Once Were Warriors
To assist me in my continuing quest to photograph characters, Robin King (actor/model) stepped up and offered his services. It just so happens he is a film background fighter and warrior reenactor.
So while I was busy in the studio, setting up the lighting and backgrounds, Robin got into character. He emerged on set wearing full Saxon battle gear including an amazingly heavy chainmail vest and brandishing an array of weaponry that would make the most fearsome army quiver.
On my photoshoots I always like to create something different. Not only does it push me as an artist, but it also makes it a unique experience for my subjects. On this occasion I wanted to try out a new technique called the Brenizer Method. I recently watched Glyn Dewis demonstrate this idea in this YouTube video. Glyn called it a Faux Medium Format Technique. Should you want to learn the Brenizer Method from the man himself, Ryan Brenizer, check out this link - Learn the Brenizer Method
So what is the Brenizer Method?
Essentially, it is stitching together a collection of horizontal and vertical shots to create a super-large image. Because you are stitching together many files, you are actually creating a very high-resolution image which makes for amazing prints. If you take this even further and shoot at a very shallow depth-of-field (2.8 or less), when you stitch the shots together you will exaggerate the shallow DOF. It's not possible to create this look with a wide-angle lens.
The shot below was created by shooting 12 individual frames, zoomed in to 200mm, using an aperture of F2.8, then stitching them together in Photoshop. The 4-gigabyte file was then resized to something more manageable. The full-res version is a staggering 13982 pixels long! (to put that into context, Robin's face was one shot on a 5dMKII full frame camera)
For this shoot I used three different lighting configurations. The first was a four-light setup - 4x Elinchrom 500 BRX heads (courtesy of The Flash Centre), the key light was a large softbox, the fill a large octabox, a snooted hair light and a gridded background light. The second was a three-light setup - two strip lights off to the side of the model and the large octabox in front as the key light. Both of these setups were photographed on a black Colourama backdrop. For my final set, I applied a one-light technique which utilised the large octabox to become my white background and the single light source. I placed my subject directly in front and photographed his profile.
Dade Freeman is a Brighton photographer producing portraits and headshots for actors, musicians, corporate business and other professional industries