You might normally think of bokeh panoramas as relevant to portrait photography. They’re great when you want the subject to pop off the screen and show an interesting 3D effect. But they can also be used in other contexts. Mathieu Stern created this video to demonstrate how he uses a bokeh panorama for wildlife photography. His advice demonstrates how to capture the scene and edit the final image in Photoshop to make sure that the background is filled in and the details remain sharp:
In his tutorial, Mathieu explains how he shoots 5 to 10 images for the bokeh panorama and edits to merge them together using Photoshop. Although the panorama is normally used for still portraits, he traveled to the local zoo and used the animals as his subjects. In order to do the same, it’s important to use long focal lenses with a wide aperture. He used a 200mm lens for these photographs.
In Photoshop, load the images used and select File > Automate > Photomerge. This places them together as a rough draft.
There may be gaps in the image, so the next steps are very important.
- Hold down Cmd + Shift + Alt + E to create a new layer with the combined layers.
- Use the magic wand to select the holes in your image.
- Select > Modify > Expand
- Fill > Content Aware
- Use color correction layers to make the image appear more natural.
The benefit to using the bokeh panorama for wildlife photography or portrait photo shoots is the extreme detail throughout the photograph. No matter how much you zoom in, the image remains high definition.
“The subject is going to look really sharp while your background is going to have a really strong bokeh.”
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