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The Brenizer Method: A Step-By-Step Guide

The Brenizer Method, named after photographer Ryan Brenizer, is a technique that creates a shallow depth of field in wide-angle photos, mimicking the look of medium format photography. This method involves stitching multiple images together to form a single, high-resolution photo with a unique depth and perspective. In this guide, we’ll explore what the Brenizer Method is, its pros and cons, and provide a step-by-step process to help you master this technique.

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What is Brenizer Method?

The Brenizer Method is a photographic technique that combines the depth of field of a long lens with the wide field of view of a shorter lens. By taking multiple shots with a telephoto lens and stitching them together, you can create a wide-angle image with an incredibly shallow depth of field, making the subject pop against a beautifully blurred background.

Pros And Cons Of The Brenizer Method


  • Unique Look: Creates a distinctive, cinematic look with a shallow depth of field and wide perspective.

  • High Resolution: Produces high-resolution images due to the stitching of multiple photos.

  • Enhanced Background Blur: Emphasizes the subject by blurring the background more than a single wide-angle shot could.


  • Complex Process: Requires more time and effort than a single shot.

  • Requires Post-Processing: Needs stitching software and post-processing skills.

  • Potential for Errors: Alignment issues or differences in exposure between shots can complicate the merging process.

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How To Use The Brenizer Method: The Step-By-Step Process

Step 1: Find A Good Photo Opportunity

  • Subject and Background: Choose a subject that stands out and a background with interesting details that will look good blurred. Portraits in scenic locations often work well.

  • Lighting: Ensure consistent lighting across the scene to avoid issues during the stitching process.

Step 2: Prepare Your Settings

  • Lens and Aperture: Use a fast telephoto lens (e.g., 85mm f/1.4). Set a wide aperture to achieve a shallow depth of field.

  • Manual Mode: Switch to manual mode for consistent exposure. Lock focus and exposure settings to maintain uniformity across all shots.

Step 3: Shoot Your Images In An Organized Layout

  • Overlap Shots: Capture the scene in a grid pattern, ensuring about 30-50% overlap between shots. Start from the top left and move horizontally, then vertically, covering the entire area.

  • Consistent Settings: Keep your settings constant throughout the series to avoid variations in exposure and focus.

Step 4: Batch-Edit The Images And Export

  • Edit for Consistency: Import your images into editing software like Lightroom. Apply the same adjustments to all images to ensure consistency in color and exposure.

  • Export Images: Export the edited images in a high-resolution format suitable for stitching.

Step 5: Merge The Images

  • Stitching Software: Use software like Adobe Photoshop, PTGui, or Hugin to stitch the images together. Load the photos into the software and let it align and merge them into a single image.

  • Final Adjustments: Once stitched, make any necessary final adjustments to the merged image, such as cropping, color correction, or sharpening.

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The Brenizer Method is a powerful technique that can elevate your photography by combining the best of both wide-angle and telephoto perspectives. While it requires more effort and post-processing, the results are often stunning and unique. By following this step-by-step guide, you can master the Brenizer Method and create breathtaking images with a distinctive look. Experiment with different subjects and settings to fully explore the creative possibilities this technique offers.

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