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Gina – Brenizer Method Portrait – Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

I decided to try a new technique while visiting the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in SE Portland with my good – and oh so patient – friend, Gina.  I was completely unaware of the process but had to Google it after seeing an incredible portrait of Alec Baldwin by photographer Sam Hurd.  The technique is called the “Brenizer Method,” because it was developed by Ryan Brenizer, and allows you to get incredibly shallow depth of field by stitching together several telephoto shots, which inherently have a shallower depth of field than the equivalent wide angle shot.  I accomplished the shallow depth of field – though I didn’t really take advantage of it with the lack of mid/ background – but I did a terrible job of getting the shots for the stitching.  That’s OK, though, because I like how the jagged stitching harkens back to hand-collaged 4×6’s I used to do and I just like Gina’s expression.  If I were to do it again, I’d try to do a better job of lining up my shots (taking them in organized rows/ columns) and making sure I have enough around the periphery to be able to crop after stitching and still have some breathing room.  I also used my 70-200 mounted on a tripod so that the camera was rotating around the midpoint of the lens when I probably would have been better off hand-holding it and trying to rotate the lens around the camera’s focal plane (sensor).