Category Archives: brenizer method

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

120702 165752

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

120414 164010

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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