Photo of the Day: Seclusion Amid the Streets

From Ellen and Jeff’s engagement shoot, taken with the new Nikon 24mm f/1.4. Now that I have a couple thousand images under my belt with it, the review is coming very soon! Clients’ needs before gearheads’, though.

Remember you can always see previews from my weddings and engagement shoots at my Facebook page!

Photo of the Day: Through the Woods

I’ve been digging into my panorama archives to really try out AutoPano Pro, and liking the efficiency and quality overall. This one was from an engagement shoot in October, 15 shots with the 85mm f/1.4. As the technological whiz kids among you may have guessed, strobes were used to give even lighting and good contrast to Maureen’s face. As if shooting panoramas of people wasn’t counter-intuitive enough, you can through flash usage into it, too. It’s a bit tricky, but the key is to figure out ways to fire your flashes at low power settings. I’ll be going over advaced applications of panoramas and “the Brenizer method” in my workshop on April 16-17. There are still a few slots open!

The extreme selective focus can make some interesting changes to perspective — if you shoot things that have no immediate frame of size reference, they tend to look much smaller. In this case, it’s almost hard to guess — is that a small branch in the foreground or a huge one in the background? I know, of course.

Kirsten - Amazing. I’m still in awe of the Brenizer method and I’ve been witnessing it from the beginning. I don’t get tired of it. Can’t wait to learn firsthand at the workshop!!

It Pays to be Creepy, Part II

I’ve already discussed how my job makes me feel creepy because it’s good to take interest in the way romance plays out in the real world. But there’s more. I have always had a strange sort of photographic memory (pun not intended). If I’ve taken your photo, ever, I remember your face. I remember that I’ve taken a photo looks. I remember what that photo looked like and the expression you were making. But I often will have no recollection of the context, when or where the event was taken. The problem comes from what happens when you’ve taken photos of literally tens of thousands of people — for years I couldn’t walk around the Columbia University area without constant bouts of deja vu as people walked by me.

And, of course, the creepiness. I was in a coffeeshop waiting for the couple for today’s engagement shoot, and I sat next to a young woman. My brow furrowed. Do I say it?

“There’s really no way for this not to sound terrible, but I’ve taken your picture somewhere. Did you go to Columbia?”

No, it turned out, but she was in Rebekah and Jonah’s Korean/Jewish extravaganza.

So how does it pay to be creepy, other than remembering a great day (that has an album coming up soon)? This sort of memory has always been a huge advantage for me as an event photographer. I like to try to get photos of as many guests as possible, and even in gigantic events I can always remember at a glance which guests I’ve gotten good photos of and which I haven’t, giving clients as robust coverage as possible. So I guess I’ll have to live with the deja vu.

It also says something interesting about the profound cognitive effect the process of taking photos and reviewing them can have, at least for me, since I do not have a particularly good memory for your face if I haven’t taken your photo.

Kat Braman - What a great photo! You captured such a real and contagious smile.

Kyle - That is a great talent to have. I wish I could remember who I’ve photographed and who I haven’t, as I’ve taken your advice on trying to get photographs of every guest to heart.

Johann - It also comes in handy when it pertains to copyright laws.

Brandon Irons - I’m sincerely impressed that you’re able to remember someone from a past wedding you shot, especially considering the amount weddings that you shoot each year.

camille - I was just talking to some friends of mine about that same thing a few weeks ago. I used to cover live band shows, and every time I go to the mall I walk around looking at people (because I just love people!) and I will recognize everyone I took pictures of at some of those events. - you must have hippocampi the size of a young shwartzenegger’s arms!

Ryan Brenizer - Haha that I might.

Photo of the Day: The iPad Makes All the Difference

I had an amazing time shooting Sameepa and Bareen’s over-the-top gorgeous wedding at espace on Saturday, and having what was (for me, Mr. Lone Wolf Photojournalist) just made it all the better. It’s a dramatic understatement to say that you tend not to get as much time to plan wedding portraits as, commercial portraits. Instead of meeting with art directors months in advance, you have to learn to handle “the schedule changed, and all we have available is three minutes and a parking lot.” But sometimes we do get a bit of time to prepare, and to take as little of the bride and groom’s time as possible, we do lighting tests before they even get there. These are generally an assistant standing emotionless on the mark, but given that it was iPad launch day, I got a bit creative with the lighting test to mark the occasion. Presenting “Dudes, With and Without iPad”

For the record, the iPad was a huge hit at the wedding. Since I had one of my assistants stand in line to get it first-thing, and since we already had a slideshow prepared for the bride from the Sangeet and Mehndi synced the minute she showed up with it, we may have pulled off the first iPad wedding slideshow, anywhere. Again, Mr. Jobs, I don’t frown at royalty checks.

Kate Duval - Ok, so on iPad slide shows….we always do ours on the 24″ imac with images from the day. Feels like it is harder to run off with, the images look awesome that big, and it is our platform for loading and picking them…would love to hear your thoughts on really using the ipad for this. I’m thinking the ipad would be a better book reader than slide shower for us.

Ryan Brenizer - It doesn’t replace a big screen, definitely, but I cant do that at most weddings; i’m not bringing an iMac to Singapore for instance. It is a pretty good substitute for a laptop display, and has a small footprint so it can go anywhere it looks best. I don’t think it will get stolen since, by definition, there will be 20 or more people watching it, and it’s cheaper than the MacBook pro we’ve been using.

Dennis Pike - If his beard wasn’t quite so rockin, I would have said it contributed to the lack of ladies.

Div - You guys were awesome, the iPad was definitely a hit, I just couldn’t get over some of the shots you took, simply amazing and truly inspiring for amature photographers like myself. Based on this picture, the iPad definitely has the edge versus have no iPad :)

brett maxwell - but have you used it as an iso12800 softbox yet?

Ryan Brenizer - That will come, brett. We had too many real softboxes this time.

Luis Godinez - HAHA! Clearly the man w/ the iPad wins.

Chavvon Smith - just another reason for the wife to say no to the ipad ;)

ryan smith - I’ve noticed pictures really pop on the iPad screen. I’m going to start using it to show clients my portfolio.

Photo of the Day: Sameepa

I took this photo last night at Sameepa’s mehndi — the henna application party — and today I am photographing her wedding! I am very sneaky, so I scheduled this post to appear right when she and her soon-to-be husband see each other for the first time. Bareen probably has better things to do today than refresh my blog over and over, but it’s nice to be safe.

As Stevie said, “Isn’t She Lovely?”

I’m excited to shoot with my buddy Tim Herzog as a second-shooter again, and the awesome Isla as assistant — and a special surprise fourth team member. The ludicrously talented Kevin Shahinian of Pacific Pictures is heading the videography team. Should be a great day!

Matilda "Tilly" Beezley - Well, that is incredibly stunning. Beautiful eyes, and that henna tattoo bokehs rather nicely.

Steve Koo - She’s absolutely lovely. i love the light here.

Sachin Khona - Stunning Ryan! Lovely bokeh too

Syed Anwar Hussain Shah - “very beautifull pic…”Add a comment…

Photo of the Day: I Love Lamplight

I am clearly on an Ilana and Paul kick this week. I started thinking of them again when a new client discussed Russian Jewish weddings, and can’t believe I haven’t posted this. What an elegant, wild night it was!

(The lamp here is mostly for ambiance, video light did the heavy lifting).

Bazo - Oh, good :)
How you make nice picture colour and skin tone? If you can write ofcourse :)

New Camera!

On advice from my chirpractor and Ken Rockwell, I’m paring down and going smaller and lighter for the new season, taking it back to basics! Introducing my new flagship, the D70s!


Hey, I heard that vintage cameras are in. Am I doing it right?

Or, the strobist angle: Who needs ISOs higher than 800 when you can sync at 1/1000th of a second?

OK, a paltry April Fool’s entry, but I thought you might want to see what a $2200 lens looks like on a $220 camera.

UPDATE: D70s owners shouldn’t take offense to this … after all, there’s a reason I had one in my studio. The flash sync is an incredible tool, and I shot gallery shows and Nobel prize-winners with one of these. But technology marches on quickly, and there’s a reason I keep re-investing in equipment, since I want the best for my clients. The D3s with a 24mm f/1.4 shoots with about 40 times the light sensitivity as a D70s and the f/2.8 lenses that are the fastest you can use for that frame-of-view on DX. Awfully handy in cavernous NYC venues.

Josh - I’m not at all happy about the false joy and adequacy I just felt.

raaachel - i sensed it was an april fool’s joke at ‘Ken Rockwell’, lol

Ryan Brenizer - No reason to fret Josh, there’s a reason I still have it! The flash sync is pretty darned awesome.

brett maxwell - Does the D70s picture quality look fine next to D3s files (at iso200)? As I’ve been planning my switch to Nikon I’ve been thinking of picking up a D70s solely for the sync speed.

Lynn Michelle - LOL. It can party with my 20D.

Ryan Brenizer - @Brett: The colors aren’t as rich, and the DR is worse, but you can shoot carefully and adjust in RAW.

Peter - Wow, I thought you were serious there for a minute, then you mentioned Ken Rockwell, and I realized it had to be a joke.

Ken Rockwell posts are the photographer’s equivalent of getting ‘Rick Rolled’.

Jolene Oldam - Man, I was so busy yesterday, I missed ALL the April Fool’s fun!

craig john - HA! I’m still sporting my Nikon D50, which looks wonderful when it’s mounted to my 70-200VR. :)

Photo of the Day: Love, Uncloaked

Ilana and Paul‘s dramatic first kiss.

I suppose I should be talking about the secret camera I’m testing that adds the important sense of smell to your digital images, but I think that’s been played out.

Jolene Oldham - I love the glow!

Chris Day - yeah, nice glow…sb’s stashed in under the curtains for this one?

Ryan Brenizer - Hahahaha no … I am known for being UNobtrusive. That was the continuous uplighting of the decorators.

Photo of the Day: Panorama Revisited

On a tip, I’ve tried reworking some old “Brenizer method” panoramas with AutoPano Pro. It’s not perfect, but it’s very good, and gets right some panoramas that Photoshop did not. But what I most like is that I can set up a batch to do a bunch of panoramas at once, and then go take a nap or answer e-mails or something. Anything that makes the stitching process easier will make me want to shoot these more and more, and one of my goals for 2010 is to really see what sorts of ways I can push the envelope on this ball I got rolling. Also, I want to mix new and exciting metaphors.

Original shoot here.

Dany - I luv Stephanie and the photos you make of her!

Sam Hurd - autopano pro was the first thing i used when i started trying your panos. i’ve had MUCH better luck with it than i ever did with cs4

Norby - Ah, that’s good to know – I’ve had some “Brenizer method” panos that I just could not get to come together (either via PS or APP) because of the lack of sufficient distinguishing details in the out-of-focus areas (such as, say, huge swathes of blue sky). I guess that’s not so much of a problem in the city :)

That gives me renewed faith to let APP have a go at more of the panos that I’ve shot, but never processed. In fact, I don’t think I have a single processed one on flickr to date.


Matthias Wassermann - Autopano Pro is quiet a good software it hardly ever lets me down. Even Handheld images are stitched flawlessly like my Pano of Time Square: which was taken handheld.

Ryan Brenizer - Cs4 is pretty bad.

Matilda "Tilly" Beezley - Pwhaor, easily the best bokehrama I’ve seen. I love people who put fairy lights in trees just so us photographers can turn them into circles of confusion. Gorgeous shot!!

Photo of the Day: Sunset Lounging


Here’s another shot from the Rockhouse Hotel in Jamaica. What’s special about this shot? It was taken with my iPhone and minimally edited in Photoshop. Not a bad little camera on the 3Gs if you get the most you can out of it. More on this soon.

TQ - Man my pics on my iphone ae so lame in comparision!

Maja - WOW !!!! That is all I can say Your Blog is AMAZING. Thank You soo much for all your inspiring work. MAJA

josh - oh man! if i wasn’t on the complete opposite side of the island i’d totally come out and meet you!

so what are you up to in Jamaica? vacation or work?

i did some shooting for Rockhouse last November. really nice people.

i guess if for some reason you find yourself out in Portland PLEASE give me call! 876 368 6685

either way, enjoy Jamrock. later.


Nikon 24mm f/1.4: Initial impressions and RAW samples

Who loves ya, baby? I was supposed to be one of the first people in the world with the new Nikon 24mm f/1.4, but it came while I was on a work holiday in Jamaica. I’m still one of the first to sample its goodness, but instead of a sunny week in Jamaica, you get a rainy day in New York. Thanks to the people at Adorama for being so great, again and again.

I’m a nice guy, so to anyone who’s really curious about this new lens, I’m including some RAW samples. These are D3s RAW files, so make sure your RAW converter is updated so it can open them.

Initial impressions (full review after this weekend’s wedding): Sharper and more contrasty than it has any right to be. AF is not world-class in speed, like the 24-70 and 70-200, but still speedy and very accurate. If Nikon makes a 35mm like this, there will be nothing left in the Canon camp that makes my skin crawl with envy.

100329-141649 85.0 mm f_1.6.jpg

Nikon has some new, hyper-shock resistant packaging, which I really appreciated given how pricey this darned lens is.

100329-142631 24.0 mm f_1.4.jpg

Sharp, colorful, love it. RAW sample.

100329-143830 24.0 mm f_1.4.jpg

f/1.4 isolation makes the buildings pop through the foreground in this puddle reflection.

100329-154111 24.0 mm f_1.4.jpg

Can you say flare resistant? Heavily backlit statue. Still contrasty. RAW sample.

100329-154425 24.0 mm f_1.4.jpg

Mmmmm isolation. Not generally a tight portrait lens, but this guy doesn’t mind. RAW sample.

100329-155918 24.0 mm f_1.4.jpg

Water droplets in a cab window show the quality of foreground and background bokeh.

Also, you can see those qualities here, in a quick video. Also shows the focus throw and the sound of the manual focus, for video geeks. 720p version here. 1/50th, f/1.4 ISO 1600 on the D3s:

UPDATE: One from night-time:

web_100329-222234 24.0 mm f_1.4.jpg

Krista - OMG!!!! I’m soooo jealoussss!!! Amazing clarity, colors and bokeh! You can’t freakin’ take a bad photo, can you??? ;-)

Steve Z - Damn thee gear lust.

brett maxwell - i hope that 35/1.4 is around the corner, that will cement my switch

Az - what a lens!

I’m holding out for the 35mm, this is a little too wide for me.

Domnic - Beauty

Avelaine Scyrup - Wowzers

Paul Von Rieter - AAHHH, another lover of the 24mm. Welcome to the club =). It is going to rock your world. I can’t wait to see the images from the wedding.

Dana Goodson - Ugh, I’m so jealous and torn! I have the 14-24 and love it but this seriously makes me drool. Now I’m torn.

Michael Hawkins - Looks sick dude. I should be getting a copy sometime this week and am ecstatic. I’ve been drooling over canons for too long!

Sam Obeid - Sweet and thanks for the RAW files. Can’t until one of my regular stores gets this baby in stock.

matt shumate - Oh dear. That glass looks dreamy. I’d probably have to give up my 24-70 to afford it, but wow, it almost looks worth it.

outsider again - fb is blocked, can’t use it at all = can’t see your video..
please use youtube or vimeo instead

Jamie M Swanson - Madison, WI - Wow…stunning. What a sharp, amazing lens!

Ali - ::drool::

William Hoiles - I would be curious to know how it handles fringing. The 85 f/1.4 and 50 f/1.4 both suffer from purple/green fringing, especially on things like tree branches against a white sky, or shiny reflective surfaces. It’s also common in the 35mm f/1.4 AIS.


50mm –
85mm –

Stan Jano - You were nice enough to post these images so I won’t knock them too much. They just don’t show me enough to even think of buying one.
Maybe it was the transmission quality because I heard your a great photographer. Stan

Ryan Brenizer - Patience; hese are from my first 30 minutes with the thing.

Josh - One word: Smooth.

Thanks a bunch, Ryan. It looks like a terrific lens, once again confirming my view that Nikon gets there second and best.

Cinal Studio - Looks like very good lens. Enjoy.

Naser - Freaking tight! Why should rich,competent New Yorkers have all the fun in the world :(

TQ - Im a canon chick… only been doing this for a year… im thinking I shoulda rolled with Nikon… any thoughts people?

Michael - Thanks for sharing. I now officially want one.

Josh - TQ: The Canon 24/1.4 II is a terrific lens too. It’s what the Nikon 24/1.4 will be judged against.

John - Damn! I am still waiting for mine to arrive and I need it for my cherry blossom photo trip in DC!

Adrian Rodriguez - Thanks, what a truly amazing lens. Have you ever done any photography workshops in NY from Adorama?

Ryan Brenizer - I do my own, but none for Adorama … yet.

Adrian Rodriguez - Checked out your website, fantastic body of work.

Eric Kotara - Yummy bokeh!

Michael (@TCRPMG) - Excellent shots! I need a better job! Thanks for sharing!

geoff - Who needs the ‘brenizer method’ anymore, just buy one of these gems!

Stan Jan0 - RB, the only one you posted that really interested me was the night time scene of the motorcycle, I think if that bright store front wasn’t there the image would really standout.

Stefan Elf - Thanks for posting RAW pictures! You can really tell this is a quality lens. You use this lens the way I’ve envisioned using it…

TQ - Thanks JOsh – qill check it out :)


TQ - Ryan, do you ever do any workshops in London?????

Danny St - I have long been wanting to get this lens but was always hesitant because of it’s hefty price. After seeing your samples, I might just get one soon! It seems worth it.

Kevin Peden - Hi Ryan. many thanks for publishing your findings. I do a lot of landscape on Dartmoor here in the UK. I’m currently in the process of renewing one of my Nikon bodies (current D2x, D300 & D200 CONVERTED for infrared) and going for either a D3x or waiting for the D700 replacement, so I feel a need to buy a new wide zoom or prime as I’m currently using the Nikon 17-35. f2.8, with excellent results I must say, but feel that a new Nikon pro lens with the all new design and Nano Crystal coat will suit the new FX high pixel count sensors. It was between the 16-35mm f4 and 24mm f1.4mm, you have just convinced me to go for the 24mm. Thanks.

Robert aus Polen - Thanks for posting RAW pictures

fotograf żywiec - 24G is grate lens i agree, but price out of space

Wedding: Karen and Kamil at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, CA

Well, you knew from their engagement that I was excited to fly out to California to shoot Karen and Kamil’s wedding, but it topped even my lofty expectations. Any way you look at it, it was the epitome of “geek chic” (which is very much up my alley). Sure, you have an attractive couple getting married in the land of sand and sea, but instead of beaches and sandals we had Wall-E as a ring-bearer, XKCD-inspired table settings, and more Super-Mario-inspired details than I could ever imagine. When you start to get into an argument with your brother/assistant about whether one of the masks for the guests was a Mexican wrestler or Storm Shadow from the GI Joe movie, then you know the wedding has reached maximum, fabulous geekiness.

I had a great time at every moment, but the wedding party had even more fun, including singing the “Age of Aquarius” to mark the end of the ceremony (which is why the slideshow is set to it). And, with further thanks to my brother, we got a nearby merry-go-round working for them, and started having so much fun that they had to be reminded that somewhere out there, a reception was waiting for them.

Congratulations, you two!

View full post »

dani k - I LOVE how zany their wedding was! Great personality and color. And of course, the photos are gorgeous as always.

Steve Koo - Love these, Ryan. Love your silhouettes – the second one and the second to last one!

apj - Amazing. Feel like I was there. Great capture of the entire day! Congratulations.

Drew - Looks like my kinda wedding! Absolutely love the shot shot!

seth goodman - So Cool!!! What an awesome couple. I would love to hang out with them. Your shots are so impressive. I love the shot of the groomsmen by the pool. Excellent work!

Shyann - Awesome wedding!! It looks like sooo much fun! I love all the color!

Kyle - Dude. DUDE.

I have to admit, I stopped in my tracks at the words “geek chic.” But they seriously pulled it off in a fabulous way! Through the photos and the emotions that come through, you can just feel that every detail of this day was so them!

Renee Bell - wow – very cool!!!
love it when people do things differently

Ben Tomlin - Great work & colours! ….and looks like a really fun wedding to shoot too!

Leo Druker - Ryan – that looks like an incredibly fun wedding – great captures! Wall-E as ring bearer – brilliant!

Milena Dekic - Such an awesome and fun wedding. You really captured the vibe of the day, and I absolutely LOVE the ceremony dancing shots with their amazing “dance faces.”

Alan - Awesome, looked like an amazing day. The colours are great.

Marianne Taylor - Ooh the carousel!! LOVE! <3 And the one with hugging bride with lovely lights bokeh in the background, absolutely gorgeous.

cheshire wedding photographer - Stunning! Looks like a great party! Love the bokeh when he’s holding her. amazing shots here!

Kristi Wright - I love the fun personalities you capture in your weddings. Great fun!

matt shumate - What a great party! Oh and I guess the other parts were nice too. :)
Really love all the details that make this their own wedding.

Funmi Omotade-Tan - so cool – mad hatter playing air guitar, flames and couple kissing, wall-e ring bearer = amazing images :)

Laura Thomas - Looks like such a fun wedding! Amazing images! Great bokeh!

Tabitha McCausland - Such a cute wedding! Did a great job Ryan!

David - These are really cool. You have captured all the fun and romance in these pics. Great job.

Emily Porter - Not to get all fan-girl on your ass, but honestly, going through this post reminded me about how, almost 2 years ago, your work inspired me to consider shooting weddings myself. You bring out the JOY in these special days for these people. You let who they are shine through instead of doing so much posing and setup that the personality is lost. These days are all about joy and personality – your photos always reflect that. Thanks for sharing these. They brought a smile to this geek’s face. :)

Ryan Brenizer - Thank you so much, everyone!

Shane - Google is amazing. Ryan…here is a video of their processional and some action shots of you.

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Phil D - Wow – the colours just pop through!

Photo of the Day: Wind in the Water…

A 30-second exposure of huge surf breaking against the waves at the Rockhouse Hotel in Negril, Jamaica. My season is about to explode, giving me all sorts of fun and excitement but not much rest for seven months, so I figured it would be nice to work casually down in the sun this week, processing a wedding that is the ultimate in geek chic.

I know there might be a number of readers of this blog who are considering, say, a honeymoon, and I can’t recommend the Rockhouse enough. Not only is it absolutely gorgeous at decent prices, but the practices of the ownership are fantastic. So many resorts have no connection to the community beyond their gates, but the Rockhouse has a foundation that invests in local education, opening a school and library. Heck, just the fact that the hotel room mini-bar prices aren’t inflated impresses me.

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susantha - gr8 capture