Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and are welcoming in a new year. I’m ready to get back in the swing of things. It seems that every year I make more resolutions and uphold fewer. Oh well. For photography, I enjoyed the hiatus. I reviewed countless photos, deleted piles, and worked on figuring out where I was in craft. For this year, I have a few photographic resolutions:
- Slow down, shoot less: this one is really a quality over quantity area. When I find something I want to photo, too often I over encompass. I try to squeeze every possible photograph from a subject sometimes resulting in finding folders with fifty pictures of a bucket in a street.
- Focus and finish: I can also get lost in the moss of processing, unnecessarily processing a photo five different ways to return to the original. This resolution has multiple prongs, though. I need to also have a more focused workflow such as camera calibrations and setting up RAW defaults, save PS actions, etc. The “finish” part also ties into subjects. Last year I left behind some interesting photos by shifting attention to fresh material too soon.
- Experiment more: Self-explanatory and I think pretty much a stock resolution for any photographer.
Having tagged those resolutions, there is no doubt the blog will change a bit this year. There may be less posting, but hopefully of better quality and more interesting. I plan also to focus weekly on a few areas such as a landscape, a portrait, an abstract, etc. Last year I tried to stay chronological to what I was working on, always attempting to post photographs taken the day of or just a few behind.
So, now the above photograph. I’ve been messing around with the Brenzier Method lately (also known as the bokeh-panorama). The method is quite popular in portraits and wedding photography. Reviewing some wedding photography was where I first observed the technique. For those unfamiliar, it is a technique where you set your camera lens to a wide aperture (1.4 ~ 2.8 typically), and take numerous photos of a subject, systematically moving around to get more of wide-angle panoramic. And just like panos, they are then stitched together via software. There are a few other tricks like making sure the exposure and focal point remain constant. The end effects can be quite stunning, getting both an interesting depth of field but also a wide-angled view. I experimented with it in a portrait setting, and then one day, I decided to try it in a more landscape setting with a larger fixed target. The first attempt didn’t pan out well, but did produce some different looks. Then I went a bit against the focus rule, and started moving my focal point between shots. I did this from a tripod to make it less chaotic. I started with a focal point on front of the pier near the water. I then panned the camera to the right and reset my focal point further down the pier. I did this all the way down the pier. Then I started going around the pier, trying my best to move the focal point back into the vicinity. In the end, I stitched 25 images together. (Lesson learned: manually set everything, and shoot in med to small jpeg. I originally shot in RAW with manual exposure, aperture and white balance. Needless to say, it took about thirty minutes to stitch the photo and the file size was 2gb!). I did this with a 50mm @ f1.4.
There were a few glitches in focal point with some splotches of blur here and there on pier. There were likely some photos I could have dropped out the stitch that were not needed. I tried it on a few others and will post them this week if they worked out.