So, you’d never think that techniques perfected for landscape photography would carry over into the wedding/portrait world – but earlier today I was playing around with shallow DOF panoramic shots. Sue and I were out at her parents’ cabin for the day, and I asked her and Petey to stand in while I tried this out – it worked great!
Essentially, taking photos like this gives you a very wide Field of View (FOV) with a very shallow Depth of Field (DOF) – something that’s just not possible with 35mm cameras. As the more astute camera geeks out there may know, as your focal length decreases, your DOF increases. To re-gain a shallow DOF, you have to increase your aperture size to an impossibly low number or increase the size of your sensor – neither of which are physically possible. Shooting a panoramic shot with a wide aperture gives you the best of both worlds – Shallow DOF and Wide FOV! As a nice bonus, it generates a huge image – the original from this post is 36 Megapixels. If you’d like to see the HUGE version of the original click here.
I’ll admit that the shot included with this post isn’t the best – it was just a test to see how well it would work. I’m looking forward to using this technique with some of my clients this year!
Edit: I just realized I have the perfect photo to demonstrate “Wide Field of View = Wide Depth of field” – look at my Horseshoe bend photo below – very very wide field of view, and DOF that reaches to the horizon. This was taken at 14mm, F/4. The test photo with Sue and Petey looks like it would be about 20 mm, F/.8 or .9. Wide FOV, Shallow DOF.