: Borys Las-Opolski
Info: 36-image pano with a Canon 5DII and Sigma 85 f/1.4“>Sigma 85mm f/1.4

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Photo by: Sara K Byrne
Info: 44-image pano with a Canon 5D Mark III and 85mm f/1.2

120622 161831Photo by: Andrew Ramsey
Info: 35-image pano with a Canon 7D and 70-200

120702 174936Photo by: Urška Majer
Info: 20-image pano with an Olympus E-3 and Samyang 85mm f/1.4


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Brenizer Method Contest Results: Honorable Mentions, Part 1

Whew! After several rounds of judging between myself, Nordica Photography, Feather and Stone Photography, and Sam Hurd*, we have winners chosen for the contest!

First, I want to show you some of the honorable mentions. The impetus for this contest was to show that, once you get the mechanics of the Brenizer method down (instructional video here), the important thing is to go out and take some good pictures that show your unique vision. It’s not easy, but it’s been great to see what others have done with it, so I wanted to highlight that work here.

So, before we announce our winners, we’ve come up with 20 Honorable Mentions, great photos showing off different approaches, that I hope will give you some ideas about how to apply this to your own work. Here are the first 10, with more to come. Thank you so much to everyone who entered — this will not be the last contest!

Most of all, thanks again to B&H for sponsoring.

*Sam was nice enough to help judge instead of enter even though, let’s face it, a Brenizer Method portrait of George Clooney is sort of a ringer.

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By: Kacy Jahanbini
Shot info: Six-image pano shot on a Nikon D300 with a Sigma 85 f/1.4

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By: Alex Bee
Shot Info: Nine-image pano, shot on a Canon 5DII with 135mm f/2L

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By: David Childers
Shot info: 16-image pano, shot with a 50mm f/1.8 on a Canon 5D

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By: Crowley Photography
Shot info: 55-image pano, shot with a 50mm f/1.4 (at f/1.8) on a Canon 5D

Orry brit2 brenizer submission

By: Michael Jurick
Shot info: 74-image pano, shot with a 85mm f/1.8 on a Canon 5D Mark III

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By: Ryan Kwong
Shot info: 28 images, shot with a 85mm f/1.8G on a Nikon D7000

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By: The Markows
Shot info: 24 images, shot with a 135mm f/2 on a Canon 5D Mark II

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By: Ryan Kim
Shot info: 20 shots with an 85mm f/1.2 on a Canon 5D Mark II

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By: Ryan Kim
Shot info: 36 shots with a 70-200 2.8L IS II on a Canon 5D Mark II

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By: Kacy Jahanbini
Shot info: 13-image pano shot on a Nikon D300 with Sigma 85 f/1.4

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Coming soon: Uvinie and Gniewko

If I had a nickel for every Sri Lankan/Polish union I’ve seen… I’d have a nickel.

Since people have asked, we are on the final round of Brenizer Method contest judging … but that requires three extremely busy photographer teams in very different time zones to be available at the same time as we hash it out. We’re working on it, and can’t wait to show the results.

Camera: Nikon D3s
Lens: 70-image “Brenizer method” panorama with the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G (equivalent of 25mm f/0.4 according to Brett’s calculator)


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Announcing the first Brenizer Method contest, sponsored by B&H Photo

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Time flies. It was almost four years ago that I started playing around with panoramas not for the traditional reasons of super-wide frames or insanely high resolution, but to dance my way around a simple problem of physics: to get incredibly shallow depth-of-field, generally you need a lens with a long focal length set to a fast aperture, but that restricts you to a narrow frame of view. You could shoot medium or large format film as one way around this problem, but physics gives us another problem: there’s a good reason you don’t see f/1.4 lenses for large format cameras. They’d be ginormous. But using panorama techniques effectively increases the size of any camera’s sensor, allowing us to use super-fast and relatively compact SLR lenses to achieve incredibly shallow depth-of-field even on wide-angle frames.

I loved the look I was getting and set out to see what I could do with it. How can I shoot panoramas with people? Of candid action? How could I use flash? I was happy to share the things I was learning, and photographers seized on it, trying it for themselves and naming it the “Brenizer method.” (You can read more about it, including a tutorial video, here)

Years later, countless thousands of photographers around the world have made this technique their own, using it for everything from weddings to still lives to even George Clooney. It makes me thrilled to see people taking this and using it in ways that achieve their own vision or just make beautiful photos … and so I want to see what y’all can do with a little incentive.

To that end, I have partnered with B&H and some fantastic photographers for the first Brenizer Method contest. We want to see exactly what you can do. The basic tool is simple — it’s just a way to shoot at crazy effective apertures like f/0.4, but that alone doesn’t make a photo good, you do. And so I’ve partnered with some amazing photographic teams to help the judging:

The judges: Vancouver’s Nordica Photography and Brisbane’s Feather and Stone (and me.)

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Cole and Jacob of Nordica, and Seth and Tenielle of Feather and Stone are absolutely fantastic photographers, skilled in various techniques and brilliant in compositions. Seriously, spend some time drooling over their work. They also don’t as far as I know, use the Brenizer method. In the end, this contest isn’t about using the biggest lens or the most photos in a panorama — it’s about creating the most compelling photos — and I’m excited to have them aboard.

The Rewards

Honorable Mention photos will be featured on this blog and related social media sites and linked to by the B&H media mammoth. All photos will be credited with links back to your Web site (if you have one.)

The top three photos will be awarded gift cards to B&H Photo. Third place will win a $50 card, second place will win a $100 card, and first place will win a $150 card. These photos also will be given top spot in the Web feature.

The Rules

First, of course, these photos must be taken with the Brenizer method. Not all panoramas count — what the method does is rely on a fast aperture and close enough subject distance to show a visibly shallow depth of field. This is not a Brenizer method photo:

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But these are:

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The entries do NOT have to be wedding photos, or even of people. They just have to use the method to create compelling photos.

We will be accepting entries until midnight EST on July 1, 2012.

All photos will be properly credited and you retain full copyright. Images will just be displayed in conjunction with contest results.

How to submit

E-mail entries to brenizermethodcontest@gmail.com. No more than five entries per contestant, and use a separate e-mail for each photo. Each entry needs to contain a reference to the camera and lens that were used, and how many frames were used to make the final result. Please include how you would like to be credited, both your name and the Web site.

Resize photos to 1000 pixels on the largest side. NO WATERMARKS. My assistant will be managing the entries so that judging will be as blind and fair as possible.


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