Category Archives: The creative process

How to: Create Environmental Portraits

Introduction

Sony A7rII |Voigtlander VM 35mm 1.7 +5m PCX | f/1.7

With the Sony FE 24mm 1.4 GM hitting the shelves soon and the ongoing Instragram hype it might be a good time to talk a bit about environmental portraits.
What is an environmental portrait and what is the difference compared to a normal portrait? Which lenses work best? Which mistakes I made in the past but you can already avoid today?
These are the questions I will try to answer in this article.

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The best lenses for Brenizer / Bokehpanoramas

Introduction

bokeh panorama bokehpanorama brenizer bokehrama mechanical vignetting guide review
Sony A7s | Canon EF 135mm 2.0L | 55m f/0.81 equivalent

Brenizer or Bokehpanorama is a panorama technique to get a wide angle shot with the much better bokeh of a longer tele lens. In this article I will show you what it is all about and which lenses work best.

What is a Brenizer/Bokehpanorama?

bokeh panorama bokehpanorama brenizer bokehrama mechanical vignetting guide review
4×9 single shots before stitching in Microsoft Image Composite Editor

By using longer lenses and taking a panorama you can simulate the look of fictional, wider, very fast lenses that are not even technically possible to build.

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Making of series part 3: “Milky Valley” with Voigtlander 1.7/35

milky way astro astrophotography twan dark night stars milchstraße valley dolomites italy sony a7s voigtlander 35mm 1,7 asph ultron
Sony A7s | Voigtlander VM 35mm 1.7 Ultron + 5m PCX filter | f/1.7 | higher resolution

For decent Milky Way shots you need really good conditions – which don’t come often – and a good location. Regarding the latter I decided to go for the Dolomites in Italy, so I followed the weather forecast for quite some time and one weekend the conditions were finally said to be what I needed, so I decided to go there and challenge my luck…

In the Bag

As I wasn’t bound by airline carry on restrictions this time I brought a little more gear than usual. For astrophotography I carried my trustworthy Mindshiftgear rotation 180 panorama* backpack. In the belt comparment I was carrying my A7s, Zeiss Loxia 21mm 2.8, Voigtlander VM 35mm 1.7 + 5m filter and my Samyang 14mm 2.8. I also carried a very sturdy Gitzo Series 4 tripod and of course a remote trigger.

Continue reading Making of series part 3: “Milky Valley” with Voigtlander 1.7/35

Best lenses for Sunstars

sunstar sun sunburst blendenstern diaphragm stroke 10 7 8 14 18
Zeiss Loxia 21mm 2.8 | f/11 | 10 straight blades

The shape and appearance of sunstars is very important for landscape and architecture photographers. For some of them, they are even a defining element in their photos. Sunstars can appear around strong point light sources under certain circumstances, in this article I will talk about how to get them and how certain lenses (being more specific: number and shape of aperture blades) can influence their rendering.

Sample Images

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Zeiss Loxia 21mm 2.8 | f/5.6 | 10 straight blades
sunstar sun sunburst blendenstern diaphragm stroke 10 7 8 14 18
Zeiss Loxia 35mm 2.0 | f/11 | 10 straight blades
sunstar sun sunburst blendenstern diaphragm stroke 10 7 8 14 18
Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 Distagon | f/11 | 10 straight blades

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Making of series part 2: “Vernazza” with Zeiss Loxia 2.0/35

final_image_vernazza

On the Easter weekend 2016 I was rather spontaneously visiting famous Cinque Terre in Italy. The weather forecast was quite alright, but as I was only on a two night stay, I had very limited time (and blue hours) so I had to make the best of it…

In the Bag

As usual when on a trip I was using my Mindshiftgear rotation 180 panorama* backpack. In the belt comparment I was carrying my A7s, Nikon AF-S 20mm 1.8G, review sample of the Zeiss Loxia 35mm 2.0, Voigtlander Nokton 50mm 1.5 and the Leica Summicron 90mm 2.0. In the upper compartmend I also carried a Nikon Ai-s 180mm 2.8 ED which I didn’t use once on the trip (therefore sold now).  I also carried a small Gitzo traveler tripod, a mini tripod and a few filters. With the small lenses the backpack still has some space left for water and food. Now even more, as I won’t carry a longer tele anymore…

A german version of this article can be found here.

Continue reading Making of series part 2: “Vernazza” with Zeiss Loxia 2.0/35