The Brenizer Method: How to Shoot Stunning Panoramic Portrait Photos

You’ve probably heard of the Brenizer Method a lot in the past few months. And in truth, it’s a super fun method that can give you results you couldn’t have made otherwise. At least, you could’ve have done these without a medium format camera, large format camera, or wider super-fast aperture lens. In this post, we’re going to dive into posts we’ve done on the Brenizer Method over our years of publishing. We’ll showcase photographers who’ve done it, how to do it, the history, and more.

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Ryan Brenizer On Wedding Photography Being About Moments

Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 2.16.41 PM

If you haven’t heard of Ryan Brenizer, then you’re missing out on the work of one of the greatest wedding photographers of our time. Ryan is a former photojournalist that has been award winning wedding photographer for a number of years here in NYC. He also is known for what’s called the Brenizer Effect–which is the process of taking lots of photos in a panoramic fashion to mimic the look of a large format image.

And his words and images are more than enough to speak for themselves and inspire many others.

Having shot over 300 weddings and publishing his work in the industry’s top magazines including Rangefinder and American Photo, Ryan is one of the young stars in the industry. Before his speech at creativeLIVE Photo Week, we sat down with Ryan to find out how he captures those special moments that define his style.

Check it out after the jump.

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The Photo Stitch Could Make Your Camera So Much Better

Phones have had the photo stitch feature for a long time, but why don’t cameras have it?

We’re not necessarily talking about the Brenizer effect. And we’re not just talking about panoramic features either. But instead, modern digital cameras are missing a lot of things that phones have done for a while. One of the oldest features is the photo stitch. You know–shooting a scene, moving your camera around, and the phone stitching all the images together. “Oh, I can do it in post-production,” you say. But why? Why do I need to spend all day in front of a computer? I already do this for work. I don’t want to return to a computer later on to do a photo stitch! What kind of an answer is that from manufacturers? It’s one thing to give that as an answer. It’s another thing to provide that answer and complain about smartphones killing their business.

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Getting the Look of Medium Format Using Smaller Sensor Cameras

Model: Bec Fordyce

Model: Bec Fordyce

Many photographers have long known about the panoramic stitch process; which in modern times been called the Brenizer Effect after photographer Ryan Brenizer’s use of it. Photographer Glyn Dewis recently shared a video on how to do it.

Essentially, what you’re doing is visualizing a scene in your head–so this first requires a specific creative vision. Then using a telephoto focal length (85mm lenses or their equivalents are recommended) you shoot little bits of the scene starting from the middle and going around. The important technical aspect here to remember is that your lens needs to have a very shallow depth of field, the exposure/white balance needs to stay constant, and your focus need to be locked in on your intended subject. Then you switch to manual focus to ensure that the lens doesn’t keep refocusing if you’re using an autofocus lens.

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Buying a Medium Format Camera? This Is What You’re Diving Into

Those getting a Medium format camera will want to know precisely what they’re dealing with.

Photographers, as we know, are very used to what full-frame cameras can do. But they’re not so used to medium format because it’s not as common. A medium format camera is fundamentally a whole different ball game. For starters, you’re going up in pricing and quality. And a photographer will expect the absolute ultimate performance, but they also probably don’t know how to make the most of it. Medium format cameras traditionally were only used for weddings, documentary journalism, landscapes, and portraiture. In some ways today, that’s still the case, but it’s evolved.

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Review: Adobe Lightroom 6 / Adobe Lightroom CC

Lightroom CC logo

Since Adobe announced their movement to the Creative Cloud, many photographers were hoping that Adobe Lightroom didn’t make the move. Today, Adobe is giving consumers and professional photographers alike a new option. Photographers can either go for the new Adobe Lightroom 6 (most likely for the amateurs) or Adobe Lightroom CC (most likely for the working pros with a Creative Cloud account.) For the most part, they’re the same pieces of software.

Adobe’s Sharad Mangalick told us that both programs will receive updates at the same time when the patches and release candidates are available for download. New to Adobe Lightroom are four big features: enhanced performance for the editing of all RAW file types, a new filter brush that works in conjunction with gradients, HDR merge, Panoramic merge, and a couple of new additions for folks that make slideshows such as syncing to music and changing the pace of the image progression to the beat of the music.

All of these features are standard to Adobe Lightroom 6; and Adobe Lightroom CC’s major differences come with its integration with the Creative Cloud and with Lightroom Mobile for iPad and Android. Adobe Lightroom CC is also included in the Photography package for $9.99/month.

If you’re a landscape photographer, the upgrade to Lightroom 6 seems like a no brainer and if you’re a pro, the CC upgrade just makes so much sense.

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Three Medium Format Film Rangefinder Cameras We Love

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer LCDVF Fader ND Mamiya (8 of 11)

There is almost nothing better than having the benefit of a small rangefinder camera body and the large negative area of medium format film. While this isn’t available yet in a digital edition, lots of photographers want it. But those who want this also know how incredibly good lots of the medium format film rangefinder cameras are.

Indeed, most folks talk about the SLR cameras because they’re cheap; but there are lots and lots of film rangefinders that would possibly make you put down your digital camera and keep it in a box somewhere to gather dust once you see the incredible quality that these cameras are capable of.

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The Medium Format Look: Creating Panoramic Portraits

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer The Brenzier Effect tutorial portraits (1 of 3)ISO 16001-80 sec at f - 1.4

Otherwise known as the Brenizer Effect but colloquially called panoramic portraits–this is the act of taking multiple images of a static subject and stitching them together in Photoshop. The result is something that looks like it was shot on a medium format lens and sensor/film plane due to the wide field of view but very shallow depth of field.

Doing them is fairly simple–though there are considerations that you’re going to need to remember along with having a lot of patience while your software of choice processes through an image like this.

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Creating the Photograph: Sean Tucker’s “Tudor-Style” Portraits


Creating the Photograph is an original series where we interview photographers about a photo that they shot and how it was achieved. The results are some knowledge passed on to you. Want to be featured? Email chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com.

Photographer Sean Tucker is both a photographer and videographer hailing from the UK. He recently released a three part video series giving some useful tips and tricks to would-be product photographers. “I am actively building my portfolio in both stills and video to go after more people-centric work in the future because that is where my heart is. At present I am working on a portrait series, as well as finishing up editing on an episodic documentary series which I shot last year in New York, about a podcast duo reaching their 10 year mile stone.” Sean tells us.

He is also quite the lighting wizard and managed to make a single artificial light look completely natural.

But how did he do it?

Also be sure to check out Sean on FacebookTwitterYoutubeInstagramFlickr.

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Photographer Sarah Loreth’s Fine Art Surreal Portraits

Sarah Loreth The Phoblographer Interview images (2 of 11)

All images by Sarah Loreth. Used with permission

We tend to interview lots of surreal portrait photographers here, but the work of Sarah Loreth particularly stands out for the sole reason that she puts in loads of effort to do everything in the camera. Of course, she wasn’t always that way.

Sarah was interviewed by us before about how travel photography and how she quit her job in the medical world to pursue her creative dreams. But what we weren’t aware of is that she does a lot more than just shoots beautiful landscapes. Sarah is also a heck of a portrait photographer with ideas fueled by her emotions and that use the areas that she travels to as her personal canvas.

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The Phoblographer’s Wedding Photography Equipment Guide For 2013


Photo by Ryan Brenizer. Used with permission

It’s a brand new year, and that also means that you’re probably prepping for a whole new wedding season. To boot, since the days are getting longer you’re probably also wanting to work with natural light more often and taking further advantage of the golden hour. But if you’re starting to think about some upgrades, maybe you should consider some of the latest and greatest that many companies have been putting out as of late.

This is our Wedding Guide for 2013.

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