Practice

For some reason, I had the urge to practice the Brenizer Method Panorama. I learned about the technique from a photographer on a photo walk several years ago. I have not used it much. Every once in a while, I suddenly remember the method and feel compelled to try it again. I think I have made a handle of images so far, all with varying degrees of success.

I convinced my wife to be my model, so I could practice making a panorama in the style of Brenizer. She agreed that if I went with her to pick up our farm share from the Honey Brook Organic CSA, she would model for me. I didn't need her to dress up. I just need a willing human subject and a suitable background. We got to the CSA just a few minutes before closing. It was the last day of the CSA for this growing season, and Bhavna was allowed to pick as many herbs as she could.

Although I have created a few Brenizer type panoramas, I read a few articles to refresh my knowledge of the technique. Many of the posts were excellent, but I like the simplicity of the approach by lightroom zen. I used the longest lens I own, an AF-S Nikkor 85mmG f/1.8.

My D5100 has only a few focus points. I found it challenging to find the 13 point in each photo. Instead of nine images as recommend in the lightroom zen post, I had twelve. But I don't think that matters as much as ensuring I had full coverage of the subject.

After merging these images in Photoshop and some cropping, the final image is the featured image for this post.

Photographer, Brett Maxwell, has created a calculator that computes the effective focal length and aperture when stitching multiple photos together. My final image was 5729 by 8440 pixel, which is about 46MP. My Nikon D5100 is 16MP. Using Brett's calculator, the effective focal length is 49mm, and the effective aperture is 1.04.

So does that mean that I can claim I have 49mm f/1.04 lens? By using the Breziner method I have waved a magic wand and created a new lens from the old. Without buying any new equipment I was able to transmogrify my lens.

The next morning, after I showed her the final image, my wonderfully supportive wife asked, "Would that be even better if we had a more colourful background?". Practice makes perfect, right? So ... sometime soon we'll take a road trip somewhere.

Exploring Hopewell

I arrived on time. I've eaten and walked around Hopewell many times, so I assumed it would be easy to find the corner of Mercer and West Broad St. That's where the group had agreed to meet.

I parked on East Broad and walked toward the street's western end. I couldn't find the cross street, nor could the residents seated at the Boro Bean enjoying a mid-morning coffee. Someone suggested I continue heading west. Mercer St. might be near the end of Broad at the liquor store. I found the group headed in the other direction and crossed the street to introduce myself.

We walked back toward Model Street, which leads back toward an old railroad station, Hopewell Station.

Along Model Street, we discovered this home with a beautiful garden. When I left the car, I decided to take just my camera and one lens: my Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G. I wanted to have just the minimum needed. But with the 35mm, I was challenged to fit the house and garden in the frame.

Hart · 27 September 2014 · Nikon D5100 · 35 mm f/1.8

I decided to shoot a set of images of the house and garden, and then later, I could stitch them together in Adobe Photoshop. So … that's what I did. I used a technique popularised by Ryan Brenziner. I'm still learning how to use it effectively.

Hart · 27 September 2014 · Nikon D5100 · 35 mm f/1.8

Hopewell Station is on Greenwood Avenue. The station was built in 1876 by the Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad and added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 22, 1984. It's not a large station, but many of the town's business leaders must have taken that train to New Brunswick or New York City in the past. We explored the outside of the building before walking back toward East Broad Street.

27 September 2014 · Nikon D5100 · 35 mm f/1.8

We walked along East Broad Street, stopping to look at some items for sale. A few residents had items out for a yard sale. As we walked along, two vintage fire trucks drove by headed to the playground for the Hopewell Harvest Festival.

27 September 2014 · Nikon D5100 · 35 mm f/1.8

The Hopewell Harvest Fair is a wonderful event, bringing together residents, businesses, and community organizations for a day of old-fashioned fun and entertainment.

Sports & Specialist Cars is on the corner of East Broad Street and Princeton Avenue. This beautiful vintage car was parked in the same lot as more modern sports cars from Lotus.

We stopped at The Brick Farm Market, where some of us bought lunch and cold drinks. The walk ground dispersed soon after that.

Experiments with the Brenizer Panoramic method

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I'm having fun experimenting with Brenizer bokeh panoramas.

At last weekend's photo meetup I met a wedding photographer, Chris, who introduced me to a technique for creating bokeh panoramas. The technique is called the Brenizer method after it's "creator", wedding photographer Ryan Brenizer. The idea is simple but the results are challenging to achieve.

So what is it?

For those who may or may not have heard of it and are not sure of what this technique is exactly, it’s essentially using a telephoto lens to create a very shallow depth of field as if shot with a wider angle lens. This technique makes a dSLR image look like it was shot by medium format.Bui Photos

Of course when I learn a new photographic technique I have to immediately immerse myself in it. So I've been experiment with 12-16 images panoramas shot with my AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8.

I've read -- and seen -- that the results are better when photographing people but that will have to wait until my results improve. In the meantime I'm having fun creating 20-30MP images from my Nikon D5100.

For these images, I set my 85mm to f/1.8. The Nikon D5100 is a DX camera, meaning it has an APS-C sensor with a 1.5 crop factor. My 85mm f/1.8 will produce results similar to a 127mm f/2.7 on full frame 35mm DSLR.

I panned around the subjects trying to capture the area around the subject. I think I used 12 images for the photo of the smoker and 16 for the "red shrub". I used Photoshop to import and auto-merge the images. This took about 30 seconds on my 3.4GHz iMac. Having 32GB of RAM helps a lot!

If you click over to Flickr, you'll see that the final cropped image of the red shrub is 9508 x 6303 pixels. The image of the smoker is 11070 x 4879 pixels!

Brenizer Panoramic Graveyard
Brenizer Panoramic Graveyard
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