As a self-taught photographer I am continuously seeking creative and technical inspiration, and when I find a technique that involves both technical know-how and demands creative juice I can’t wait to go try it myself.
When I first encountered the Bokehrama technique, sometimes referred to as the Brenizer method, I knew this is one of those instances. What finally got me out to try the technique was the arrival of the new Godox AD600 at the camera store where I work and get to test new gear. For those unfamiliar with the Godox AD600, it is a battery-contained, 600 watt, HSS (high speed sync) and TTL capable strobe with a built-in X-series radio receiver. Perfect for location shooting and ideal for this technique as I will soon explain.
So, what is the Brenizer method (coined after wedding photographer Ryan Brenizer)? Essentially, it is a way of achieving an optically impossible photo. We all know that the two fundamental elements affecting depth of field are aperture and focal length – the wider the former and the longer the latter the more shallow the depth of field will be, and “hello there, bokeh”. The tradeoff to this wonderful bokhe is a photo that incorporates very little of the location and shows narrow field of view. This can be seen as an advantage on an ugly location. But what if the location is indeed grand and beautiful, the light is perfect and a more panoramic field of view is appropriate, and you still want the subject isolating effect of a shallow depth of field? The Brenizer method allows us to achieve a wider field of view and a shallow depth of field, sometimes emulating the look of an unimaginable 14mm f/0.4 lens (as I said, optically “impossible”).