Watch The Video Tutorial
The Original ImagesRewind: Brenizer Method Creates Bokeh You Won’t Believe!]
The best way to “dip your toes” into the Brenizer method is with a 70-200 lens zoomed in to 100-200mm. This is because at such long focal lengths, your images are more likely to come together nicely in stitching. The closer you get to your subjects, or the wider the angle lens you use, the more Photoshop will have a hard time putting the images together using automatic stitching options, and you might have to do it manually.
So, start by shooting one frame of your subjects, a “safety frame” if you will. If your Brenizer Method stitch doesn’t work out, at least you have this. It may also help to zoom out to 70mm or something, and also snap that wider angle view so you have that to compare as well.
Then, using about a 50% overlap, start shooting more images around the edges of this initial composition. The better you are at spatial things like this, the more of your scene you’ll be able to include before it all gets out of control. Shoot slowly and methodically, and when in doubt, re-shoot and re-overlap!
A tripod helps, but if your shutter speeds are fast enough and your focal length is long enough, it’s not totally necessary. Just shoot steady!
Once you get your images into Lightroom, Make sure you’re applying the exact same processing to all of them, especially any necessary lens corrections. Things like sensor dust are a good idea to clone out of the original images, however burning and dodging or other cloning ought to be left until later.
When you head into Photoshop, you can try the “Automatic” stitching option first, but if that doesn’t work, I find that “Cylindrical” almost always does the trick but you may need to correct some serious barrel distortion afterwards.
In Photoshop, don’t crop your final image too severely, it’s better to make final cropping decisions back in Lightroom if you can. Don’t forget to flatten your PSD file if necessary, otherwise your file size might become rather unruly!
Once you get the PSD / TIF file back into Lightroom, then feel free to burn & dodge to your hearts’ content, (I applied a lot more burning & dodging to these images after I was done making the video!) …and/or any special, stylized processing.
The Final Images
Blended layers, without additional editing
Final Editing Applied (Burn & Dodge, Crop, Vignette, “Sky & Clouds” brush)
Cool “Wash” Version, Using SLR Lounge Preset “Neutral Wash – Cool Cross”
B&W Version, Using Additional Burning & Dodging, plus
“B&W Warm Boost – Heavy” Preset To Brighten Skin Tones
As always, please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or additional tips!
Take care and happy clicking,
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