Bokeh Panoramas. Are you familiar with the concept? In essence, it's the building of an image from multiple images to create an extremely blurry background. Want to see some examples? Click HERE! Ok, I'll start out by saying that I am certainly no expert at this, but I have been playing with the concept for over a year now and really enjoy the look when I desperately wish I had a low aperture wide angle (1.2 maybe). There are some people that create bokeh panoramas with the intention of making the background SO blurry that it looks like it was taken with a 0.8, 0.4, etc. (which don't exist). I personally am not in favor of that look because I believe it becomes SO blurry, it appears unnatural. It's all a matter of opinion though! Everyone likes different things :)
So today I will show you the effect of using an 85mm 1.8 lens to achieve the look of say a 35mm 1.2 (or lower).
Here is the end result shot I will be guiding you through. Take notice of where the image stops and starts. What I wanted to include in my image. How wide it is.
This is where I started....
The more pictures you take of your surroudings to "combine", the blurrier your background will appear. And the wider your shot will be. I believe for this one, I used 7-9 shots. NOTE: Be sure that when you are taking pictures of your background, that you do not miss spots. If I want a picture of the sunlight above his head, don't just take a picture of that. Include the top of his head in the frame too. It's better to have too many shots than too little and then you end up missing a "puzzle piece".
Now it's time to take these images into Adobe Photoshop.
First open your main shot (your main focus or the image you started with). Create a crop box around it for the size you want the finished product to be.
Some people use masks for this part, but I find the eraser tool works best for me and is less complicated. Now, begin dragging and dropping one at a time your additional images on top as "layers". Try to match up say the top of the head in your first shot, with the top of the head in the next shot. Use a soft brush eraser tool to erase around the edges of each additional frame to avoid "hard lines". You're not perfect so there's no way your images will fit together like a perfect puzzle. Don't be afraid to use your eraser tool and let the bottom layer shine through.
Continue building on and adding more of your images. Unless you set a custom white balance, there will be variation in shade of each picture. This can be easily fixed up in photoshop, but try to get your colors identical BEFORE you begin layering them. It makes things easier in the end. See the harsh line running through that new layer? Again, no ones perfect, so unless you are using a tripod, you will not have images that fit perfectly together. That's when I use the eraser tool.
Just keep piling! Once you have it smooth and complete, you can do any additional editing. Here is my final shot BEFORE I did additional color editing!
I was also quite a fan of the Black and White version.
Anyways, if you have any questions just comment below! I am sure I was not the best at explaining this, but it isn't TOO complicated. It seems like it would be at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's a piece of cake! :)
Have a fabulous Wednesday everyone! I am going to the county fair tonight with friends! Yes for farm animals, 4H and fried food ;)