Crazy Photo Technique! “The Brenizer Method” Tutorial
Learn how to do the Brenizer Method with this sweet & simple video tutorial
The brenizer method is a creative photo technique all the cool kids are talking about these days. If you’ve never heard of the brenizer method before (like me until this week!) its a technique for getting super SHALLOW depth of field with a wide angle landscape or portrait shot. Its pulled off by using a longer lens (50mm-85mm seems to be pretty standard) to take a series of pictures at a fast aperture (say f1.4-2.8 etc) – Then you stitch all those photos together in Lightroom / Photoshop to make a single wide shot with crazy shallow depth of field! The result can be pretty wild.
Fortunately for you, there is a brand new video tutorial for pulling this off
What is the Brenizer Method?
The Brenizer Method got its name from Ryan Brenizer, who invented this mothod for his wedding & portrait photography, and made it popular by teaching others how to do it as well. If you’ve been doing photography for a while, the method might be familiar to you – You just might never have thought to use it in quite this way.
Lots of photographers stitch together photos in post production – The reason for this is that by taking a series of photographs instead of a single photo, you can combine them to get an ultra high resolution, well detailed image. You can also use this technique to maximise dynamic range by taking a series of exposures to blend your image perfectly.
This used to be a complicated, time consuming process. But now stiching together photos in photoshop and even inside lightroom has made the brenizer method WAY easier and faster to pull off.
Reasons to use the Brenizer Method
Creating photos using the brenizer method takes a lot more time than capturing one image, but the result can be incredibly unique. And in a sea of photographers, being unique is a very important thing.
Another advantage of using the Brenizer Method is that you wind up with a VERY high resolution photo because you’re stitching together several full res images. The result also gives you a very shallow depth of field and super background bokeh (some might call this an ultra blurry background)
Photos created with the Brenizer method might use anywhere from 8 to 32+ individual photos. Generally the longer lens you use, the more photos you’ll want to take.
How to do the Brenizer Method (Step by step)
Brenizer Method Step 1: Plan out your shot.
Because the brenizer method involves taking a LOT of photos and also a fair amount of editing afterwards, you’ll want to make sure you plan out your shot in advance to make it worth whie. Some backgrounds and compositions will work better than others, so try to think of what would look interesting with a shallow depth of field.
TIP – If you’re incorporating people / animals / live things into your shot, make sure the pose they are in is one they can hold, as you’ll need them to stay still while you take your sequence of phtos!
Brenizer Method Step 2: Set your camera settings.
Choose a lens anywhere from 50mm to 135mm. The longer the lens, the more photos you’ll need to take and the trickier this can be, so if its your first time, try using a 50mm to test and get the hang of it.
You’ll want your aperture as wide as possible (The lowest f number on the lens) to maximize the effect.
Set your white balance so that it is NOT on auto. You’ll want your images to all have the same white balance + exposure in order to blend them in Lightroom or photoshop without having to adjust everything individually.
Focus – Set your focus on the main subject in the photo, and then DO NOT change the focus between photos.
TIP* This method works fine with a zoom lens, but you have to be very careful NOT to change the zoom between photos. Doing so even slightly can throw off your whole image.
Brenizer Method Step 3: Photograph your images!
Once you’re all set, its time to take your photos. To do this, pretend you’re taking photos of a grid. Imagine the finished photo you want, and then divide that photo up into squares. Start at the top left corner, take a photo. Then move your camera to the right one square, take a photo. You want to take a photo of every square in the grid.
Make sure to overlap your photos slightly so that you don’t accidentally leave a hole in the middle of your masterpiece!
Repeat until you get to the top right corner, then go back to the move down one row and repeat the process. Keep taking photos until you’re at the bottom right corner.
This sounds a little complicated, but its really just a matter of practicing to get a feel for it.
**TIP: When you first try out the brenizer method, don’t try to pull off a 32 photo image! Start by shooting less photos – say 6-8. Once you’ve mastered that, try one with 8-10, then 12-16 then16-20 etc. Master the basics first, then add complexity.
Brenizer Method Step 4: Merge your photos!
Once you’re back from the shoot, import your finished photos into Lightroom or photoshop, and use the “photo merge” tool to put them together into your finished landscape. There are lots of tutorials on youtube for this if you need some help
Brenizer Method Step 5: Edit your finished composition!
After you’ve merged your photos, apply an edit to your masterpiece and pat yourself on the back – You’re pretty much the best photographer ever 😉
And that’s the ultimate step by step tutorial on how to do the Brenizer method!
Now you’ve got something new to try and another creative photo technique to add to your photography tool belt.
Do you see yourself using the brenizer method in your photography? Why or why not?
Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to tag us in your brenizer method photos @signature_edits_co so we can see your awesome work!