Often I get positive reactions when I show my vacation pics. And then I am not talking about the little projects I tend to do while we are on vacation. Of course we, my wife and I, take the standard photos and portraits but with a few little tricks I try to do just this little bit extra and make them a bit more special. It can be something as simple as using a flash on a bright sunny day or picking a different view point. A nice example is a shot of me made by my wife while she was sitting inside the car and I was preparing my gear at the rear of the car. She captured a bit of the landscape and showed me whilst doing what I like doing.

Landscapes and surroundings

Below you will find a few other examples of standard vacation portraits with just a little bit extra. Just by making sure you get a good proportion of the background (landscape) in your picture you can show where you were, what you saw and you have proof that you were there (in my case my wife) (btw: I just realize that in all these shots my wife is holding a some sort of camera, hmmm)

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And of course it isn’t a necessity to show a large view, you can choose to show a part of the surroundings such as a wonderful tree in Kenia. Or you just show a part of a plane so your audience knows that you were at the airport (for this shot I used my flash to make sure that the light inside would match the light on the outside (fill flash)). The shot on the right shows how you can use a person as some sort of

The Brenizer method or also known as the Bokeh Panorama, is a photographic technique developed by wedding photographer Ryan Brenizer. I found out about this method a while ago and loved it from the moment I saw the first examples.

When I tell people about this, the first question I always get is: “But what is the Brenizer method”?

Basically it comes down to the following. You make a panorama photo shot with a lens longer than average and with a very shallow depth of field (DOF). For example I love to use the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM. You basically can use any lens above 50mm with a wide aperture. Once you stitched the images your final result will be a photo with an almost impossible DOF and a very wide angle view.

The example shown here was shot with a 85mm lens and an aperture of f/1.8. I shot 32 photos. I used a “Brenizer calculator” to calculate the final ‘artificial’ exif, which was 23mm with an aperture of f/0.48. It was my commissioned Brenizer shoot ever and regardless the sloppy composition, the disturbing wall on the right, the fact I had to clone out an red/white chain from behind the girls, I am pretty happy with the end result.

So how do you do it?: Here my brief Brenizer method turorial.

  1. Make a test shot and check your light (speed and aperture), focus, and white balance.
  2. Make sure you set your focus to manual, your shutters speed to manual, and choose (manually) a wide aperture. (and if you are familiar with it, also manually set your white balance or at least make sure you shoot in RAW. So you can synchronize the white balance in a RAW editor for all your shots)
  3. Once you are satisfied start

A older video which I used to explain to the kids in the crea photo workshop how make a floatation photo. It’s not superb quality but it explains the concept

My first screencast where I show how I created the poker Photo in the Nicki Staged series. It is just so you get a feeling how it was done. I’am showing which steps I took in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. So it might give you some ideas for your own work.

Next time I will make it more of a tutorial.


If you are looking for a good tutorial on High Dynamic Range images (HDRi), I would like to recommend the following HDR tuorial by vanilladays.com.

Or you can use this as a starting point. Enjoy!